Pittsburgh DUI Accident Lawyer | Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC

Call (412) 281-2146 today

You might feel confident getting behind the wheel after a few drinks, but that confidence could quickly turn into shame, remorse, and guilt if you’re involved in an accident. A DUI charge is serious enough in Pennsylvania, but the consequences are even more harsh if you were driving under the influence and caused property damage, injury, or death in a car crash.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI after an accident in Pittsburgh, hope is not lost. You can defend yourself and protect your future – one step at a time. The first and most important step is seeking help from a compassionate and experienced Pittsburgh DUI accident defense attorney.

Call Worgul, Sarna, & Ness, LLC at (412) 281-2146 for a free consultation.

DUI With Accident Charges & Penalties

Being charged with DUI is serious under any circumstances. Still, if you are involved in a DUI accident that resulted in property damage, injury, or death, the penalties can be more severe. Here are common charges you may face after driving under the influence and getting into a wreck:

Felony DUI

The Commonwealth divides DUI charges and penalties into three tiers based on BAC level and prior convictions. However, if a DUI accident results in injury or property damage, it will automatically be charged as a middle-tier offense. This is the same as driving with a high blood alcohol content (.10 to .159% BAC), even if you drove under 0.10%.

While most DUI offenses are misdemeanors, a DUI with an accident that causes minor to severe injuries can be classified as a felony DUI in Pennsylvania. You will also face increased penalties based on whether you have prior DUI convictions:

If this is your first DUI offense, you risk:

  • Two days to six months in jail
  • One-year license suspension
  • $500 to $5,000 fine
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Ignition interlock on your vehicle for one year (if our BAC is .10 or over)

If this is your second DUI offense, you risk:

  • 30 days to six months in jail
  • One-year license suspension
  • $750 to $5,000 fine
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Ignition interlock on your vehicle for one year
  • You may be required to take a court-ordered treatment program

If this is your third DUI offense, you risk:

  • 90 days to five years in jail
  • 18-month license suspension
  • $1,500 to $10,000 fine
  • Ignition interlock on your vehicle for one year
  • You may be required to take a court-ordered treatment program

DUI Aggravated Assault

If a DUI accident results in serious injury, you can be charged with a DUI aggravated assault. Aggravated assault means someone other than the drunk driver sustained a life-threatening injury, was permanently disfigured, or suffered long-term impairment due to the DUI crash.

This offense carries far harsher penalties than a DUI with minor injury or property damage. The penalties for DUI aggravated assault in Pennsylvania include up to two years in jail and a maximum fine of $25,000.

DUI Vehicular Homicide

If a DUI accident results in the death of another individual, you will be charged with vehicular homicide, also known as vehicular manslaughter. This is outlined in Section 3735 of the Pennsylvania Statutes, with penalties involving a mandatory prison sentence of three years if this is their first DUI offense.

If more than one person is killed, separate charges may be brought for each victim. For each homicide, the sentence is three to 10 years in state prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

A DUI Accident Attorney Can Help

If you have been charged with a DUI after an accident, you should speak to and hire an experienced Pittsburgh DUI accident lawyer as soon as possible. They will evaluate your case to determine the best defense, negotiate with prosecutors to reduce your penalties and advocate for you to get the help and treatment you may need.

Typically, many court appearances are involved with Pittsburgh DUI accident cases, so your attorney can help you navigate the process and even appear on your behalf in some instances.

After being arrested for a drunk driving accident, one of the next steps is the preliminary hearing, where your legal options will be determined between the Commonwealth and your Pittsburgh DUI accident lawyer. The preliminary hearing is the first court appearance on your case, so it is crucial to have an aggressive attorney with negotiation experience to obtain the best possible outcome for your situation.

Your legal options could include a plea agreement, trial, or alternative resolution like Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). However, ARD is only an option for a DUI charge if the accident didn’t involve serious injury or death.

Our DUI accident lawyers in Pittsburgh may be able to:

  • Challenge the DUI stop
  • Question the validity of any DUI tests
  • Help you arrange bail
  • Restore your driving privileges and protect your license
  • Negotiate a reduced charge or another favorable result
  • Collect evidence and witness testimony to support your defense

Defenses for a Pennsylvania DUI Accident

Your Pittsburgh DUI accident attorney will have several lines of defense depending on the circumstances of your case. A few of these are:

  • The police did not have probable cause to stop you
  • The police did not have probable cause to test you for DUI
  • The results of the breathalyzer tests were not accurate
  • The testing equipment used was flawed

If the police stopped you without probable cause to pull you over—even after an accident—your attorney will try to show that the evidence against you should be suppressed (not allowed to be presented to a jury or the court). If the judge grants your attorney’s motion to suppress, your case may be dismissed.

Your Rights & Future are at Stake. Call Worgul, Sarna, & Ness.

After a DUI accident, you need the best possible defense to preserve your freedom, rights, and driving privileges. An attorney can be your biggest resource and advocate when you’re up against serious DUI charges.

The Pittsburgh DUI accident attorneys at Worgul, Sarna, & Ness, LLC will fight using the strongest defense available to get your DUI accident charge reduced or dismissed so you can move on with your life.

Contact our DUI accident attorneys at (412) 281-2146 to get started on your case. We’re available 24/7 and offer free initial consults.