Pennsylvania Legislature Slams Shut Loophole for DUI Offenses

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On October 27, 2014, Governor Tom Corbett signed legislation that will greatly affect punishment for certain DUI offenses.

Until this new legislation, subsequent DUI offenses were governed by the decision in Commonwealth v. Haig, 981 A.2d 902 (2009). In that case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that the actions of an individual subsequent to the DUI violation were beyond the scope of the prior offense provision during sentencing. In layman’s terms, this meant that an individual can be convicted as a first-time offender on multiple DUI arrests if those offenses were committed after the first violation.

Under the new amended law, the relevant recidivism time-period to the ten-year period before sentencing (not after violation) will be counted towards the prior offense grading and penalty. It also added the language “whether or not judgment of sentence has been imposed for the violation.” Therefore, going forward, a driver with multiple DUI offenses will be sentenced to much harsher penalties. This provision is effective 60 days from Monday, October 27.

To discuss this amendment or how it may affect your case, please contact Fiore & Barber, LLC.

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