DUI Related Offenses

Driving under the influence is a grave charge that can come hand in hand with a range of other offenses, significantly escalating the implications of a DUI. When a driver causes an accident, inflicts injuries, damages property, or attempts to flee the scene, the severity of the penalties increases substantially. The charges faced by the driver hinge on the case’s circumstances, with the number of offenses directly influencing the severity of the consequences.

Public Intoxication

In relation to a DUI, various associated charges come into play, making the situation even more complex. These charges include hit and run, fleeing the police, public intoxication, and implied consent.

Let’s focus on public intoxication, a charge defined by law in Pennsylvania. It is considered unlawful to display signs of drunkenness or substance influence in a public place that jeopardizes one’s own safety or the safety of others. Public intoxication encompasses actions such as causing annoyance, endangering oneself, or endangering others in any area accessible to the general public. This includes privately owned spaces that allow public access, like gated communities or common areas of an apartment complex. Any disruption caused in such an area can result in charges of public intoxication.

Under Pennsylvania law, public intoxication is classified as a summary offense, potentially leading to fines of up to $500. Subsequent offenses carry even higher fines.

Hit and Run

When a person finds themselves responsible for an accident due to drug or alcohol consumption, their mind races with worries of potential arrests and the ensuing consequences. These daunting thoughts may tempt some individuals to flee the scene, hoping to escape punishment. However, it’s important to understand that this act, commonly known as a hit and run, leads to even harsher penalties in the end. This is a crime that judges and prosecutors take very seriously.

The severity of a hit and run offense, whether classified as a felony or misdemeanor, depends on various case-specific factors. Regardless of the classification, the punishments are significant. In cases where the accident only involves property damage, the driver can face a third-degree misdemeanor, potentially resulting in up to a year of imprisonment and fines of up to $2,500.

However, when the accident causes injury to someone other than the driver, the hit and run charge becomes a third-degree felony. The consequences of this offense can include up to seven years in prison and fines as high as $1,000.

In the most tragic cases where the accident results in a fatality and the driver chooses to flee, the charge escalates to a third-degree felony. Upon conviction for this crime, the offender may face a jail term of up to seven years and fines as high as $2,500.

Fleeing the Police

When you find yourself in a situation where you hear the siren blaring and see flashing lights behind you after causing an accident, it can be an extremely frightening experience. Many people tend to panic and flee, especially if they believe that their consumption of drugs or alcohol may have led to the accident.

However, it is crucial to understand that fleeing from an accident and engaging in a full-blown high-speed chase with the police will result in serious charges of fleeing the police. This offense is taken very seriously by law enforcement officers, judges, and prosecutors.

Even if an accident does not occur, failing to pull over when signaled to do so by a police officer can result in charges of eluding the police. According to Pennsylvania law, a signal can be in the form of a hand gesture, the officer’s voice, or the use of sirens and emergency lights. Disregarding any of these signals can lead to charges of fleeing and eluding the police.

Typically, fleeing the police is considered a second-degree misdemeanor and carries a minimum jail sentence of two years, along with the possibility of fines as high as $2,000. However, if a driver attempts to flee and the situation escalates into a high-speed chase that endangers other drivers, crosses state lines, or if it is later determined that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the charge becomes a third-degree felony. In such cases, the punishment can include up to seven years in prison and a minimum fine of $15,000.

In addition to these severe penalties, fleeing the police can also result in the suspension of a driver’s license.

Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent Law mandates that anyone with a driver’s license must comply with blood, breath, urine, or chemical testing upon request by an officer. While drivers can decline the roadside sobriety test, refusal of other tests is not optional. However, to charge a driver with implied consent, prosecutors must establish that the officer provided a warning about the consequences of refusal. Failure to issue a warning prevents the prosecution from proceeding with the charge, but subsequent violations result in an 18-month license suspension.

Facing any of these charges? Retaining the services of a proficient Butler PA DUI attorney, well-versed in DUI law and procedures, is crucial. Look no further than Sean Logue and his dedicated associates at Logue Law, renowned Butler PA criminal attorneys. With their extensive expertise, they will expertly navigate your case. Fearlessly challenging the prosecution, they will tenaciously fight for the most favorable outcome. Reach out to them for a free initial consultation at (844) PITT-DUI or 412-389-0805, or connect online. Logue Law proudly serves Butler, PA, Ohio, and West Virginia, providing steadfast advocacy and unwavering support.

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