Case Result: Driving While DUI Suspended License Charge Reduced in the City of Chester While Client had 3 Prior DUI Convictions
Today I was in Chester District Court before Judge Robert J. Blythe. My client was charged with driving on a DUI suspended license. In attorney talk, we call these 1543B's in Pennsylvania. That refers to the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code 75 Pa. C.S.A. Sec. 1543B. The conviction of Section 1543B carries with it a mandatory jail sentence between 60 and 90 days. My goal in this case going into Court was to have it dropped down to Section 1543A. Section 1543A refers to Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code 75 Pa. C.S.A. Sec. 1543A. A guilty plea or conviction of 1543A is better because there is no mandatory jail time. The consequences is a $200.00 fine and an additional suspension.
My mindset going into Court was to have this case plead down to a 1543A. However, I knew this was going to be an uphill battle since my client had 3 prior DUI convictions. In addition, my client had already caught a break because he admitted to the Officer that he had been drinking that night. The Officer could have brought my client up on DUI charges however he chose to cut him a break. With all this going against us, I knew I was going to try for a 1543A but thought it was unlikely. My second strategy was going to be for my client to go into the intermediate punishment and serve his jail time on several weekends. I went into Court, shook the Officer's hand and tried to be as respectful as I could and negotiate with him. I explained my client is an upstanding citizen, has his own business, goes to work regularly and that the blood alcohol content in all his DUI's were low. The Officer laughed at me and said "have you seen how many DUI's your client has had", I answered "yes, but he is cooperative and we'd appreciate anything you can do for us." To my surprise, the Officer dropped us down to a 1543A. I told my client this was the "deal of the Century" because of all the factors going against him in this case.