Two criteria can be used to determine if DUI charges can be brought back up after being dismissed. The first is when double jeopardy is attached to your case. The second is whether your case was dismissed with or without prejudice. Once jeopardy has been attached to your case, charges cannot be brought back up if:
- The charges are dropped or dismissed.
- You serve your time or pay the relevant fines for those charges.
Similarly, if your case is dismissed with prejudice, the same charges cannot be brought back up against you.
DUI Rules in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s general driving rules and regulations can be found with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). According to these laws, you can receive a ticket or a citation and face arrest for various moving and non-moving violations in Pennsylvania.
DUI legislation, however, is contained in Act 24. Under these laws, you can face penalties of between $500 and $10,000 depending on your blood alcohol content (BAC) level, as well as jail time and a license suspension.
Each successive DUI can lead to harsher and harsher fines and penalties, which is why it is crucial to understand how prior DUIs are handled. Above, we mentioned jeopardy and case dismissal with prejudice. Here is how both work:
The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects you from being prosecuted or punished more than once for the same crime. For DUI cases, the cut-off point at which jeopardy attaches to your case is not when you are pulled over, arrested, or issued a field sobriety test (FST).
In most cases, jeopardy attaches once a jury is empaneled, i.e., when a jury is sworn in to hear your case. At any time before this, charges for the specific DUI in question can be brought back against you—if your case is not decided for any reason other than dismissal with prejudice.
Dismissal with Prejudice
Cases that are dismissed with prejudice are dismissed permanently. However, there are many situations in which the prosecution may wish to temporarily dismiss your case without prejudice so that they can revisit the case at a later point in time.
For example, if the prosecution needs more time to build a case or to prepare a witness, your DUI case may be dismissed without prejudice. This allows the prosecution to reopen charges against you at a later date. Similarly, the court may dismiss your case without prejudice to handle a relevant side issue, such as assault, endangerment of a minor, open container violations, or other DUI-related charges.
Once your DUI is dismissed with prejudice, however, those same charges cannot be brought back up against you.
Why Seek Legal Representation?
There are many reasons you may wish to consider legal representation for DUI charges you are facing.
The financial cost of DUI tickets can add up, and the points assessed on your license can lead to a loss of driving privileges. If you are classified as a habitual offender, you may have trouble renting a car and will likely have to pay higher insurance premiums. Some DUI citations cannot be removed from your record and will stay with you for life.
A thorough understanding of Pennsylvania’s DUI laws and formal legal representation may help in dismissing or lowering the charges you face.
How Our Team Will Assist You
Based on the specifics of your case, we can help you with your DUI case in one or more of the following ways:
- Demonstrating that you were not intoxicated while driving
- Proving that you were not driving when arrested
- Showing that the ticketing or arresting officer did not have just cause to stop, search, or issue you a ticket
- Bringing into question the quality or validity of the evidence brought against you
Eyewitness statements and dashcam footage can help us to substantiate your claims. We can use the strategies above to either dismiss your case, prevent an older case from being brought up, or lower the severity of the charges you face.
Past Client Reviews
With more than 300 Google reviews, our overall five-star rating speaks for itself. Hear what it’s like to have us as a defense team straight from our previous clients:
- “David McKenzie is a fantastic attorney who really cares about his clients. He makes the process very easy and explains everything every step of the way. He also is extremely responsive throughout the whole entire process.” – Kevin Reilley
- “I have nothing but outstanding things to say about Dave McKenzie. If you are on the fence about choosing the correct legal guidance for your case, I highly recommend going with the McKenzie Law Firm!” – Patrick Cheesebrough
As the rest of our reviews suggest, we strive to bring this same level of professionalism to each case we take. When you work with our firm, you can expect accessible and supportive legal services from start to finish.
Contact Us Today
Reach out to the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., today at (610) 991-7219 for a complimentary case review. We help clients in Montgomery County, PA, and nearby areas. We handle drug charges, DUI cases, traffic crimes, and the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program.
Call us today to learn more about your rights and how we can devise a strategy to handle your case. Our phone lines are open 24/7.