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New Pennsylvania law classifies DUI as a felony

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2019 | Criminal Defense

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Last month, a new DUI law went into effect in Pennsylvania. Under prior Pennsylvania DUI law, repeat DUI offenses were misdemeanor offenses. Under the new law, there are now certain DUI offenses that are classified as felony crimes.

Under the new law, a four or more DUI offenses are (generally) now a felony. Meanwhile, a third DUI offense is a felony only under certain circumstances. For example, if the BAC of the driver was at least twice the legal limit and the crime occurred within ten years of the prior offenses, it would be considered a felony. Second DUI offenses generally still fall into the misdemeanor level, with some exceptions that vary based on circumstance.

Therefore, felony charges can now be on the table for some individuals accused of repeat offenses of drunk driving in Pennsylvania. This is significant as felonies generally come with more severe penalties than misdemeanors.

The new DUI law also made changes to the penalties for drunk driving with a DUI-related license suspension and repeat DUI related to fatal crashes. 

Because of this, cases involving charges of repeat DUI in Pennsylvania can now be even higher than was previously the case. Skilled drunk driving defense attorneys can give people accused of repeat DUI guidance on what consequences they may be facing under current state law and work to minimize the impacts the accusations could have on their future.

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