When you have been arrested four or more times for a Pittsburgh DUI, you know firsthand what it’s like to face Pennsylvania’s strict drunk driving laws. You are probably very concerned about losing your license but more concerned about the years you could be spending in jail, the money you might owe, and whether you can ever move past this.
DUI charges can have an extremely damaging effect on your life if convicted. Depending on your blood alcohol content at the time of your DUI arrest, your punishment for a fourth DUI or more includes thousands of dollars in fines as well as prison time. In addition, the court may require you to undergo substance abuse treatment as part of your sentencing. Due to Pennsylvania’s minimum sentencing guidelines and gravity score calculations, you could be facing serious, life-altering consequences.
Pennsylvania law has harsh penalties for those who add a fourth DUI offense to their record. It is extremely important that you hire an experienced Pittsburgh DUI attorney as soon as you can.
Charged with a fourth DUI in ten years? A skilled DUI lawyer can still help. An attorney must learn all of intricacies and details of your case. Our team of DUI lawyers have several years of experienced defending individuals with a fourth DUI.
Fourth DUI & Subsequent DUI Penalties
Pennsylvania’s system for punishing those who drive impaired is based on both the driver’s BAC and whether they have previous offenses.
If it’s your fourth DUI offense and your BAC is .08 to .099, you risk:
- 10 days to two years in jail
- One year license suspension
- $500 to $5,000 fine
For a fourth or more offense and a BAC .10 to .159:
- One to five years in jail
- 18 month license suspension
- $1,500 to $10,000 fine
For a fourth or more offense and a BAC of .160 or more:
- Up to 10 years in prison
- 18 month license suspension
- Fine of $5,000-$25,000
Deana’s Law Could Increase Your DUI Penalties
Passed in 2022, Act 59—known as Deana’s Law—increases DUI penalties for repeat offenders. Specifically, the law states that someone who:
- Commits a DUI and refuses a breath or chemical test
- Has a BAC of .16 or higher; OR
- Commits a DUI involving a controlled substance
will face second-degree felony charges if they have three or more prior offenses. These charges could result in a max prison sentence of ten years. Furthermore, the law states that an individual’s sentence will be served consecutively with any other sentence the court imposes.
Other negative repercussions:
- You may have to pay more for car insurance. It’s also possible that you will face being dropped by your insurance provider due to risk.
- You will have a criminal record.
- You may be given an enhanced sentence carrying harsher punishment if you caused an injury or death by driving drunk. You will also risk being sued for damages in a civil court.
How a Pittsburgh DUI Attorney Can Help
Hiring an experienced Pittsburgh DUI attorney for your case is one of the most important things to do. A fourth DUI is a serious charge and you could be facing years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines, setting you back from your future. A defense attorney can help assess the evidence against you and negotiate with the Commonwealth to get the best possible outcome for your case.
Soon after your arrest, you will receive a copy of your criminal complaint in the mail. It’s important to show this paperwork to your attorney so he or she can see your exact charges. After that, your preliminary hearing date will be set. This is the first court appearance on your case and it is critical because at this hearing your options, including a plea negotiation or a trial, will be determined.
Your Defense For Fourth Or More DUIs
If you do not choose to negotiate a plea and your case goes to trial, your 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 your chemical test (blood, breath or urine) were not accurate
- The testing equipment used was flawed
If law enforcement pulled you over without probable cause, your Pittsburgh DUI attorney will try to show that this evidence should be suppressed. If granted, your charges could be reduced.