The sentencing guidelines for fatal hit-and-run accidents in Pennsylvania have been significantly increased by lawmakers who recently passed a bill known as “Kevin’s Law.” Kevin’s Law is named in honor of Kevin Miller, who was only five years old when he was killed by a hit-and-run driver.
Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Laws
Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Law Section 3742 declares that any driver of a vehicle who is involved in an accident where a fatality or a personal injury has occurred in required by law to stop at the scene or as close to the scene as possible. Additionally, the driver must remain at the scene to provide information and administer aid to the injured parties.
Loophole In The Law
Sentencing guidelines prior to the passing of the new legislation, mandated that a driver found guilty in a fatal hit-and-run accident would face at least one year of jail time. This was less punitive than the sentencing guidelines for being found guilty of Homicide by Vehicle DUI which is a sentence of at least three years in prison. The loophole appeared to be the fact that the difference in sentencing guidelines served as motivator for drivers to flee the scene of the accident. Successfully proving a DUI charge depends on the evidence of intoxication being measured before the alcohol leaves a person’s system. So it was actually in an intoxicated driver’s best interest to immediately leave the scene in an attempt to evade detection of their DUI.
New Sentencing Guidelines
With Kevin’s Law now in effect, the sentencing guideline has increased the penalty for persons convicted of the charge of Accidents Involving Death from one year of jail time to three. This change unifies the sentencing guidelines for the charges of Homicide by Vehicle DUI and Accidents Involving Death by designating the minimum penalty for both as the same.
All of the criminal defense attorneys at DRK Lawyers are former assistant district attorneys. We understand criminal cases and defense from both sides of the courtroom. We use our trial experience and knowledge of the government’s tactics to help defend our clients every day in the state of Pennsylvania. If you are facing criminal charges, please contact our team today.