Is DUI A Felony In Pennsylvania?
A Pennsylvania DUI is only filed as a felony when something terrible happens during a drunk driving incident. The consequences for this class of crime are severe and can include spending time in state prison and paying huge fines. If you are facing felony DUI charges, you are likely worried about these harsh consequences.
At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, we understand that dealing with a felony DUI charge is an emotional experience. You may lose your job if you are convicted and your personal relationships will be forever changed. If you want to fight your charges, contact our Pittsburgh DUI lawyer at (412) 281-2146. We will work tirelessly to tell your side of the story and keep your record clean.
Driving Under the Influence as a Felony
In Pennsylvania, most DUI cases are charged according to a three-tiered system. Within this system, all charges are filed as misdemeanors and the severity of a sentence depends on the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) and prior convictions. However, when a DUI is charged as a felony, aggravating factors must be present. Aggravating factors are elements that make the crime more severe.
The mildest of the DUI felony charges is felony DUI with Injury and it involves someone other than the person under the influence being hurt in a drunk driving incident. Even the smallest of injuries is enough for a DUI to be classified as a felony. In this situation, the penalties are much harsher when compared to the consequences of a misdemeanor DUI. Being convicted of a Felony DUI with Injury will result in a fine of up to $5,000, a 1-year license suspension, and up to six months in county jail.
Aggravated Assault While Under the Influence is a far more severe type of DUI felony charge. It involves anyone other than the drunk driver being seriously disfigured, obtaining a life-threatening injury, or having long-term impairment of a body part or organ. This crime has far worse penalties than a DUI with Injury. They include up to 10 years in county jail and a fine of up to $25,000.
The third and worst of the felony DUI charges is Homicide While Under the Influence. This crime involves anyone other than the drunk driver being killed in a drunken driving incident. If more than one person is killed, separate charges may be brought for each victim. For each homicide, the sentence is 3 to 10 years in state prison and a fine that cannot exceed $25,000.
Let Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC Protect Your Freedom
If you are facing felony DUI charges, it is imperative that you seek the help of a skilled Pittsburgh DUI lawyer. At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, we will listen to your side of the story and ensure that your case is presented in the best possible light. With a strong and well thought out defense, we may be able to get your charges reduced or eliminated altogether.
Call us today at (412) 281-2146 or contact us online to see how we can help.