If You Are Charged With A DUI Accident With Injuries In Pennsylvania, This Is What You Should Do
A DUI charge alone can come with life-changing consequences. If you caused a charged with causing an accident with injuries while driving under the influence, the consequences can be even more devastating. That is because causing an accident with injuries as the result of a DUI is a felony (aggravated assault) in Pennsylvania. The penalty for aggravated assault in Pennsylvania is up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
In the tragic instance that a death resulted from your DUI, the charges will be upgraded to vehicular homicide. The penalty for vehicular homicide in Pennsylvania is a mandatory 3 years in prison and a $25,000 fine for each victim killed in the accident. A DUI accident with injuries can change your life forever, not to mention the victims’ lives.
More On DUI Penalties
DUI penalties in Pennsylvania usually depend on your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of the arrest. A first-offense DUI with no accident or injuries carries a maximum fine of $5,000, maximum jail time of 6 months, and a 12-month license suspension, as well as a misdemeanor on your record. If your DUI resulted in an accident where another driver or passenger received “serious bodily injuries,” you could be charged with aggravated assault.
Pennsylvania law defines “serious bodily injury” as “any bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.” Keep in mind that to convict you of aggravated assault in this case, the court must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that said serious bodily injury was a direct result of your DUI.
If others involved in the DUI accident received a lesser injury that did not cause serious bodily harm, you could face additional charges and a harsher sentence. For example, you could be charged with simple assault and/or recklessly endangering another person.
In general, more charges mean stiffer penalties.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania tends to sentence DUI offenders to the maximum penalty allowed under the law, as it takes DUI offenses very seriously. This is why it is so important to have an experienced legal team like Wyland Law Group in your corner.
Additional Consequences For DUI
A DUI conviction in Pennsylvania carries additional consequences that we haven’t covered yet. Some of these consequences are felt outside the courtroom. For example, a DUI conviction brings emotional suffering to you and your family. The stress and guilt associated with DUI can tear families apart. On top of that, your reputation will suffer as a result of your DUI conviction.
This is not to mention the financial consequences of your DUI conviction. These consequences include the court-mandated fines listed above – as well as court costs – but they go way beyond that. A DUI conviction could cause you to lose your job and could make it extremely difficult to find a new one.
Your insurance rates will certainly increase (if you are even allowed to drive) and it will be more difficult for you to secure a loan. There is also the very real prospect of a costly lawsuit. If others were injured or killed as a result of your DUI, a civil court could hold you responsible to the victims and/or their families. This means that you have to pay for lost wages, medical bills, and the suffering of the victims.
A DUI Charge Does Not Equal A DUI Conviction
If all of this sounds bleak, that’s because it is. Keep in mind though that a DUI charge in Pennsylvania does not necessarily equal a DUI conviction. There are many ways that a DUI charge in Pennsylvania can be beaten. These defenses require the help of an expert Pittsburgh DUI lawyer at Wyland Law Group.
An attorney can interview witnesses and check official reports to ensure that your DUI arrest was handled correctly and your rights were not violated. Pennsylvanians are entitled to due process during DUI arrests, and if your attorney reveals that due process was not followed (as is often the case during DUI arrests) the charges could be dropped.
The Best Ways To Fight A DUI Charge In Pennsylvania
Fighting a charge of a DUI accident with injuries is an uphill battle, but it can be done. It helps to have a dedicated attorney who fully understands your situation and will discuss your case without complicated legal jargon. Many DUI attorneys end up making their clients feel worse about their charge of a DUI accident with injuries.
Lawyers at the Wyland Group will not make you feel this way. When you work with the Wyland Group, you can be confident that your case is being handled in the best way possible. This confidence can help reduce much of the stress and anxiety that is associated with a charge like aggravated assault.
An experienced DUI lawyer at the Wyland Group will defend your rights in court. We will look closely at all charges, police reports, videotapes, witness testimony, and paperwork to see if proper procedure was followed. We will also see if evidence was collected legally. If the proper procedure was not followed, or evidence was not legally collected, we can mount a strong defense for your case. If you are convicted, we will fight to get you a lighter sentence.
An experienced attorney at Wyland Law Group can also guide you through the process of defending a charge of a DUI accident with injuries. We can manage your expectations throughout the proceedings so that there are no surprises. We can also advise you as to what plea to enter. This will help your defense. It will also help you feel better about the courtroom proceedings. While a DUI accident with injuries is an unfortunate situation for all involved, we can help you make the best of it.