October 31, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- A North Philadelphia man is now facing 5 to 10 years in prison after being convicted of homicide by motor vehicle while driving under the influence. The man's drunk driving had sparked a chain-reaction collision that ultimately killed one pedestrian and seriously injured another.
Despite the 54-year-old man's deteriorating health, the judge disregarded his defense attorney's request for leniency. Instead of sticking with the 3-to 6-year prison term required by law, the judge added an additional 2 to 4 years onto the man's sentence for aggravated assault by vehicle. According to the man's attorney, the judge's ruling amounted to a death sentence for his ailing client.
Drunk Driving Laws in Pennsylvania
The consequences of being charged with drunk driving in Pennsylvania can be severe. In addition to potential incarceration, a person convicted of driving under the influence often faces significant expenses.
Even if the charge is a person's first DUI, they will face fines, having their driving privileges suspended and a significant hike in insurance premiums upon reinstatement. While first-time offenders will have more options available to them, such as Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition
, or ARD for short, they are also in a vulnerable position in the event they are arrested for subsequent DUIs.
The penalties get steadily more severe for individuals convicted of repeat DUIs. Not only will they face the additional expense of ignition interlock devices, but they will also face lengthier jail times, including the possibility of prison.
Building a Strong Defense
The best way to avoid these consequences is to avoid the conviction. Anyone facing a DUI charge needs to attack it right from the start. The moment an individual is arrested he or she should contact an attorney with extensive experience protecting people's rights.
An effective drunk driving defense requires an aggressive approach. Every aspect of the charge must be scrutinized from the initial traffic stop itself to the tests used to measure a person's blood alcohol level.
The traffic stop is one of the most critical aspects of the case. Exploring whether the officer had reasonable suspicion to pull a car over is important. The police officer's conduct during the stop must be scrutinized also to make sure nobody's constitutional rights were violated.
Finally, an essential drunk driving defense strategy
will explore the tests themselves, tearing apart how they were administered, how they were handled and how they were processed. Contrary to popular opinion, there are many opportunities for sample to be compromised during the testing process.
Know Your Rights
If you have been charged with drunk driving, you don't just need a good criminal attorney -- you need an attorney with experience defending people facing drunk driving charges. An attorney can help you avoid some of the pitfalls many people make when they are arrested and charged with a DUI.
Hiring an attorney right away is important. Certain deadlines must be met to protect your driving privileges. An attorney is also there to be your voice. Anyone charged with DUI should not answer any questions and should let their attorney relay the facts to the authorities.
Article provided by Cherry, Fieger & Cherry, P.C.
Visit us at www.cherrycriminallaw.com---
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