If you have been charged with a DUI in which there was a death you must be terrified. You feel like your life has been turned upside down. You don't know what to say and who to trust. The police and prosecutors will try to tell you you're a criminal. They want quick guilty pleas or confessions – and they don't care whether you're guilty or not. Your reputation can be destroyed, your career ruined, and your future taken away. You could not have imagined finding yourself in this situation.
To make matters worse, the penalties for DUI Homicide have increased. In some cases, the penalties more than doubled!
We can help!
Because this charge is so serious, you need to get an experienced Homicide by Vehicle While DUI defense attorney right now! You need an attorney who has handled cases like this and will put in the time and effort to prepare a case that can limit the damage. Experience counts in the biggest cases.
What the Law Says
The crime of Homicide by Vehicle While DUI is found in Section 3735 of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3735). The offense of Homicide by Vehicle While DUI is defined as:
A person who unintentionally causes the death of another person as the result of a violation of section 3802 (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance) and who is convicted of violating section 3802…
What does it mean?
If you were involved in an accident while DUI and anyone died because of it, you can be charged with Homicide by Vehicle While DUI. It doesn't matter if the person who died was a passenger in your vehicle, in another vehicle, or a pedestrian.
A key element of this offense is: the death must have been caused by the DUI. For example, if a motorist dressed in dark clothing runs in front of an oncoming car at night on a dark street and that person is killed, even though the driver may have been driving under the influence, the DUI did not cause the death. The pedestrian caused the death.
What are the penalties?
The penalties are severe. Homicide by Vehicle While DUI is a 2nd degree felony punishable by a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years for each death. "Imprisonment" means state prison. There is no house arrest or county jail sentences for offenses involving Homicide by Vehicle While DUI.
DUI Homicide is a 1st degree felony if you had a prior:
- DUI or homicide by vehicle
- Aggravated assault by vehicle
- Fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, or
- Aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI
If the prior offenses were graded as a felony, the penalty is:
- 5-year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment if 1 prior DUI or if any of your prior offenses includes the felonies listed above. There would also be a consecutive 5-year term for each death.
- 7-year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment if 2 prior DUIs or if any of your prior offenses includes the felonies listed above. There is also a 7 year consecutive prison term for each death.
How will a conviction for Homicide by Vehicle While DUI impact my life?:
There are great consequences if you are a CONVICTED FELON. These consequences will affect you for the rest of your life.
If you get a FELONY conviction:
- You can't own or possess a gun
- You can't go hunting
- You can't vote
- You can't travel to Canada and other foreign countries
- You can't work at a school for 10 years
- You will be terminated from state employment
- You must notify the professional licensing board
- YOU WILL BE A CONVICTED FELON
On top of all of that, you will have a HOMICIDE on your permanent criminal record.
There is Hope
If you are looking for hope during these difficult times, then you have come to the right place. Attorney Mike Sherman has unique experience handling DUI Homicide cases. Talking to him and formulating a plan will put you at ease knowing that he is working hard to protect you.
What Can I Do Now?
You may feel there is nothing you can do to change your situation. That can't be furthest from the truth. We hire experts in blood and breath testing, accident reconstruction, medicine, and forensic science to review your case and find the weaknesses in the government's case. Have we ever done this before? Many, many times.
For example, in one Homicide by Vehicle While DUI case we handled, the police claimed our client was driving 96 mph when the accident happened. We hired an accident reconstruction expert to review the evidence. After he reviewed the evidence, we determined that our client's speed was actually 60 mph! That's a difference of 36 mph. That changed the dynamics of the case. We have successfully challenged the blood test results in many cases. Every case is different, but you need someone on your side who is willing to fight and has the knowledge to get the job done.
You need to act now! The longer you wait, memories fade and evidence disappears. Call former Pennsylvania State Police attorney Mike Sherman today for your free consultation. You have nothing to lose.
What is the Mike Sherman Difference?
Mike Sherman has unique experience and knowledge which he uses to protect his clients.
- Mike Sherman is a former attorney for the Pennsylvania State Police. He knows both sides of the law and uses that knowledge to benefit his clients.
- Mike Sherman wrote “the” Pennsylvania textbook on Pennsylvania DUI law, Driving Under the Influence Law and Practice.
- Mike uses a scientific method to investigate your case. Relying on his deep understanding of forensic science and medicine, he picks apart the evidence against you and looks for errors he can challenge. He then carefully prepares your case to highlight these issues and put you in the best possible position.
If you are facing a serious Homicide by Vehicle While DUI charge, don't delay. Call now to set up your free consultation at (412) 471-5000.