The penalties for a Homicide By Vehicle While DUI conviction in Pennsylvania vary according to the grading of statutory acts and intent. While first-degree Homicide By VehicleDUI felonies carry up to 20 years in prison, second-degree felonies carry up to ten. Either grading could incur a maximum of $25,000 in fines.
In this article, our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers share Pennsylvania’s Homicide By Vehicle While DUI penalties, followed by an explanation of how other injurious intoxicated-driving offenses might generally compare. We conclude with viable defensive strategies against conviction penalties.
Shuttleworth Law P.C. wrote this post to help people facing Homicide By Vehicle While DUI charges (or supportive loved ones) get legal information about general factors that could affect their rights.
PA Homicide By Vehicle While DUI Penalty Statutes
A Homicide By Vehicle While DUI conviction eventually brings a case to the sentencing phase. This phase happens after the trial or plea disposition. A sentencing court judge will identify appropriate standard guideline sentences for every criminal conviction under 204 Pa.Code § 303.
However, they will ultimately impose lawful sentences within the statutory maximum, whichcould be much more lenient or severe than the standard sentencing rance in the PA Sentencing Guildelines. The assigned judge will also need to make a formal court record of their decision to deviate away from the standard sentencing range. Homicide By Vehicle While DUI convictions in PA are felonies, carrying more punitive sentences than misdemeanors based on a defendant’s offense gravity score, prior convictions, and sentence recommendations.
Here is an overview of prison sentences, fines, and collateral consequences that someone could face if convicted:
The minimum and maximum prison sentence (as described in 18 Pa.C.S. § 1103) for Homicide By Vehicle While DUIs include:
- First-Degree Felony Convictions: At least five but not more than twenty years
- Second-Degree Felony Convictions: At least three but not more than ten years
- One Prior Conviction: At least five years for a first- or second-degree
- Two Prior Convictions: At least seven years for a first- or second-degree
Consecutive minimum prison sentences for repeat convictions are imposed according to the number of alleged victims involved. For example, if the Philadelphia Police arrest you on a Homicide By Vehicle While DUI charge after killing two people,and you have a prior DUI conviction, you face a ten-year minimum prison sentence(five-year minimum for each victim, stacked).
Judges may impose up to $25,000 in fines if convicted of either a first- or second-degree felony Homicide By Vehicle While DUI offense under 18 Pa.C.S. § 1101 and regardless of prior convictions. They could also order you to pay the victim’s estate restitution for their related medical bills, property damage, and lost wages.
You will pay for a guilty conviction with your freedom, assets, and future, especially with the mandatory-minimum sentences involved. Homicide By Vehicle While DUI is also a violent felony if convicted, meaning that collateral consequences could follow you around after prison release and well into the future. Common issues experienced include getting a job, finding a home, and maintaining certain civil rights.
Compare to Other PA Violent Vehicle Crime Penalties
Homicide By Vehicle While DUI is one type of violent offense among several others involving motor vehicles, intoxication, and injury or loss of life. Violent vehicle crimes, regardless of intent, could result in severe penalties, much like those imposed against Homicide By Vehicle While DUI convictions.
Below, we have briefly defined three other types of violent vehicle offense penalties in Pennsylvania, including:
Aggravated Assault By Vehicle While DUI Penalties
The Commonwealth charges Aggravated Assault By Vehicle While DUI under 75 Pa.C.S. § 3735.1. General Aggravated Assault is a charge for causing or intending to cause serious bodily injury. However, under this statute, it also accounts for the element of intoxicated driving, and requires prosecutors to prove that the accident’s causation be “direct and substantial” to the victim’s death. Commonwealth laws grade vehicle Aggravated Assault DUIs as second-degree felonies, carrying up to ten years imprisonment and fines up to $25,000.
Homicide By Vehicle Penalties
Courts charge Homicide By Vehicle offenses under 75 Pa.C.S. § 3732. It defines the crime as recklessly or with gross negligence causing another person’s death while unlawfully operating a motor vehicle. It is a third-degree felony that could result in up to seven years imprisonment and fines up to $15,000 with no minimum sentences.
Aggravated Assault By Vehicle Penalties
Per 75 Pa.C.S. § 3732.1, Aggravated Assault By Vehicle is when someone recklessly or “with gross negligence” causes serious bodily injury to another person while unlawfully operating a motor vehicle. It is a third-degree felony that could result in up to seven years imprisonment and fines up to $15,000.
Defending PA Homicide By Vehicle While DUI Charges
A DUI-related vehicular homicide conviction is a life-changing event in general. What happened to the alleged victim was tragic. However, we urge you to keep in mind that you may not know all the facts and surrounding circumstances that caused the accident or your intoxication in the first place.
For example, your blood alcohol content (BAC) test results could have been caused by several reasons beyond your control. Another example is when police fail to assess intoxication levels or handle crime scene evidence properly. You can introduce these issues as part of a comprehensive defense strategy.
Viable Defense Options Are Available
The bottom line is that your or your loved one’s Homicide By Vehicle While DUI charges could be defensible. Yes, every case is different, and there are no guarantees of a dismissal or acquittal unless prosecutors fail to prove their accusations beyond a reasonable doubt. However, even in so-called “cut and dry cases,” you can still argue for shorter prison sentences or reduced charges.
Taking Legal Advice Will Protect Your Rights
Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system is intricate and complex. However, it also affords legal rights to those who face unsubstantiated violent criminal accusations, like Homicide By Vehicle While DUI charges. Criminal defense attorneys in Pennsylvania will help you navigate this system while asserting your civil rights to bail or pre-trial release and assuring you receive your due process of the law while defending against associated criminal conviction penalties.
Call Shuttleworth Law P.C. for My Free Case Evaluation
The Philadelphia Homicide By Vehicle While DUI lawyers at Shuttleworth Law P.C. welcome you to discuss Homicide By Vehicle While DUI charges at no cost. Call 888-529-3486 (avail. 24/7) or message us privately onlineto schedule your Free Case Evaluation as soon as possible.