Under the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, DUIs are graded as first, second, or third or subsequent offenses based on a ten year look back period. Therefore, one could get their first DUI in 2000, and eleven years later get a DUI in 2011, and the second DUI would be graded as a "first offense DUI" for purposes of sentence and driver's license suspense. Section 3802 to 3804 of the Vehicle Code dictates said sentence and suspension.
However, Commercial Driver's Licenses ("CDL") are not treated the same way as Driver's Licenses are under the vehicle code in regard to DUIs. Section 1611 of the vehicle code dictates that any second offense DUI triggers a lifetime CDL revocation, BUT THERE IS NO LOOK BACK PERIOD. Therefore, one could get a DUI 20 years ago, and get another DUI that would be treated as a "first offense" for regular driver's license suspension, but would be at the same time treated as a second offense for CDL purposes and result in lifetime CDL revocation.
As such it is imperative if you have a CDL and get a DUI to contact an experienced DUI attorney. If you have a CDL and got a DUI call my office immediately.
On April 10, 2019, Attorney Leake argued before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The argument was televised on PCN and the entire argument can be viewed through the PCN app. The case is titled Commonwealth v. Olson. Attorney Leake represents Mr. Olson who was found guilty of a DUI in the Court of Common Pleas of Somerset County.
Attorney Leake appealed the case the whole way to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Far less than 1% of cases are even granted review before the Supreme Court. Attorney Leake’s case represents one of the first cases involving a DUI to ever be heard by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in history.
If the case is not decided in his client’s favor, Attorney Leake plans to ask for review by the United States Supreme Court.
As a criminal defense attorney in Somerset, Pennsylvania, I have appealed many criminal cases to the Pennsylvania Superior Court. In fact, I currently have a DUI case on appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
One important appeal issue I have run into many times is the filing or lack of filing a post sentence motion before an appeal. It is imperative to file a post sentence motion within ten (10) days of the sentencing hearing if you plan to take an appeal of your sentence. In fact, if an appeal is taken and the post sentence motion was not filed, the appellate courts will not even consider any request for modification of your sentence. Even if more than ten days has elapsed since the sentencing hearing, the appropriate route is to get post sentence motion rights reinstated before the appeal. If you plan to appeal a criminal sentence please contact my office.
Today a substantial change in DUI law took effect in Pennsylvania. For the first time in history, a person can be charged with a Felony for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania. Under the new law, any person who is charged with a DUI and has three or more DUI offenses within the past ten years will now be charged with a Felony of the third degree. Also, third time DUI offenders under certain circumstances, such as a minor being present in the vehicle, will also be charged with a Felony of the third degree. A felony of the third degree is punishable by up to seven (7) years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine. DUIs in Pennsylvania, even certain types of first offenses, continue to carry mandatory jail/prison time under the new law. As such seeking counsel immediately when charged with any type of DUI is imperative.
Commonwealth v. Olson, Supreme Court Grants Appeal
Recently I had a case certified for appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. It will be a landmark case in Pennsylvania for DUI law. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will be applying Birchfield v. North Dakota, a landmark United States Supreme Court case regarding DUI traffic stops and blood testing. The case will directly impact the way DUI’s are prosecuted in the state of Pennsylvania. I represent Mr. Olson, the Defendant in the case on appeal Commonwealth v. Olson. For more information about the case visit the following link: https://paablog.com/commonwealth-v-olson-allocatur-grant/.