Appealing a DUI Conviction in Pennsylvania
Is it possible to appeal a DUI Conviction?
When convicted of DUI of alcohol or drugs, a person is likely to have been sentenced to a heavy fine, jail time and license suspension, as well as other repercussions, like Alcohol Highway Safety School and Ignition Interlock.
A DUI conviction can bring about other consequences, like a misdemeanor or felony on your permanent criminal record, available for anyone in the future to see upon a simple background check – employers, landlords, universities/colleges, etc.
However, a conviction is not always the final word. Yes, it is possible to appeal a DUI in Pennsylvania. This is especially true if you feel your case was mishandled or mistakes were made by your attorney.
You could have an appeal case for a DUI conviction if the attorney who represented you made mistakes and damaged your case. Or if evidence was admitted improperly by the prosecution, you may also have grounds for filing an appeal.
A few things to keep in mind when considering a DUI appeal in Pennsylvania:
- You have only 30 days to file an appeal for a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania;
- There must be an “Issue of Law” in the case heard by the lower court, and;
- Filing an appeal for a DUI conviction through the PA court system is not the same as filing an appeal for a DUI license suspension with PennDOT – that is a separate appeal.
If you are not able to file an appeal within 30 days, the original conviction will hold, as no exceptions will be made by the court.
To have an “Issue of Law” means that your case was handled inappropriately – it has nothing to do with the facts of the case.
An “Issue of Law” could include being misrepresented by your attorney or the arresting officers admitted or excluded evidence improperly or the prosecution using the incorrect statue or law in your case.
How do you know if you are eligible for appealing a DUI conviction?
The first step is to speak with a qualified and experienced DUI attorney who can investigate your case and see what is possible.
Attorney Wana Saadzoi can help you determine whether it may or may not be in your best interest to file an appeal and if an “Issue of Law” could apply to your case.
All phone consultations with DUI Attorney Saadzoi are free. At Saadzoi Law, we represent clients in Delco, Montco and Chesco in Southeast Pennsylvania.
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Difference Between Filing a DUI Appeal and Filing a DUI License Suspension Appeal
If your license was suspended in Pennsylvania by PennDOT, you have the right to file an appeal (also within 30 days). This has nothing to do with your criminal charges for DUI filed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and only affects your driving privileges and/or suspension.
The DUI Attorneys at Saadzoi Law can help file an appeal in both cases – a DUI license suspension through PennDOT and a DUI criminal case in the PA court system.
A benefit of filing a license suspension appeal with PennDOT, even if the appeal is denied, is to delay the suspension for up to one year. For certain individuals, a delay in license suspension could help them keep their job or adjust living arrangements until they can better manage their life without being able to drive.
It is a challenge to win an appeal a case with PennDOT, however, a delay in suspension may be worth the effort.
See the PennDOT driver license administration hearing fact sheet for more information.
How Can a DUI Attorney Help Fight a DUI Conviction?
Even if you were convicted of DUI, you still may have a winnable appeal case. So long as you are within 30 days of conviction, you have the right to file an appeal.
There are many options that could be taken to perhaps lower the sentencing or have the case dismissed altogether. It may also be possible to plead guilty to a lesser crime and reduce the sentencing.
If this is a first DUI charge, you are eligible for the ARD program, which can reduce your penalties and the charges against you.
DUI charges and convictions are fought and won in court every day – it is not impossible.
When your future is on the line – the stakes are high. The help of an experienced DUI Lawyer in Pennsylvania could make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
Attorney Saadzoi will do everything possible to get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether or your conviction overturned.
Attorney Saadzoi offers free consultations to anyone charged with DUI in Delaware, Chester and Montgomery Counties – Call 610-566-5956 or Contact Saadzoi Law Today
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