Often, DUIs in Pennsylvania are considered “ungraded misdemeanors.” Unfortunately, the way this charge is phrased often leads people to believe that an ungraded misdemeanor is not to be taken seriously, or that it is akin to a speeding ticket, or a lesser offense of that nature. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Please continue reading and speak with a seasoned Allegheny County DUI lawyer from our firm to learn about these charges, the penalties they may entail, and how we can defend you. Here are some of the questions you may have:
What exactly is an ungraded misdemeanor?
Certain misdemeanors in Pennsylvania are “ungraded” under the law. Essentially, an ungraded misdemeanor is considered less serious than first, second, or third-degree misdemeanors, but it doesn’t mean that you should take these charges lightly. In fact, ungraded misdemeanors come with a wide range of very harsh penalties, so you mustn’t face one without a skilled attorney in your corner.
For example, if you are facing ungraded misdemeanor charges for a second DUI in Pennsylvania, you will face a 12-month driver’s license suspension, at least five days in jail (but up to six months in jail), a fine between $300 and $2,500, one year with the ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, court-mandated treatment, and enrollment in alcohol highway safety school.
To top it all off, if you’re convicted, you will develop a criminal record, which can have a drastic impact on your future, including your ability to gain employment, secure loans, rent housing, and more.
What DUI offenses may classify as an ungraded misdemeanor in PA?
A wide range of DUI offenses may be considered ungraded misdemeanors. They are as follows:
- First-Offense General Impairment DUI (Tier 1)
- First-Offense High BAC DUI in PA (Tier 2)
- First-Offense Highest BAC DUI in PA (Tier 3)
- Second-Offense High BAC DUI in PA (Tier 2)
- Second DUI in Pennsylvania (Tier 1)
- First & Second-Offense Underage DUI Charges
The majority of other DUI charges in Pennsylvania are considered first and second-degree misdemeanors, which, in most cases, warrant harsher penalties than ungraded misdemeanor charges. In the most severe cases, however, such as with a fourth or subsequent DUI, a person may face fourth-degree felony charges, which come with the harshest level of penalties for DUI charges.
The bottom line is that no matter the charges you’re facing, if you’re accused of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is of paramount importance that you retain the services of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer who can fight for the best outcome possible on your behalf. Contact the Law Offices of George Heym today so we can get started working on your case.