In its recent decision in Commonwealth v. Taylor, No. 65 MAP 2013 (Nov. 20, 2014) the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the sentencing court has no discretion or authority to impose a
DUI sentence before the completion of a drug and alcohol assessment. It further ruled that the burden for obtaining this assessment is on the Defendant.
The Drug and Alcohol Assessment is a key requirement of the DUI statute under
75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3814. The assessment permits the court to determine whether further drug and/or alcohol treatment is necessary to rehabilitate the offender, and which programs would be appropriate.
What does this mean for someone facing sentencing on a DUI?
Picture this scenario: You're standing in front of the sentencing judge, having already admitted your guilt and now stand to receive your sentencing. At some point after entering your plea, you were ordered by the court to get a Drug and Alcohol Assessment. But you didn't. So what now?
Now you may be facing some serious consequences, including a potential revocation of bail and the possibility of sitting in jail until the court can schedule you for another sentencing date. Depending on the availability of staff to do the assessment you may end up serving more than a week or two in jail above the mandatory minimum sentence of a few days that you may have been expecting.
This is just one of many of the potential pitfalls that an individual representing themselves are in danger of falling into without the proper knowledge and training of an experienced attorney. If you or a loved one has been accused of DUI and you don't know what to expect,
contact Attorney Frank Walker at 412-532-6805 for a consultation.
Attorney Frank Walker knows the ropes of the substance abuse courses, driving classes, and other requirements that can be unique to a DUI charge. He can assist you in making sure that these assessments are accurate, done in a timely manner, and not unnecessarily burdensome. Don't go it alone! Call Attorney Frank Walker now at 412-532-6805. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
Personal Injury Attorney with offices in
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and
Morgantown West Virginia. Attorney Walker is also a member of the
National College for DUI Defense and qualified as a
Pennsylvania Death Penalty Defense Attorney.