Montgomery County Felony DUI Attorney

Across Pennsylvania, there is nearly one alcohol-related traffic fatality and roughly 18 injuries each day. In 2017, crashes that were alcohol-related composed only 8% of the total volume; however, they composed 26% of those with a fatality. When alcohol is involved in a vehicle accident, there is a four times greater likelihood of a fatality. Here in Montgomery County in 2017, there were 12 alcohol-related fatalities, which was a 25% increase over the prior year.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

State law clearly prohibits operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. This applies when a driver has consumed a quantity of alcohol that renders them not capable of safe operation. The current national limit for alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08%, which is measured with a blood or breath test.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Law enforcement has been aggressively adding measures to better detect, obtain evidence, and prosecute motorists who operate their vehicle while under the influence of drugs. One particular concern is that many states have begun legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes—and even for recreational use in some states. Pennsylvania passed medical marijuana legislation in 2016; however, has yet to formally consider allowing recreational usage.

The difficulty that law enforcement faces in determining whether a driver is under the influence of drugs is a lack of accurate testing. Breath testing for alcohol is now generally reliable and not considered overly intrusive. Pennsylvania is now among roughly ten states that have been developing a phlebotomy program to conduct blood testing. State law prohibits drivers from operating with a Schedule I controlled substance in their blood or Schedule II or III substance unless prescribed by a doctor.

Felony DUI

You may be charged with aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence (§3735.1). This is a second-degree felony offense that involves creating serious bodily harm. Serious bodily injury means that there is a “substantial risk of death” or creates deformity or otherwise impedes the ability to function.

Homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence (§3735) is an offense that may be a first or second-degree offense depending on whether the individual has a previous DUI conviction or diversionary resolution. This offense occurs when the impaired driver is deemed responsible for unintentionally causing a fatality.

Applicable Penalties for Felony DUI

First-Degree Felony

Maximum of 20 Years in Prison

Maximum Fine of $25,000

Second-Degree Felony

Maximum of 10 Years in Prison

Maximum Fine of $25,000

The Importance of Retaining Experienced Defense Counsel

Generally, charges related to operating a vehicle under the influence are misdemeanors. Those convicted of these offenses may temporarily lose their driving privileges, spend a few days in jail, and pay several hundred dollars in fines. If a vehicle operator is involved in a DUI that causes severe injuries or a fatality, they may face felony charges. In these situations, the penalties can result in multi-year prison sentences.

Pennsylvania Defense Attorney for Felony-Level DUI Charges

If you are charged with a felony-level DUI, it is critical to act promptly and decisively in your best interest. You must retain an attorney who defends these cases regularly. Our Criminal Law Team has the skills, resources, and experience that can only be obtained from spending years aggressively representing clients in felony cases. Make the call to 888-555-3686 today for a confidential case consultation.

Contact Us Today!

The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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