The facts in each individual driver’s DUI case will determine the classification of his or her charge. DUI can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.Felony DUI Types
Accidents that end in injury or death of someone who is not the driver being charged are aggressively prosecuted. Many times in these situations, the courts add sentencing enhancements to the standard DUI charges. These enhancements raise the standard misdemeanor DUI to a felony. The following offenses lead to the highest and harshest of the penalties given for a felony DUI:
- Aggravated assault by vehicle
- DUI resulting in injury
- Homicide while under the influence.
The least severe DUI felony in Pennsylvania is a DUI resulting in injury. Still, the punishments that come with a conviction for a DUI resulting in injury are more severe than for a standard DUI charge. A driver may be convicted of this charge if the drunk driving accident he caused involves an injury to a person other than the driver. It doesn’t matter how minor the injury might be, either.
A conviction for DUI resulting in injury comes with fines as high as $5,000, jail sentences of up to six months, and a license suspension of one year.Aggravated Assault by Vehicle DUI
In order to get a conviction against a person charged with aggravated assault by vehicle, the prosecutor in the case must prove that the defendant was impaired by drugs or alcohol and that the impairment led to a serious bodily injury being caused to someone who is not the driver who is being charged.
Pennsylvania law defines serious bodily injury as an injury that causes a permanent disfigurement, or a loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ for a long time. If the prosecutor can prove with evidence that the driver was impaired and can prove that the accident would not have happened if the driver had not been impaired, he may get a conviction in the case. If the victim’s injuries do not fall within that definition of serious bodily injury, then the charge could be reduced to a DUI with injury, which has punishments that are not is harsh.
Aggravated assault by vehicle is considered to be a second-degree felony. A conviction for this crime carries fines as high as $25,000, and prison sentences of up to 10 years.Homicide While Under the Influence
The most severe type of DUI felony in Pennsylvania is homicide while driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. A person is charged with this crime when a person other than himself dies because of a DUI accident he has caused. If multiple people are killed in the one accident, the driver may be charged with multiple counts of homicide while under the influence.
Homicide under the influence is a second-degree felony. A driver convicted of this charge faces a maximum fine of $25,000 and a prison sentence of as many as 10 years. If multiple people were killed in the accident, this penalty will be imposed for each person who died.Additional Consequences
Not all consequences for a felony DUI are carried out by the courts. Felony convictions on a person’s record often make it hard for that person to find a job and to get government aid. A felony DUI conviction for a commercial driver means that they will never again drive a commercial vehicle. Even after the driver serves his prison sentence, there will be lasting consequences that follow him forever.Experienced Pittsburgh DUI Criminal Defense Attorney
Felony DUI charges are incredibly serious. People who face those allegations also face mandatory prison terms and high fines. If you are facing felony DUI charges, you need an attorney who understands DUI law and is willing to aggressively defend you. Logue Law is the firm you need. Sean Logue and his associates are Pittsburgh criminal defense attorneys who have extensive training in DUI law. They are dedicated and aggressive, and will fight to get you the best outcome they can. Call them at (412) 612-2210 or (412) 612-2210, or click here to contact them online. Initial consultations are free. Logue Law serves Pittsburgh, PA, Ohio, and West Virginia.
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