In Pennsylvania, Driving Under the Influence can be charged as low as an ungraded misdemeanor or as high as a felony.
When a DUI can be charged as a felony under Pennsylvania Law
- If you are convicted of DUI and have more than three prior DUI offenses
- If you are convicted of DUI and were previously convicted of Homicide by Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence
- If you are convicted of DUI and were 1.) charged with refusing to submit to chemical testing even though the police obtained a warrant or court order and 2.) have two or more prior DUI offenses.
- If you are accused of 1.) having a person under the age of 18 in the vehicle and 2.) have two or more prior DUI offenses
Remember: Since the law says that you could be charged with a felony if you have prior offenses, you can be charged at the felony level even if you hadn’t been convicted of the prior charges at the time you were pulled over.
The Difference Between Misdemeanor DUI and Felony DUI
If you are convicted of DUI and it’s graded as an ungraded misdemeanor, the maximum amount of jail time you might get is six months. If you are convicted of felony DUI, you face up to seven years in the state prison.
Enhanced Punishments for Felony DUI
If you have three prior DUI offenses and are convicted of a new DUI, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in jail or in the state prison.