After a DUI arrest, your life can drastically change for the worse. Aside from the embarrassment of the arrest, DUI charges can affect your freedom to drive, your ability to gain or maintain employment, and even land you in jail. Depending on the nature or occurrence of your DUI arrest, charges can range in severity.
Receiving a DUI charge in Pennsylvania may seem to place you at automatic guilt. Because of this, you may be accepting your fate. However, you are not without options. If you or a loved one were recently received a DUI charge, you should consult with an experienced DUI attorney to discuss your options and formulate a plan to move forward. Attorneys at Stewart, Murray, and Associates (SMA) Law Group approach DUI charges with the experience, tenacity, and understanding you need.
Pennsylvania DUI Charges
In Pennsylvania, DUI charges are made on a scale of severity and repetition. The scale considers the level of impairment and the nature of the offense. The levels of impairment are general impairment, high rate DUI, and highest rate DUI. Each charge can be effected by the nature of offense depending on a first offense in 10 years, a second offense in 10 years, a third offense in 10 years, or a fourth offense in 10 years.
General Impairment DUI
A general impairment DUI includes any DUI where your Blood Alcohol Content(BAC) is within the range of .08 and .099 percent. A first offense general impairment Dui can result in an ungraded misdemeanor, $300 fine, and a mandatory six months probation. A second offense has a potential $2,500 maximum fine, five day to six-month prison sentence and a yearlong license suspension. Anything above a second-time offense will be considered a second-degree misdemeanor. Maximum fines can double and imprisonment can be as much as two years.
High Rate DUI
A high rate DUI includes a BAC range of .10 to .159 percent. A first-time offense is an ungraded misdemeanor with fines ranging from $500 to $5,000, jail time ranging from two days to six months, and a year long license suspension. Second offenses increases the minimum fines to $750 and increase minimum imprisonment to 30 days. Any DUI charge after a second can result in a first-degree misdemeanor, $1,500 to $10,000 in fines, three months to five years of jail time, and 18 months of license suspension.
Highest Rate DUI
A highest rate DUI will be charged for a BAC of .16 percent or higher. A first-time offense can result in an ungraded misdemeanor, fines ranging between $1000 and $5000, three days to six months in jail, and a yearlong license suspension. A second offense can result in a first-degree misdemeanor, fines of $1,500 to $10,000, three months to five years of jail time and an 18 month license suspension. Anything beyond a second offense can result in imprisonment ranging from one to five years.