As always, you need to consult a local attorney, or perhaps two or three of them, to get a consensus for the best possible answers to your questions. Generally, the more local, the better. The state law may be the same in Pittsburg, Philadelphia, and Punxsutawney, but local customs and traditions may be even more important in your case. A second DUI may be the crime of the century in Punxsutawney, but it probably won't even raise an eyebrow in the big cities.
If you have two DUIs pending, the statute of limitations for each is the same. As far as I know, every state in the union has increasing penalties for repeat DUI / DWI offenders. Even if the prosecution cannot prove up a prior conviction because of some procedural limitation, they will generally take the case into consideration as far as what they ask for in a plea bargain. And in most jurisdictions, prior offenses are admissible at the punishment stage of your case regardless.
I hope that helps. But talk to some of the locals for a more specific response.
When interviewing a DUI defense lawyer ask the following questions:
What percentage of your annual caseload is relegated to defending DUI?
How many DUI jury trials did you have in the past 12 months?
Can you provide a list of DUI training seminars or conferences attended in the past 2 to 5 years?
What percentage of your clients enter a plea of guilty to the crime charged?
Have you or any members of your firm written articles or books related to defending DUIs?
How many lawyers are in the firm, and are they all DUI defense attorneys? If so, will they collaborate with their colleagues about your DUI case?
How many years have you defended DUI cases?
To answer your question thoroughly and competently, I need more information from you. You can contact me for a free consultation, or you can call another qualified attorney in Allegheny County.
Very truly yours,
William R. Bickerton
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