Criminal Defense Lawyer Zak Goldstein

Criminal Defense Lawyer Zak Goldstein

The Pennsylvania Legislature recently enacted a new law which significantly increases the penalty for third and subsequent driving under the influence (“DUI”) offenses. The law, which is nicknamed Deana’s Law, provides that a third DUI within ten years will now be a third degree felony instead of a first degree misdemeanor. Further, a defendant who has three or more DUIs within the prior ten years will face a second degree felony should they again get arrested for DUI rather than what would previously have been a felony of the third degree. Previously, a third degree was a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

This change increases the potential maximum sentence for a DUI conviction because a misdemeanor of the first degree is punishable by up to five years in prison, while a third degree felony conviction may result in seven years in prison and a second degree felon may result in up to ten years’ incarceration.

The law also increases the potential mandatory minimums for a defendant who has to serve sentences for multiple DUI offenses at the same time. The law provides that anyone who has two or more prior offenses must serve a DUI sentence consecutively to any other DUI sentence. This means that if a defendant gets arrested for a third and fourth DUI and is sentenced for both cases, the judge cannot run the two sentences concurrently. Instead, the judge must run them consecutively. As a third degree DUI is normally punishable by a mandatory minimum of one to two years’ incarceration in a state prison, this means that a third and fourth DUI would result in a mandatory two to four years’ incarceration rather than the possibility of a concurrent one to two years’ incarceration on each count.

The law also directs the sentencing commission to provide a sentencing enhancement for a refusal of chemical testing under certain situations. Accordingly, the new law substantially increases the potential penalties for picking up multiple DUI cases in a ten year period.

Facing criminal charges? We can help.

Goldstein Mehta Criminal Defense Lawyers

Goldstein Mehta LLC Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you are facing criminal charges or under investigation by the police, we can help. We have successfully defended thousands of clients against criminal charges in courts throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We have successfully obtained full acquittals in cases involving charges such as Conspiracy, Aggravated Assault, Rape, and Murder. Our award-winning Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers offer a free criminal defense strategy session to any potential client. Call 267-225-2545 to speak with an experienced and understanding defense attorney today.