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Will my friend automatically get 90 days in jail for their second DUI?

Philadelphia, PA |

A friend of mine got a second DUI and blew a 0.16, and were then taken to the hospital to get blood drawn. Will they automatically get a 90 day jail sentence? Or could is be possible that the judge will be willing to cut the time down or not send them to jail at all? My friend is a good person and made a mistake and has a job he is about to start, and this mistake could ruin his future. Will the judge maybe understand that and be lenant in this charge?

Attorney Answers 4


The Judge does not really have any discretion in these cases, because the sentence is set by statute. A lesser sentence will get overturned on appeal. The DA does have some authority in allowing a lesser sentence. There is also the possibility that they had no right to pull you over or that your BAC is lower than the .16, making for a lesser sentence. Regardless, if convicted of any of the three tiers on a second DUI it is jail-time. Call for a free consultation.

Michael L. Doyle
Attorney at Law
(215) 900-5565

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The DUI laws in Pennsylvania call for mandatory minimum sentences depending on a persons BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) and the number of DUI's in the last ten (10 years). Ifr your friends's BAC was a .16 and it is his 2nd DUI within 10 years he would be looking at 90 days in jail but in no way does that mean that is what he will actually get. First and foremost, you want to make sure he/she talk to a qualified DUI attorney to see what if any defenses are out there to possibly get the DUI dismissed. Secondly, there are alternatives that your attorney should go over with you such as house arrest and/or inpatient tretament which would potentially make for no jail time. You always have to understand that your firend blew a .16 and that may not be the result once the blood comes back which is what the DA's office goes by. His BAC could have been rising at the time so there is a chance it will come back higher than a .16%.

Also, please understand that it doesn't matter how nice the judge us when it comes to a DUI in Pennsylvania. Since there are mandatory minimums as explained earlier, a judge cannot give you less than that. Have your friend contact a qualified DUI attorney who should be able to put him/her in a much better position then they are in now after evaluating this case.

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I agree with the other attorneys. The judge's hands are pretty much tied. There seems to be some issues with your friends case that might be worth looking into. Tell you friend to make sure they call an experienced Criminal Defense/DUI attorney.

John M Walsh, Esquire
Driscoll & Walsh
2101 Pine St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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No. Your friend will not automatically be sent to jail. Your friend would have to be convicted or plead guilty first. They already made one bad decision. Don't let them make another. Have them call an experienced DUI defense attorney that can discuss the many ways to beat these cases.

Furthermore, even if your friend can't beat the case, they may not be facing a 90 day sentence. The .16 sounds like it came from the preliminary breath test ("PBT"). The results of the "PBT" are not admissible. The results of the blood test are and will determine what penalty your friend is facing. In other words, the BAC may be lower in the blood test.

Finally, no matter what your friend is convicted of, the Judge could allow your friend to serve a sentence with work release. It may even be possible to get house arrest with work release. That is where a judge can be lenient with mandatory DUI sentences. (But, I rather beat the case then ask for mercy.)

Have your friend call an experienced DUI defense lawyer now!

Very Truly Yours,

L. Kenneth Chotiner, LL.M.

The information provided here is not intended to provide legal advice on any subject nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Actual resolution of legal issues depends upon many factors, including variations of facts and state laws. The information is provided for information purposes only.

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