Question: My son went out with his friends to a bar in Philadelphia. He had a few drinks and made a horrible decision to drive home after. He should not have been driving because he had been drinking. Unfortunately, he hit a pedestrian at a crosswalk. The pedestrian was seriously injured. My son was also injured in the accident, but will make a full recovery. Will he be charged with a DUI? If so, does he face jail time? This is his first DUI, does that make a difference at all? He is very remorseful for what he did. The pedestrian is still in the intensive care unit of the hospital and has been there for a week now. The pedestrian’s condition does not appear to be good and is getting worse. In the worst case scenario, what happens if she passes away? Would my son go to jail and be charged with murder?
Answer: Unfortunately, because your son’s DUI accident involved another party, i.e., injuring a pedestrian, he would be charged with other criminal charges beyond the normal DUI charges, such as assault, aggravated assault, vehicular homicide, etc. If convicted of the crimes, he would also face punishments that are beyond the punishment for DUI charges.
Despite the fact that it is your son’s first DUI, it would not make a difference in terms of the crime and punishment he faces. If your son did not hit a pedestrian and was just charged with a DUI, the fact that this was his first DUI would make a difference in terms of his punishment. He would likely pay a fine and not face jail time. Also, first time DUI offenders are usually eligible for a diversion program.
However, because he injured someone while driving under the influence, the laws allow prosecutors to charge him with other crimes. If the pedestrian dies, your son would be charged with vehicular homicide. This is a second degree felony. If he is convicted, he faces a minimum of 3 years and up to 10 years in prison. In addition, he may be fined up to a maximum of $25,000.
You are most likely worried and scared for your son. However, remember, just because he is charged does not mean he will be convicted. It is best that he talks to a Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer to help him and your family through this stressful time.
We offer FREE consultations. Feel free to call our office to schedule. 215.564.0644