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The Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently passed legislation, "Angie's Law," that would increase the penalties for repeat DUI offenders convicted of Homicide by Vehicle While DUI. The bill will now move to the Senate for consideration.
House Bill 1733 is named for Angela Marie Rigby, who was killed by a drunk driver with a prior conviction Driving Under the Influence.
In Angie's case and under current law, any person convicted of vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol or drugs faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 3 years with a consecutive 3 years for each victim regardless of whether that person has any prior DUI convictions.
Under the proposed changes, if a person is convicted of Homicide by Vehicle While DUI and has a prior conviction for Driving Under the Influence, they will face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 5 years with a consecutive 5 years for each victim, as well as a life-time suspension of their driver's license. The amendment would also increase the grading of the offense from a Felony of the Second Degree to a Felony of the First Degree.
Clearly, this law seeks to substantially increase the sentencing penatlies for repeat DUI offenders involved in fatal drunk driving accidents.
An Experienced Professional Helping People
When a person has been accused of any crime, it can be an emotionally burdensome experience.
When you have been charged with a DUI that results in the death of another person, it is a life-altering event to say the least.
By its definition, Homicide by Vehicle While DUI results in an 'unintentional killing.' Consequently, a lapse of judgement following a holiday party, wedding, or other celebration could end with a ripple effect shattering many lives.
When a person is accused of Vehicular Homicide after drinking and driving, it is easy for their life and the entire body of their life's work to be lost in the chaos, the mourning, and calls for justice. At the outset, you will be judged by this still-frame snapshot of your single-worst moment in time.
But, like life, it is not about where you start, it's about where you finish.
With the help of an experienced and professional PA DUI Defense Lawyer, you can begin to protect your rights, your interests, and your life before it's too late. It is important that you get qualified representation involved in your case at the earliest possible stage immediately following an arrest or at the inception of the investigation.
If you or someone you care about has been accused of a crime, contact Shawn Curry Law today.