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Mandatory Sentencing Provisions

If convicted of Driving Under the Influence and your Blood level is above .10%, or if this is a second or subsequent offense, the Legislature has set mandatory minimum prison time that must be imposed by the judge. Under the mandatory sentencing law, the judge does not have any discretion and must sentence you to the minimum jail sentence, which can start with a minimum of 2 days in jail for a first offense to 1 year in jail or more depending on prior record. The judge is allowed to sentence you to more than the minimum and he is also permitted to determine whether the sentence will be served in prison, on Work Release or on House Arrest.

There is a 10 year "look-back period" in which the District Attorney will review an individual's prior record to determine whether there were past convictions or ARD dispositions within the previous 10 years. The look-back period is calculated by determining the date of arrest on the new case and date of conviction (or ARD) for the prior case.

Pennsylvania Mandatory Minimum Sentences
Blood Alcohol Level1st Offense2nd Offense
(w/in 10 yrs)
3rd Offense
(w/in 10 yrs)
.08 - .099% or
Refusal of testing
6 months probation
$300 fine
No license suspension
5 days – 6 months jail
$300 - $2,500 fine
1 year license suspension
10 days–2 years jail
$500 - $5,000 fine
1 year license suspension
.10 - .159%2 days – 6 months jail
$500 - $5,000 fine
1 year license suspension
30 days – 6 months jail
$750 - $5,000 fine
1 year license suspension
90 days – 5 years jail
$1,500 - $10,000 fine
18 months license suspension
.16% + or Drugs3 days – 6 months jail
$1,000 - $5,000 fine
1 year license suspension
90 days – 5 years jail
$1,500 - $10,000 fine
18 months license suspension
1 year – 5 years jail
$2,500 - $10,000 fine
18 months license suspension
Multiple Offenders

If this is a second or third offense within the 10 year look-back period, the mandatory minimum prison sentence is dramatically increased ranging from 5 days in prison to 1 year. Depending on the county, house arrest, rather than incarceration, could be a possibility and is left to the sentencing judge's discretion. If house arrest is granted by the sentencing judge, the sentence is served in the individual's home rather than the county prison, and the individual is typically permitted to leave the home to work.

Application for House Arrest should be done in advance of sentencing.

Additionally, the chances of House Arrest are increased if the individual immediately seeks intensive alcohol treatment such as inpatient or outpatient treatment and/or attends frequent Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings. If this is a second or third offense, the sentencing judge assumes that the individual has an alcohol problem. The best way to avoid jail and get house arrest is by immediately seeking alcohol counseling and abstain from the use of alcohol.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Ellis Klein is a terrific attorney who represented my son in a DUI case. Ellis was understanding and sympathetic yet very forthright regarding the seriousness of the issue. He was extremely knowledgeable of the process and kept us informed at every step. He had a very professional presence, was confident (but not arrogant) and kept us calm throughout a very traumatic situation. He was a critical factor in my son receiving the best possible outcome from this DUI event. John Doe
★★★★★
Recently Mr. Klein helped me out with a criminal charge in which the outcome was the best possible situation for me. Ellis worked with me as far as a payment plan, knew the judge and officer and I couldn't ask for anything more out of a lawyer. I'm very happy with his performance and would recommend him to anyone. Jane Doe
★★★★★
Ellis literally gave me a new lease on life. I was facing a DUI, which would have affected my livelihood, my freedom and would have left me with a criminal record. Mr. Klein was able to have all the evidence suppressed by challenging the officer's cause for pulling me over. He was very thorough, leaving no stone unturned. His demeanor in court was confident and knowledgeable. He saved my reputation and my family from facing serious economic hardship. Thank You Anonymous
★★★★★
Ellis Klein served as my lawyer in a very difficult case that I was facing and with his help, the outcome of my case turned out wonderful. Mr. Klein helped me very much with his knowledge of my case. Thanks Ellis! Anonymous
★★★★★
Like many young adults, I made a bad decision that resulted in very serious consequences. I was afraid and nervous. Ellis was very straight-forward when he explained things to me, telling what the best outcome could be as well as the worst. Through his knowledge, professionalism, and legal reputation, my case was resolved with the best possible outcome. I advise my friends not to make the same mistake that I did, but if they do I will highly recommend Ellis. I feel like I have been given a second chance. Anonymous