Third DUI Offense in Pittsburgh | Defense Help, Charges and Penalties

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If it’s your third DUI arrest, you probably have a good idea of what you are up against. You know how tough Pennsylvania’s DUI laws are. You are probably worried about how long you will lose your license this time, how long you might be in jail, and whether you’ll be able to get that job you’ve always wanted.

Depending on your blood alcohol content at the time of your arrest, your punishment for a third DUI in Pittsburgh include heavy fines and can range from months to years in prison.

Each time a driver adds a DUI conviction to their record, Pennsylvania law punishes them more harshly. This makes it even more important to fight your DUI. If you hire an experienced DUI attorney, they will be able to present a strong defense on your behalf.

Penalties for a Third DUI in Pittsburgh

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 third 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
  • Ignition interlock on your vehicle for one year
  • You may be required to take a court-ordered treatment program

For a third offense and a BAC .10 to .159:

  • 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

For a third offense and a BAC of .160 or more:

  • Up to 7 years in prison
  • 18 month license suspension
  • $2,500 to $15,000 fine
  • Ignition interlock device on your vehicle for one year
  • You may be required to take a court-ordered treatment program

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 third-degree felony charges if they have two prior offenses. These charges could result in a max prison sentence of seven years. Furthermore, the law states that an individual’s sentence will be served consecutively with any other sentence the court imposes.

Other negative repercussions of a third DUI conviction:

  • You will likely have to pay more for car insurance. It’s also possible that you may find yourself dropped from your auto insurance provider due to risky driving history.
  • Your criminal record will continue to grow.
  • You face loss of employment or difficulty finding employment.
  • You face loss of custodial rights if you have children or dependents and are legally separated or divorced.
Third DUI Offense in Pennsylvania

A third DUI in Pennsylvania is serious but a skilled attorney can help. If you’ve been charged with a third DUI – the best move is to call an attorney with years of experience. Our Pittsburgh DUI lawyers know how stressful an encounter with the law is. Learn more about the charges you are facing.

What Pennsylvania Law Says about DUIs

Pennsylvania law will take into account the last 10 years of your driving history to determine if this is your third or subsequent DUI.

Steps To Take If You Are Charged

If you have been charged with DUI, your first step should be to immediately hire a lawyer. Before your hearing is even scheduled, an experienced defense attorney can begin working on your defense.

If you have been charged with your third DUI in Pittsburgh, you should hire an experienced DUI attorney. The more DUI offenses you have on your record, the more likely you are going to need to be represented by someone who can negotiate with the prosecutors on your behalf. Before your hearing is scheduled, your defense attorney can evaluate the circumstances of your previous convictions, learn what evidence the Commonwealth has against you, and begin building your defense based on the evidence.

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.

One of the next steps in the DUI process will be your preliminary hearing. This is the first court appearance on your case and it is critical because at this hearing your options, a plea negotiation or a trial, will be determined. Your attorney will help you obtain the best possible outcome for your situation.

Your Defense For Third DUI Charges

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 the police stopped you without probable cause to pull you over, your defense attorney will try to show that the evidence against you should be ruled inadmissible. If your attorney’s motion to suppress is granted by the judge, your case could be dismissed or the charges reduced.

Questions? Contact me.

Your rights are at stake and you need the best defense to keep them. I will fight using the strongest defense available to get your DUI charge reduced or dismissed so you can move on with your life.

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