One of the protections afforded under both the Pennsylvania and United States Constitutions is the right against double jeopardy, which means an individual cannot be charged with or convicted of the same crime more than once. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently ruled that three DUI convictions for a single incident constituted a violation of the State and Federal Double Jeopardy Clauses, regardless of the fact that penalties were not imposed for two of the convictions. If you face DUI charges, you should consult an experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney to advocate on your behalf and assist you in retaining your rights.
Facts Surrounding the Defendant’s Arrest
Reportedly, the defendant was charged with three separate counts of DUI arising out of a single incident; one count of general impairment and two counts of driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than .08% but below .10%. Following a bench trial, the defendant was convicted of all of the DUI counts. She was also found guilty of reckless driving. The court imposed a sentence of 30 days of intermediate punishment and six months’ probation for the first DUI count, but the defendant was not assessed any penalties for the remaining counts.
The defendant filed a post-trial motion arguing that because all of her convictions stemmed from a single incident, they violated the protection against Double Jeopardy afforded by both the Federal and State Constitutions. The trial court denied her motions, after which the defendant appealed.