A: A sentencing is when the Court sets punishment and imposes other requirements intended to help you avoid committing similar offenses in the future. Much preparation is required by you and your lawyer before your sentencing proceeding. A judge often has many sentencing options from with to choose when imposing an appropriate sentence. Some examples include, prison, partial confinement such as house arrest, probation, a combination of prison and probation, fines, costs, counseling and other rehabilitative tools, like educational classes. The length of your sentence with determine where you are imprisoned and by who you will be supervised. In addition to these sentencing options, there may be collateral consequences which your case will trigger, like a license suspension or revocation.
If you are convicted at trial, or if you negotiate a plea agreement that is acceptable to you, a sentence for DUI may include jail time, in-home detention ("house arrest"), public service, alcohol classes and/or fines. The maximum period of time for which a county can jail and/or supervise most offenders ranges from six months to five years. The length of sentence depends on previous convictions, any need for treatment, and the like.
In DUI cases, all repeat offenders must have their cars equipped with an ignition-interlock restriction system for at least one year. A new offense is created for driving without a required ignition-interlock system when alcohol is present in driver's system. You can learn more about the penalties associated with a DUI conviction Defending Freedom:The Ultimate Guide to DUI Cases in Pennsylvania (1st Ed.) click here to download your free copy.
This FAQ is only a basic summary of what you might expect at a sentencing hearing. Sentencing is an increasingly complex subject and requires consultation with an experienced criminal defense or DUI lawyer well in advance of your sentencing date.