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Suspect in Fatal DUI Case Loses Chance at Plea Deal

A man from Pennsylvania facing charges related to a fatal car accident he allegedly caused while driving under the influence of morphine and alcohol was not allowed to plead guilty after failing a drug test.

The 28-year-old man reportedly appeared drowsy in court, which led court officials to be suspicious of his sobriety. The Cambria County judge overseeing his case ordered the man to be drug tested, despite him repeatedly denying during questioning that he was under the influence. The drug test revealed there were two illegal substances in his system, one of which was a type of opiate.

County officials say the man had also been undergoing twice-weekly drug tests in the time leading up to his plea hearing. He has been charged with vehicular homicide while driving under the influence after a Fourth of July accident that killed a 56-year-old man. He also has two other DUI charges pending.

The plea hearing was rescheduled, so he will have another opportunity to be sober and enter his guilty plea if he so chooses. But if he were unable to plead guilty, he would be subject to some significant penalties if the case would proceed as usual, including prison time and large fines. As it stands, the man likely faces jail time for his reckless negligence in causing a death while operating under the influence.

Making the most of an opportunity

When you have a DUI case (or any other type of criminal case) pending in court, it is extremely important that you remain on your best behavior leading up and during your hearings. Your actions could directly impact the way a judge or jury views you. In other words, being under the influence at a hearing is not the sign of a person who is repentant or willing to change.

For sound legal guidance when you’re facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania, contact experienced attorney David R. Eshelman.

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