Were you arrested on felony DUI charges in West Chester, PA? Any DUI charge should be taken seriously, but felony charges carry the most serious penalties, including jail time and steep financial fines. An experienced West Chester felony DUI lawyer at DiCindio Law, LLC can help minimize the fallout.
Since we opened our doors in 2014, we’ve helped countless clients fight their DUI charges. We have the resources and experience to reach the best possible outcome in your case.
How Can DiCindio Law, LLC Help if I’m Facing Felony DUI Charges in West Chester, PA?
A felony DUI arrest is nothing to take lightly. If you were arrested, you deserve an experienced West Chester criminal defense attorney in your corner.
At DiCindio Law, LLC, our team is led by a former Chester County prosecutor who knows how the other side works. We’ve been listed as Super Lawyers and rated among the 10 Best for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys.
When you hire us, our West Chester DUI attorneys will:
- Investigate the circumstances of the arrest
- Identify any holes in the prosecution’s case
- Build a custom-tailored defense
- Negotiate to have your charges reduced or the case dismissed
- Advocate for you at trial if necessary
Regardless of the facts, you can count on our West Chester criminal defense lawyers to challenge the prosecution’s case at every turn. All you have to do is call our law firm to get started.
Overview of the Felony DUI Laws in Pennsylvania
It’s illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Pennsylvania. Under Pennsylvania DUI laws, driving under the influence is usually a misdemeanor. However, there are situations where felony drunk driving charges may apply.
There are three tiers of misdemeanor DUI charges that can apply in Pennsylvania, as follows:
- General impairment DUI
- High BAC DUI (BAC of more than 0.10% and less than 0.16% within two hours of driving)
- Highest BAC DUI (BAC of 0.16% or higher within two hours of driving)
Pennsylvania police can charge you with a general impairment DUI under Section 3802 of the vehicle code if you were in control of a motor vehicle and either of the following is true:
- Your blood alcohol content (BAC) was at least 0.08%
- The prosecution can prove that you consumed a sufficient amount of alcohol to be impaired
Most general impairment DUIs are misdemeanor charges.
However, you can be charged with a third-degree felony if you’re arrested on DUI charges, and one of the following is true:
- You have three or more prior DUI convictions within the previous ten-year period
- You have a prior conviction for homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence under 75 Pa C.S. 3735
- You refuse a chemical test and have two or more prior DUI offenses
- You have two or more prior DUI convictions, and you’re charged with a DUI while a minor under the age of 18 was in the vehicle
Felony offenses carry serious penalties. If you were arrested for felony DUI, it’s important to speak with an experienced DUI defense attorney today. To start building your defense, call DiCindio Law, LLC to schedule a free case review.
Aggravated Assault by Vehicle
Aggravated assault by vehicle is a second-degree felony. To convict, prosecutors must prove that you caused serious bodily harm to another person while driving under the influence of alcohol. The state must also prove that your impairment caused the injury.
Homicide by Vehicle
It’s a felony to unintentionally cause the death of another person while operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you were involved in an accident where someone was killed and later convicted on DUI charges, you could be charged with a second-degree felony.
However, Pennsylvania prosecutors can charge you with a first-degree felony for homicide by vehicle if, before your sentence for the current violation, any of the following are true:
- You have a prior DUI conviction in Pennsylvania
- You previously completed Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) or another form of preliminary disposition
- You’ve been convicted of a felony
- You have a prior DUI in another jurisdiction
Minimum sentencing requirements apply in vehicular manslaughter cases.
What Are the Penalties for a Felony DUI Conviction in West Chester, Pennsylvania?
If you’re charged with a felony DUI for general impairment, the following penalties will apply:
- At least one year in state prison
- Between $1,500 and $10,000 in fines
- Court-ordered drug and alcohol treatment
- Drivers’ license suspension
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
A conviction for aggravated assault by vehicle carries all of the same penalties that apply in traditional DUI cases. However, a maximum two-year prison sentence can be added to the otherwise applicable penalties.
A conviction for homicide by vehicle carries a minimum three-year prison sentence. If more than one person was killed, a three-year sentence will be imposed for each victim. The three-year minimum is increased to five years if you have a prior DUI conviction and to seven years if you have two prior DUI convictions.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Charged With a Felony DUI in Pennsylvania?
It’s critical to start building a strong legal defense immediately if you’ve been arrested on felony DUI charges.
At DiCindio Law, LLC, our West Chester DUI defense lawyers will explore every option in your case, including the following defense strategies:
- Lack of probable cause for the traffic stop
- Lack of probable cause to order chemical testing or field sobriety testing
- Errors in the field sobriety testing process
- Failure to properly maintain or calibrate the breathalyzer machine
- Chain of custody problems with your chemical testing sample
- Violation of your constitutional rights
- Lack of evidence to support the felony DUI charge
It may also be possible to have your charges downgraded to minimize the penalties you’ll face.
Contact a West Chester Felony DUI Lawyer for a Free Consultation
You’re facing serious prison time if you’ve been charged with a felony DUI. Fighting the charges is the only way to minimize the consequences. To learn more about how a West Chester felony DUI lawyer can help, call DiCindio Law, LLC for a free initial consultation today.