Pennsylvania has recently passed a new law re: DUIs. This new law seeks to clarify a previous issue that during the sentencing of those individuals who have been convicted of a second offense for DUI within 10 years for refusing chemical testing. Prior to the passage of this new law and after a Pennsylvania Superior Court Opinion addressing the same issue, a person who had been convicted of a second offense within 10 years and who refused chemical testing only faced a maximum sentence of 6 months incarceration, because the previous wording of the grading statute was flawed.
Pennsylvania law provides for a diversionary program known as the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program, also known as A.R.D., and is generally used for D.U.I. cases. This program lasts a total of six months and is focused on drug and alcohol evaluation and treatment to address any substance abuse problems the candidate may have and also tries to eliminate the punitive nature of the criminal justice system.
As of April of this year, Chester County changed portions of its Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP). One of the most significant changes that occurred is that those individuals who have been charged with their 3rd Driving Under the Influence (DUI) within ten years and who have a B.A.C. of .16 or higher or who have refused testing are no longer eligible for IPP in Chester County.
Under Pennsylvania law, any person who an officer believes is driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances is required to submit to chemical testing to determine if the person has alcohol or controlled substance in his blood and, if so, how much alcohol or controlled substance. If that person refuses to submit to the chemical testing, he can receive an increased penalty, if convicted, for the DUI and the refusal.
In Pennsylvania, in drug crimes and DUI the Commonwealth was required to call the lab technician to testify to the fact that the item seized or possessed was a controlled substance, and specify the weight of the controlled substance, or testify to the amount of alcohol or controlled substance in someone's blood while operating a motor vehicle.
IPP is available for DUI or Driving Under Suspension (DUI-related) offenses in Chester County, Pennsylvania. To see the IPP sentencing guidelines for those convicted of a DUI, click here. If you have been charged with Driving Under Suspension DUI-related, there are several key elements the district attorney must prove: the accused had a DUI conviction; the accused's license was suspended as a result of that DUI conviction; the accused was operating a vehicle during the time his license was suspended for the DUI conviction, and the accused had actual notice that his license was suspended as a result of the DUI conviction.
Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP) is available to those who have been charged with DUI. IPP is a sentencing alternative. It provides an option for those who have been charged with a DUI a decreased period of incarceration. In order for a person to receive the benefits of Chester County IPP, he must complete the application (which includes attending alcohol highway safety school, complete a CRN evaluation, and complete a full drug and alcohol assessment), the adult probation office must recommend that the candidate is eligible for IPP, and at sentencing, the judge must impose the IPP sentence.
DUI cases involve a number of strategic options for someone who allegedly committed that crime. In order to determine which option is best for you, it is important to contact an experienced and aggressive criminal attorney immediately after you have been charged.
When someone files a petition for expungement in Pennsylvania, there is a specific procedure which occurs next: The Commonwealth reviews the expungement petition and has an opportunity to either agree to the petition for expungement or object to the petition for expungement.
When a person is convicted of violating one of the Driving Under the Influence sections, he is subject to some period of license suspension. If that person is found to be driving while his license is still under suspension for the DUI conviction, that person could face jail time for violating 75 Pa.C.S.A. 1543(b) or Driving While Operating Privilege is Suspended - DUI related.