Following a criminal conviction and sentencing, options may still be available to overturn the verdict or lessen the consequences. One woman recently had her 4- to 10-year prison sentence for a DUI resulting in a pedestrian's death overturned by a Pennsylvania appeals court. However, her punishment may still remain the same under the ruling of the Superior Court, despite the fact the court ruled her sentence was illegal.
The Pennsylvania woman convicted of a DUI appealed her sentence by arguing that it was too severe. The Superior Court did not address this argument in its ruling, but it did overturn the 4- to 10-year prison sentence due to an error on the part of the original judge. According to state judges, the woman had been illegally given a single penalty for all of her charges combined. The court says the charges should have been addressed separately.
The DUI and subsequent pedestrian death occurred in Amity Township. The 84-year-old man was struck by the car while repairing his fence. In October 2015, the woman was convicted of homicide by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, DUI, reckless endangerment, and careless driving.
The woman stated to the appeals court that she believed the judge sentenced her too harshly due in part to a DUI she was involved in while out on bail. However, the Superior Court that overturned her sentence noted that they did not advise a resentencing scheme. Defendants who wish to understand their legal options before a trial or during the appeals process should contact a Pennsylvania defence lawyer.
Source: pennlive.com, "Drunken driver who killed pedestrian, then caused another DUI crash, has jail term voided by Pa. court", May 11, 2018