Driving under the influence (DUI) is considered a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania when your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or higher. Driving under the influence is considered a felony in Pennsylvania if you were arrested and charged with DUI due to a car accident that caused injuries or fatalities. The penalties for misdemeanors and felonies vary greatly.
When you are facing DUI charges and the possibility of conviction, our defense team will clarify the difference between misdemeanor and felony DUI in PA. We make sure you have a clear understanding of the charges against you and the potential risks to your future and freedom. We will also fight hard for lower charges, lighter sentences, and dismissal of your charges whenever possible.
What Are Pennsylvania’s DUI Penalties?
A DUI is a felony chargeable as aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence, according to 75 Pa. C.S. § 3735.1. If you are convicted of this offense, it is a second-degree felony that carries hefty fines and lengthy periods of confinement. In addition, if a DUI accident results in a fatality, you could face first-degree felony charges with more stringent sentencing guidelines.
Every DUI case is different, so our team treats you like a person, not like a case file. We explain the specific charges you face and the factors that influence potential penalties, including:
- Field sobriety test results
- Your criminal history
- BAC test results
- Plea bargains
Our team reviews and weighs the state’s evidence against you. We use a combination of all these factors – including verifying that your rights were not violated and that the police had probable cause to arrest you in the first place – to build a credible and effective defense.
What Are the Misdemeanor DUI Penalties in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation (PennDOT) guidelines describe the penalties for misdemeanor DUI convictions. Fines can range from $300 to $10,000, and jail or prison time can stretch to as many as five years. While these penalties are not as harsh as the penalties for felony DUIs, they can still lead to a significant disruption of your life, family, and career. A DUI misdemeanor or felony can also lead to:
- Suspension of your license
- Permanent loss of your license
- Numerous court appearances
- Enforced community service
In addition, a DUI conviction threatens your reputation. It leads to financial costs outside of the courtroom, including towing charges, vehicle repair costs, alcohol treatment programs, license restoration fees, and increased auto insurance rates. Our intervention can help you avoid many of these costs and negative consequences.
How Can Your DUI Lawyer Help with My Case?
A DUI arrest can be a stressful event, but a conviction can be life-changing. If your employment is conditioned on your having a valid driver’s license or clean driving record, a DUI conviction will impact you, your job, and your ability to provide for your family.
DUI convictions show up on all subsequent background checks and threaten many other types of employment. When we handle your case, our team members will:
- Plead for reduced charges, lighter sentences, or dismissed charges
- Help you qualify for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program
- Help you obtain an Occupational Limited License (OLL)
When you work with our DUI attorney, we make sure you get prompt responses to your questions and concerns. In addition, we take care of all case-related communication in and out of court. Also, once we have a signed representation agreement, our team is always accessible through email, text, phone, social media, etc.
Reviews from Previous DUI Clients
Our DUI lawyer has helped many clients fight their DUI charges and get a chance to start over. When they talk about the results we achieved for them, they say:
- “David works magic. He managed to get my DUI from a second offense down to a first offense. I could have been serving 3 months in jail but managed to avoid that because of David. He is very reliable and responds promptly. Would highly recommend him to anyone.” – Corinne D’Angelo
- “David McKenzie is my go-to… for all things DUI and criminal in Pennsylvania. As a DUI and criminal defense attorney in Virginia I rigorously screen who I send clients to when they have an out-of-state charge. David is at the top of my list.” – Stephen P. Pfeiffer
- “Had an employee go through a rough patch while out in Pennsylvania. He was out there for business and caught a serious felony DUI with a major accident. McKenzie Law Firm really came through! Thank you for your professionalism and getting our team member back on track.” – Andrew Sterling
Read more from past clients on our reviews page. Their testimonials will tell you what it means to work with our law firm.
Contact Us to Learn More About the Differences Between DUI Misdemeanors and Felonies
Are you or a loved one facing DUI charges? If so, our DUI lawyer can help you understand the differences between misdemeanor and felony DUI charges, the possible fine and penalties of each, and your possible defenses. Review your DUI case with one of our team members at McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. by calling (610) 991-7219 now.