Under Pennsylvania DUI law, there are sentencing guidelines that set forth standard sentencing ranges for any DUI conviction. If a judge imposes a sentence the defendant feels is unfair, the defendant can seek a discretionary review from a higher court. Recently, in Commonwealth v. Cordy, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania clarified that for a court to offer a defendant a review of a discretionary sentence, the defendant must show that there is a substantial question that the sentence is improper under the sentencing guidelines. If you were charged with a DUI you should consult a Pennsylvania DUI attorney as soon as possible to ensure you do not waive any rights.
Allegedly, the defendant was stopped for speeding. When the police officer approached the vehicle, two men exited the car through the passenger door. The men were instructed to return to the vehicle, which they did. The officer asked why the driver exited via the passenger door, to which the driver replied he did not have a license but was driving due to his friend’s request. When the officer asked the driver for identification, he could not produce any. The driver admitted to drinking and was administered a field sobriety test, which he failed. He was arrested and transported to the police station, where he was identified under a different name than he had given the arresting officer. It was then revealed that the defendant had two active warrants and an extensive criminal history.
Reportedly, the defendant pled guilty to DUI, general impairment, which was an ungraded misdemeanor, and habitual offenders, which was a second-degree misdemeanor. At the defendant’s sentencing hearing, the prosecutor advised the court of the defendant’s criminal history, which included over fourteen prior convictions. The court also heard testimony from the defendant regarding his history of drug addiction. The defendant was sentenced to incarceration of not less than nine months and not more than twenty-three months, and six months probation, which was within the standard sentencing range. The defendant appealed the discretionary portion of his sentence. On appeal, the court affirmed.