State Rep DUI has Hope on Appeal, According to Lawyer

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Pennsylvania State Representative Cherelle Parker was convicted of driving under the influence last month, registering twice the legal blood alcohol limit. But Parker maintains her innocence and plans to appeal – a move that DUI attorney Steven Kellis says just might work.

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This was a high profile case and after the first judge was recused, it was important to avoid any appearance of undue leniency.

Many politicians crusade against drunk driving, but few find themselves facing DUI charges of their own. Pennsylvania state representative Cherelle Parker, who represents the 200th Legislative District, was convicted in January of driving under the influence docket number: MC-51-CR-0018485-2011. She faces a jail sentence and a suspended driver's license according to Chestnut Hill Local.

Parker was pulled over in April 2011 for driving the wrong way on a one-way street. The arresting officer stated that she had bloodshot eyes, was swerving and smelled of alcohol. She was administered a Breathalyzer test that returned a blood alcohol result of .16 percent – twice Pennsylvania's legal limit for drivers.

The case became more convoluted when the original judge, Charles Hayden, was asked to recuse himself because he is listed as a Facebook friend of Parker's. The new judge, S. Gerald Corso, found Parker guilty January 16 – but Parker still claims she's innocent and her lawyer say she will appeal.

“An appeal is actually a very smart move in this case,” said Steven Kellis, an attorney specializing in DUI law. “This was a high profile case and after the first judge was recused, it was important to avoid any appearance of undue leniency. The appeals court may be more flexible.”

But Kellis was careful to emphasize that Parker is unlikely to get off scott free.

“It's the kind of case where a talented DUI lawyer can reduce the sentence,” he said. “With the blood alcohol reading it's unlikely she'll be acquitted. But for a state rep to do jail time is embarrassing. She may be holding out for a lighter sentence.”

If Parker's sentence stands she will spend three days in county jail.

About Steven Kellis:

Steven E. Kellis is a Pennsylvania DUI lawyer with 20 years of experience. He focuses his practice exclusively on DUI defense. He can be contacted at:

Two Penn Center Plaza
1500 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Suite 900-A
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102

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