PITTSBURGH HOMICIDE ATTORNEY

 

HOW IS THIS CRIME DEFINED IN PENNSYLVANIA?

Section 3735 of the Vehicle Code requires the prosecution to prove three things before a person can be convicted of homicide by vehicle while DUI:

  • The death of another;
  • The death was “the result of a violation of Section 3802”—that is, the DUI law; and
  • The accused is also convicted of a DUI

 

HOW SERIOUS IS THIS CRIME?

Homicide by vehicle while DUI is either a first-degree felony or a second-degree felony.

The crime is a first-degree felony if “before sentencing” the convicted defendant has been convicted of, adjudicated delinquent, or given ARD for (1) a prior DUI, (2) a prior felony offense under Subchapter B the Vehicle Code (related to “serious traffic offenses”).

If a convicted defendant’s been previously convicted of a DUI or serious traffic offense “substantially similar” to Pennsylvania’s, then their conviction under Section 3735 also will be a first-degree felony.

The court must impose a mandatory-minimum sentence of five years for the first-degree felony grading.  However, if the convicted defendant has “at least two” prior convictions, adjudications, or “other forms of preliminary disposition,” then the mandatory-minimum sentence is seven years.

The crime is a second-degree felony otherwise, and is punishable by a mandatory-minimum sentence of three years.

 

If you or a loved one is charged with homicide by vehicle while DUI, call Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney, Ryan H. James.  Attorney James can be personally reached at 412-977-1827, or by e-mail at ryan@rhjameslaw.com