Yes, an individual can absolutely be charged with more than one DUI. When an individual is not charged with more than one DUI, that’s unusual. What typically happens here is that if the police officer doesn’t charge you with multiple DUIs, the district attorney’s office typically adds those charges. So as an example, if you are charged with an alcohol based offense, it is not uncommon to be charged with all of the DUIs based off with alcohol. So that would be the all three tiers as well as the incapable charge. That would be an A1, A2 BNC. Therefore, you could possibly get all four charges against you.
All the district attorney office has to prove is either that you are incapable of safe driving because of alcohol; or they would go after your BAC level which would land you on 1 of these 3 remaining DUI charges based on your level in your blood. If you are charged with multiple offenses and if you are convicted of multiple offenses, they do combine for sentencing purposes. Even though you are convicted of multiple offenses, you only face whichever offense has the highest punishment for it. Even though you are convicted of multiple DUIs, you’re only going to get sentenced according to the most severe charge.
How Does A DUI Affect A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)?
Commercial driver’s license individuals that have what’s known as the CDL must be extremely careful with using alcohol because the law changed in the state of Pennsylvania back in 2004. Before that time, if you got a DUI in your personal vehicle, it did not affect your commercial driver’s license. However, now, since the law came into effect on February 1st, 2004, even if a commercial license driver is stopped and charged and convicted of a DUI in their personal vehicle, they can still lose their commercial driver’s license. So the first time a person is stopped and charged and then convicted of a DUI, they will lose their commercial driver’s license for a period of 1 year.
If they have a HAZMAT license on top of the commercial driver’s license, that is a 3-year ban on the HAZMAT. If they are ever caught for DUI or some other major offense according to the PENDOT rules, they will be banned for life on the CDL. So the commercial driver’s license basically gives you one opportunity if you make a mistake. Any second mistake is a lifetime ban. So they have to be extremely careful that they could lose their livelihood very quickly, especially when getting a DUI.
How Does A DUI Impact A Professional License?
We’ve dealt with nurses, doctors, pilots, and other attorneys who have gotten DUI’s. All of those professions have their own respective review boards. In our experience, all of these review boards have mandatory reporting. So if you are charged, the boards want to know, and it’s much better for them to find out from the individual prior to them finding out on their own. What we recommend is that they are upfront with these reports with these respective boards and inform them of what is going on. Most of the time, for people who got their first and sometimes even their second, as long as they cooperate with the board and following recommendations that they have for them, they are okay.
However, those boards reserve the right to remove your professional license from you. One area in which this is very apparent is with governmental clearances. So if you have some type of clearance level, those can be removed for even minor offenses. The government takes those very seriously and they have removed people for very minor offenses. Now, it is possible to get those back later in life, but it can be very difficult to do so.
Can A DUI Cause Immigration Problems For People Who Are Not US Citizens?
Absolutely – immigration issues become a major problem for people charged with any type of offense. At any point in time, if you are charged with an offense, your immigration status could be caught into question and be investigated. If you are convicted of an offense and the sentence is longer than 12 months, this can trigger an automatic immigration investigation and most of the time, it results in deportation. Shorter offenses or shorter sentences could still result in an investigation, but they are just not automatically triggered. A 12 month sentence seems to be the automatic trigger point, so receiving a sentence less than that is helpful but not guaranteed of a lack of an investigation because when you get convicted, the immigration status will be called into question.
They will perform their own investigation to see what the offense was, what occurred with it, and then they’ll decide whether they’ll revoke your status and possibly deport you. You have to be very careful with the offenses that you are charged with and convicted of, especially with DUIs. Once you reach the second offense, you can be looking at a maximum punishment of up to 5 years in prison, which is well over that 12 months period. You have to be very careful progressing forward in these cases that you are able to reach a resolution that doesn’t trigger an automatic review and to limit the possible ramifications of an investigation of your immigration status.
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