York County, PA- Nearly half of all people convicted of their first DUI will never repeat their offense. Between the time spent in jail, loss of their driving privileges and exorbitant fines, many first-time drunken drivers learn their lesson and never do it again. But there are plenty others who repeat their DUI, sometimes three and four times, and are able to avoid harsher penalties because of a loophole in state law.

That loophole has now been closed and repeat offenders now face harsher penalties for repeat offenses. Legislators closed the loophole last December after five years of trying, the Times-Tribune reported.

Last December, Pennsylvania legislators passed a bill that closes that loophole and now allows judges to consider all DUI charges when sentencing a convicted offender even if the cases are still pending.

Closing the loophole means that judges can go ahead and sentence a person for a repeat conviction before the sentencing phase of a previous DUI case. For example, say a person is arrested for a DUI June, and then again in August. They plead guilty for the second charge in August, but a trial for the first charge is pending so a judge must treat them like first offenders and thereby give them lighter sentences.

Other states closed that loophole a long time ago, but it has been used to great effectiveness by many DUI attorneys in Pennsylvania. And many object to the law because they believe repeat offenders need to be treated as addicts and not criminals.

Most people don’t realize how much they will pay for a DUI in money, time and their freedom. You will have a criminal record which will affect your current job, educational prospects and future career could be at stake. You will lose your license and could be forced to install an ignition interlock device in your car.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania, do the smart thing and contact a DUI attorney immediately. Retaining counsel early one will help you avoid jeopardizing your case or making a uniformed decisions that could put you defense at risk. An attorney may make it possible for you to keep your driver’s license and provide you with a vigorous defense.

Drunken or drugged driving is a mistake that many people make, but it doesn’t have to be a mistake that you need to struggle with for years to come. Although you cannot strike a plea bargain in Pennsylvania, it is possible for your legal counsel to argue that you deserve lighter penalties when conviction cannot be avoided.

You’ve already made one mistake, don’t make another by thinking you don’t need legal help. When you have been charged for drinking and driving allow USAttorneys to connect you with an outstanding York County DUI attorney who will give you the chance of avoiding a DUI conviction. The more time you give your attorney to work on your case, the stronger and more convincing your defense will be.