The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

Popular Scranton Jock Chase Passeri Gets DUI Jail Sentence

Pennsylvania DUI attorneys for a former West Scranton High School football player sat through the sentencing of their client, last week. Chase Passeri, 19, was on trial for driving while under the influence in December of 2008 in Newtown Township.

Chase Passeri will be serving six to twenty-three months in Lackawanna County Prison for a crash that injured four people. Chase Passeri's PA DUI lawyers were successful with one thing however. They pushed the fact that Chase Passeri had been sober for 10 months and that he has been participating in rehabilitation programs.

As a result, Judge Michael Barrasse stated that he was sending Chase Passeri to county prison instead of state prison. The prosecutor, Maryann Grippo, was unmoved by the evidence of rehabilitation provided by Chase Passeri's PA DUI lawyers. She claimed that she was not fully convinced that Chase Passeri had changed; referring to him as a "young man who is self-consumed."

In addition to the prison sentence, Chase Passeri will serve four years of probation and 200 hours of community service. As part of the community service, the former football player will have to give talks to students about the dangers of drunk driving.

At the time of the accident, Chase Passeri had allegedly consumed two bottles of MD 20/20 fortified wine and was driving four friends to a house party in the Abingtons.  

The crash occurred at speeds of 80 mph and left one of the passengers, a fifteen year old girl, severely injured, according to a separate lawsuit filed by the girl's parents.

Chase Passeri retained Pennsylvania DUI attorneys to proceed through his sentencing hearings. Not all DUI defendants take this route. For some, they are offered a plea deal by the prosecution if they plead guilty. In Chase Passeri's case, he pleaded guilty to the charges of aggravated assault, drunken driving, and reckless endangerment. The character witnesses at his sentencing hearing, as well as the evidence of his efforts at rehabilitation, could have played a factor in why he was sent to county jail instead of state prison.

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