Driving Under the Influence in Pennsylvania

Is A Dui A Felony In PA?

Most regular DUI arrests in PA bring misdemeanor charges, regardless of the BAC or committing repeated offences, unless they are aggravated by injuries or death of someone besides the driver, which transfers the case into a felony charge. In this respect, Pennsylvania DUI law is really mild for in most other states a repeated DUI offence becomes a felony at a certain recurrence.

The first and the second DUI arrests without sentencing enhancements are qualified as ungraded misdemeanor, regardless of the BAC. The third and the following offences without sentencing enhancements are the 2nd or 1sr degree misdemeanor, depending on the offender’s BAC level. The maximum penalty for first-degree misdemeanor DUI offences is imprisonment that cannot exceed five years. This is the highest penalty imposed on repeat offenders with the highest BAC in the current offence. Jail term for second-degree misdemeanor DUI cannot exceed two years and one year for ungraded or third-degree misdemeanor. Click here to read about DUI penalties in PA for different misdemeanor degrees.

If there are no sentence enhancements, a regular PA DUI charge will be as follows:

Undetermined BAC (.08 to .099%)

  • No prior DUI offenses - ungraded misdemeanor
  • 1 prior DUI offense - ungraded misdemeanor
  • 2 or more prior DUI offenses - 2nd degree misdemeanor

High BAC .10 to .159% BAC)

  • No prior DUI offenses - ungraded misdemeanor
  • 1 prior DUI offense - ungraded misdemeanor
  • 2 or more prior DUI offenses

Highest BAC (.16% and higher) or Controlled Substance

  • No prior DUI offenses - ungraded misdemeanor
  • 1 or more prior DUI offenses - 1st degree misdemeanor

DUI sentence enhancements will increase punishment or even convert the charge into a 2nd or 1st degree felony.