Bensalem PA DUI Post-Conviction Relief Attorneys
Many people mistakenly think that they don’t need an attorney to fight their DUI charges. The truth is that you should strongly consider hiring an attorney to fight not just your current DUI charge but also any previous DUI convictions. This is because repeat DUI offenders in Pennsylvania are subject to enhanced penalties based on the number of prior DUI convictions. The good news is that it might be possible to challenge your conviction if you did not receive a fair trial the first time around.
Levittown DWI Defense Lawyers
Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson is a highly respected Pennsylvania law firm with more than 40 years of experience handling DUI cases and filing Post-Conviction Relief petitions throughout Bucks County, PA, including Langhorne, Newtown, and Plumstead. Let us help you fight your DUI conviction and protect your future. Call KCR now to speak with one of our experienced DUI litigators.
Post-Conviction Relief: Vacating Your Prior DUI Convictions in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) grants individuals the right to appeal their convictions after a more traditional appeal has been denied by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. Post-Conviction Relief is a legal procedure that allows an individual convicted of a prior DUI offense to challenge their earlier conviction and limit the potential penalties in their current DUI case.
One of the great things about Post-Conviction Relief is that you can still “win” your case even if the judgment against you still stands. For example, it might be possible to get an order that prevents the judge in your current DUI case from considering the earlier DUI case during sentencing. This will have the effect of minimizing the potential penalties against you because a second offense DUI charge will be downgraded to a first offense DUI charge.
Requirements and Eligibility for Post-Conviction Relief
The PCRA imposes strict eligibility requirements when it comes to filing for Post-Conviction Relief:
- Time Limits: You must act quickly because there are strict time limits imposed by the Post-Conviction Relief Act. Your attorney has just one year to challenge the earlier ruling by filing a petition for Post-Conviction Relief.
- Serving Sentence: You must be currently serving a sentence of imprisonment, probation, or parole for the original offense.
- Probation: Anyone who is already on probation for another offense is ineligible for Post-Conviction Relief.
- Pending Criminal Cases: In order to seek Post-Conviction Relief, you must not have any other criminal cases pending in the Pennsylvania legal system.
Grounds for Challenging Your Earlier DUI Conviction
You must be able to delineate a clear reason that your earlier DUI conviction should be vacated. Some of the arguments that your attorney can make in support of your petition for Post-
Conviction Relief include:
- Reversible Error: If the court in your original DUI trial made a serious mistake that could have affected the outcome of the case, you might be able to get the case reopened. It does not matter if the error occurred during plea bargaining, during motions hearings, or at trial.
- Constitutional Error: It might be possible to get you earlier DUI conviction vacated if either the judge or the prosecutor committed any errors that violated your constitutional rights. This includes prosecutorial misconduct or violations of your civil liberties by law enforcement.
- Ineffective Assistance of Counsel: Every criminal defendant is entitled to have competent legal counsel by their side. If the attorney in your earlier DUI case did not provide sufficient legal assistance, this might be enough to get your earlier conviction vacated.
- Excessive Sentence: Judges must follow sentencing guidelines when imposing penalties. If the judge in your earlier DUI trial imposed an excessive sentence, this might be ground to get the judgment vacated.
Free Consultation with Levittown DWI Lawyers
The drunk driving defense lawyers at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson are prepared to help you challenge an earlier DUI conviction. Call us now to discuss your unique situation and formulate a game plan, or email us to arrange a meeting at our office in Bensalem, PA.