OWM Law

OWM NEWSLETTER
DECEMBER 2013

ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT

JAMIE V. OTTAVIANO

Jamie V. Ottaviano

Jamie V. Ottaviano, Esq., is an attorney at O'Donnell, Weiss & Mattei, P.C., concentrating his practice in civil litigation, criminal defense, family law, estate planning, and estate administration. Jamie is a graduate of St. Pius X High School and the Hill School. Jamie earned his bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College and his law degree from Widener University School of Law. Jamie and his wife are the proud parents of two girls and reside in Berks County. Jamie is also is a proud board member of the Pottstown Area Police Athletic League and The Sunnybrook Foundation.

Phone: 610-323-2800
Fax: 610-323-2845
Email:jottaviano@owmlaw.com


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The material in this publication was created as of the date set forth above and is based on laws, court decisions, administrative rulings and congressional materials that existed at that time, and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. The information in this publication is not intended to create, and the transmission and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship.

‘Tis The Season To Be Driving Under The Influence

Another holiday season is upon us! This typically means more parties and travel as many of us celebrate with family and friends. Unfortunately, this also means a time of increased accidents, fatalities and arrests associated with Driving Under the Influence (“DUI”) than during any other time of year. Instead of citing statistical data, which a simple internet search will produce, I intend to outline the punishments of a DUI conviction in this article in hopes of deterring everyone from driving under the influence this holiday season, and all year for that matter.

Since September 30, 2003, when Pennsylvania officially lowered the legal limit of alcohol from .10 to .08, the punishments associated with a DUI conviction are set forth in a three (3) tiered system based upon one’s blood alcohol content (“BAC”). Those tiers and the associated punishments are as follows:

BAC .08 to .099 (General Impairment)

First Offense: ungraded misdemeanor, 6 months probation, $300 fine, alcohol highway safety school, and full drug and alcohol treatment when ordered.

Second Offense: ungraded misdemeanor, 12 months driver’s license suspension, 5 days to 6 months jail time, $300 to $2,500 fine, alcohol highway safety school, full drug and alcohol treatment when ordered, and 1 year ignition interlock upon reinstatement of driver’s license.

Third & Fourth Offense: 2nd degree misdemeanor, 12 months driver’s license suspension, 10 days to 2 years jail time, $500 to $5,000 fine, full drug and alcohol treatment when ordered, and 1 year ignition interlock upon reinstatement of driver’s license.

BAC .10 to .159 (High Rate)

First Offense: ungraded misdemeanor, 12 months driver’s license suspension, 48 hours to 6 months jail time, $500 to $5,000 fine, alcohol highway safety school, and full drug and alcohol treatment when ordered.

Second Offense: ungraded misdemeanor, 12 months driver’s license suspension, 30 days to 6 months jail time, $750 to $5,000 fine, alcohol highway safety school, full drug and alcohol treatment when ordered, and 1 year ignition interlock upon reinstatement of driver’s license.

Third Offense: 1st degree misdemeanor, 18 months driver’s license suspension, 90 days to 5 years jail time, $1,500 to $10,000 fine, full drug and alcohol treatment when ordered, and 1 year ignition interlock upon reinstatement of driver’s license.
Fourth Offense: 1st degree misdemeanor, 18 months driver’s license suspension, 1 to 5 years jail time, $1,500 to $10,000 fine, full drug and alcohol treatment when ordered, and 1 year ignition interlock upon reinstatement of driver’s license.

BAC .16 and Higher (Highest Rate)

First Offense: ungraded misdemeanor, 12 months driver’s license suspension, 72 hours to 6 months jail time, $1,000 to $5,000 fine, alcohol highway safety school, and full drug and alcohol treatment when ordered.

Second Offense: 1st degree misdemeanor, 18 months driver’s license suspension, 90 days to 5 years jail time, $1,500 to $10,000 fine, alcohol highway safety school, full drug and alcohol treatment when ordered, and 1 year ignition interlock upon reinstatement of driver’s license.

Third & Fourth Offense: 1st degree misdemeanor, 18 months driver’s license suspension, 1 to 5 years jail time, $2,500 to $10,000 fine, full drug and alcohol treatment when ordered, and 1 year ignition interlock upon reinstatement of driver’s license.

As you can see from the above, the punishments for a DUI conviction are very serious. In most cases, it is not a question whether you will lose your driver’s license and whether you will go to jail. Instead, it is a question of how long you will lose your driver’s license and how long you will go to jail. Those punishments (i.e. license suspension and jail), in and of themselves, often have serious ramifications, including, but not limited to, losing one’s job, which just compounds the problem even more. Furthermore, the punishments become harsher and hasher the more times one is convicted of a DUI within a ten (10) year period.

In conclusion, we at OWM Law encourage everyone to drink responsibly this holiday season and to not drink and drive. It is not worth the risk getting behind the wheel after drinking any amount of alcohol. Instead, use a designated driver or simply do not drink at all. Happy Holidays!

If you have any questions regarding the above, please call me at 610-323-2800 or email me at jottaviano@owmlaw.com. Also, please watch OWM's December 2013 Legal Talk program regarding DUI Law in Pennsylvania on our website here.


I received an "Official Notice" in the Mail – Is it Really Official?

It seems to be a common occurrence anymore that individuals and business receive what appears to be official notices in the mail. On some occasions, these official notices are actual official documents that require attention and may even require a response; however, on numerous occasions, the “official notices” may simply be mail solicitations intended to look official and which are, in fact, an offer of services for a fee. The services offered may be the preparation of minutes for your corporation or a copy of the deed to your residence.

Whenever you receive an official-looking notice, it is important to determine if the notice requires your attention and a response or, whether, it is a solicitation. If the document truly is an official notice, you should discuss that notice with your attorney to determine the appropriate action you should take. If you receive a notice and are not sure if you are required to respond or if you have any questions regarding whether or not you should engage the company offering the services, please do not hesitate to contact your attorneys at O’Donnell, Weiss & Mattei, P.C. via telephone at 610-323-2800 or email at info@owmlaw.com. We would be happy to review the notice and determine whether or not it is appropriate for you to follow through with obtaining the services offered.


Upcoming Events

David A. Megay, Esq. and James C. Kovaleski, Esq., speaking at SCORE Business Planning Seminar on 1/6/14 (contact SCORE at 610-327-2673).

David A. Megay, Esq., speaking at Chester County Night School Seminars at Owen J. Roberts High School, Pottstown, PA, on 3/26/14 entitled "Ask the Lawyer: Starting Your Own Business" and on 4/30/14 entitled "Ask the Lawyer: Buying and Selling Real Estate in PA" (contact Chester County Night School at 610-692-1964 or online at www.chestercountynightschool.org).

Watch Legal Talk, brought to you by OWM, on PCTV, Tuesdays at 8:30 on Channel 28, and Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on Channel 98, or on our website here.

Read Legal Ease every first and third Sunday in the Pottstown Mercury.

O'Donnell,Weiss & Mattei, P.C.

41 E. High Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
610-323-2800
Fax: 610-323-2845

347 Bridge Street, Suite 200
Phoenixville, PA 19460
610-917-9347
Fax: 610-917-9348

www.owmlaw.com