The Pennsylvania legislature established sentencing guidelines but afforded the courts some discretion when issuing sentences. If a criminal defendant believes that a court abused its discretion, it can file an appeal. Recently, a Pennsylvania court issued an opinion discussing the factors weighed in determining whether a sentence is unjust in a case in which a defendant who pleaded guilty to DUI received a sentence of two to ten years imprisonment. If you are accused of a DUI offense, you could face significant penalties if convicted, and it is smart to meet with a Pennsylvania DUI defense attorney about your rights.
Factual and Procedural History
It is reported that the defendant was arrested for DUI after he crashed his tree into a pole. The defendant admitted to drinking alcohol prior to the crash but refused to submit to a blood test. A passenger who was riding in the vehicle sustained serious injuries. The defendant was charged with numerous crimes.
Allegedly, the defendant entered into a plea deal in which he agreed to plead guilty to DUI, aggravated assault while DUI, reckless driving, and operating a vehicle without financial responsibility in exchange for the Commonwealth withdrawing all other charges. The agreement did not contain any provisions regarding the defendant’s sentence. Following his guilty plea, he was sentenced to two to ten years in prison. He appealed, arguing his sentence was unjust. Continue reading