Military Veteran receives 1 year of probation for 2 DUI cases in Bedford Co.

In 2016, our office was retained to represent a military veteran who picked up two separate DUI cases in quick succession. The client was charged at the first case with a DUI for the Highest Rate of Alcohol offense and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. At the second case, the client was charged with a DUI for a High Rate of Alcohol. She faced a total mandatory minimum jail sentence of 33 days in jail at both cases, and up to 5 and 1/2 years of total confinement or probationary supervision. 

Our office was able to negotiate an agreement for the client to plead guilty to DUI General Impairment charges, both of which were treated as first offenses. For first offense DUI General Impairment charges, there is no mandatory jail sentence, but a mandatory period of probation of 6 months at each case for a total of 1 year of probation. In negotiating this agreement, our office worked with the client to chronicle her military history, compile character reference letters, and provide documentation of treatment. Providing a vast array of mitigating documentation helped persuade the District Attorney's office to offer a favorable resolution of these cases.

4th Offense DUI Charges, Ignition Interlock Violations Dismissed for Allegheny County Man

A ZLF client was charged with a 4th Offense DUI in connection with a two-vehicle accident in Allegheny County. We are please to announce that after the preliminary hearing, the charges were dismissed due to a lack of sufficient evidence. This resolution spared the client from a mandatory 1-2 year state prison sentence without eligibility for house arrest. 

In the summer of 2016, the client was operating a vehicle around a bend when his vehicle hydroplaned on the wet roadway, veered into an oncoming lane of traffic, striking the victim's vehicle. An independent eyewitness followed the client's vehicle for approximately 1/2 mile, observing no erratic driving behaviors prior to the crash. 

The client was treated at the hospital for injuries in connection with the crash. In the course of his treatment, a urine screen yielded a positive result for the presence of narcotics. However, neither the client's blood nor breath were tested. The client was not subjected to field sobriety testing, was not evaluated by a drug recognition expert, and did not display regular signs of impairment during his interaction with police. 

Recent amendments to Section 1547 of the PA Motor Vehicle Code only permit the introduction of blood or breath tests into evidence during DUI prosecutions. As there was no blood test conducted, and there was no independent evidence to suggest that the client was under the influence of narcotics at the time of operation, the charges were properly dismissed by the Court.