DUI Lawyers Serving Pennsylvania
Drunk driving is a serious criminal offense in Pennsylvania. It can result in a person facing harsh penalties and fines. We invite you to contact my law office to discuss the DUI charge asserted against you in more detail. Our Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers can provide you with legal advice and guidance on how to proceed. Read on to learn more about Pennsylvania’s DUI laws. Consulting with our team of Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers is a wise move.
Contact the Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers on our team for a free initial consultation. Serving the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania including Allegheny County, Bucks County, Berks County, Delaware County, Chester County, Lebanon County, Lancaster County, Lehigh County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County & York County, PA.
Pennsylvania DUI Penalties
In Pennsylvania, a person will be charged with drunk driving if he/she has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. Below is a table illustrating the minimum DUI penalties in Pennsylvania. The information below is for educational purposes only. Each DUI case is unique and may not result in any conviction. Contact our Philadelphia Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers to find out how they can get the charge asserted against you reduced or completely dismissed.
|1st Offense||2nd Offense||3rd Offense|
|Minimum Jail Time Served||No minimum jail time required.||5 day minimum and up to 6 months jail sentence||10 day minimum and up to 2 years jail sentence|
|Fines & Penalties||$300||$300 – $2500||$500 – $5,000|
|Driver’s License Suspension||No||12 Months||12 Months|
|Ignition Interlock Device Required||Yes if the accused refused to take the chemical test||Yes for up to 12 months, or the duration of the restricted license||Yes for up to 12 months, or the duration of the restricted license.|
Different BAC Levels In Pennsylvania
The accused level of intoxication will affect how he/she will be punished. For example, if a first time DUI offender’s BAC is .10% to .159%, he/she will have to serve a mandatory 2 day jail sentence and potentially remain in jail for up to 6 months. In addition, the accused may have to pay a $500 to $5,000 fine. If a first time DUI offender’s BAC is above .16%, he/she will have to serve a mandatory 3 day jail sentence and potentially remain in jail for up to 6 months. Fines will range from $1,000 to $5,000.
In addition to the different BAC levels mentioned above Pennsylvania also has administrative and legal consequences based on your age and what you do for a living. Meaning that the State of Pennsylvania prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle by a driver with .08 percent or above blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The .08 BAC limit is the standard measurement used across the United States for the “impaired” driver.
Pennsylvania has lower BAC limits for those holding commercial drivers licenses (CDL) and the threshold for CDL holders is .04 percent.
For those under the legal drinking age of 21 Pennsylvania also has a “zero tolerance” or .02 percent BAC. The Pennsylvania law also includes controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, inhalants and other intoxicants. Call our Bethlehem Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers today to discuss your case.
Pennsylvania’s ARD Program
Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program (ARD) is a first time non-violent offender second chance program. The program allows defendants to avoid pleading guilty to a non-violent crime. Instead, the defendant is required to perform community service, pay court costs, and complete probation. Upon the successful completion of the program requirements, the charge will be dismissed and an automatic expungement will occur to clear the accused criminal record. It will be as though the criminal charge never occurred.
If you have recently been charged with a crime in Pennsylvania, contact my law office in confidence for a free consultation. I can review your case in detail and provide you with legal advice and guidance on how to get the charge asserted against you reduced or completely dismissed. Read on to learn more about Pennsylvania’s ARD program, whether you qualify & how our State College, Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers can help you.
PA ARD Program Overview
The ARD program is administered by the district attorney’s office. As mentioned above, it is a pre-trial intervention program for first time non-violent offenders. If allowed entry into the program, the defendant will not have to serve jail time. If the defendant fails to comply with any of the ARD agreement conditions, or is arrested for a new offense, he/she will be removed from the program.
The DA approves the accused entrance into the ARD program. To be eligible to attend ARD, the defendant must meet the following requirements:
- The defendant must not have been convicted of any crimes
- The defendant must be a first time non-violent offender
- The defendant must have never attended the ARD program
- The defendant must not have caused serious injury to anyone while driving under the influence
In order to apply for the ARD program, the defendant must waive his/her preliminary hearing, submit a completed ARD application to the assigned Magisterial District Court, and submit a completed ARD information form along with the application to the assigned Magisterial District Court. Common charges such as the following are appropriate for the ARD program:
- Possession of a controlled substance (small quantity)
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance
Note, if the accused is accepted into the ARD program for a DUI offense, each subsequent DUI offense mandatory sentence will be enhanced. The costs to attend the ARD program is between $500 – $1,000. The price will depend on whether the accused retains a private attorney or public defender.
You should consult with a criminal defense attorney if you are contemplating to participate in the program. An experienced attorney may review your case and gather compelling evidence to have the charge asserted against you dismissed. In this case, attending the ARD program would not be practical. You can view the program as a one time “get out of jail” free card.
I invite you to contact my law office to discuss your case. I can review the nature of the charge and provide you with guidance on whether to apply for the ARD program, or use criminal procedural motions to have it dismissed. Do not delay in retaining an attorney. Doing so can damage your case.
Additional DUI Consequences
In addition to the penalties mentioned above, a person can lose their driver’s license for a specified period of time as a result of being charged and/or convicted of drunk driving. There is no mandatory minimum license suspension requirements for a first time DUI offense with a BAC of .08%. A BAC range of .10% to .16% carries a 1 year license suspension. If a driver refused to submit to a roadside breathalyzer test, his/her driver’s license will be automatically suspended for 1 year.
PA CDL DUI Laws
If you are a professional driver in Pennsylvania and possess a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) you stand to lose more than the average person should you be convicted of DUI or other traffic violations. For those owning a CDL your driving privileges are directly related to your ability to work and earn a living, support your family and pay your bills. As a CDL holder you are subject to slightly different and much more severe penalties than an individual with a regular drivers license. For instance, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania your CDL license can be suspended even if you were pulled over for DUI while driving your personal vehicle.
If you are a CDL holder and have been charged with DUI you do not have to go through this alone. Retaining a skilled and experienced Allegheny County DUI defense Lawyers will ensure that your rights are protected and you will get the most favorable outcome possible.
CDL Disqualifying Violations In Pennsylvania
There are 4 classes of violations regarding a CDL. They are:
Serious Traffic Violations
Violating Out Of Service Orders
Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Violations
There are various ways to commit violations in each of these classes. Each class carries with it its own set of penalties for first and subsequent offenses. Our knowledgeable Doylestown, Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers can explain the penalties associated with your individual case.
Contact A CDL DUI Defense Lawyer In Pennsylvania
If you possess a CDL and have been charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania please contact our Reading, Philadelphia, PA DUI Defense Lawyers to protect your rights and driving privileges. They will aggressively defend your rights in an effort to achieve the most favorable outcome possible and keep any negative legal, professional & financial consequences to a minimum.
Aggravating Factors In Pennsylvania DUI Cases
If you are facing DUI charges in Pennsylvania and are caught in possession of any amount of drugs, narcotics, designer drug or any dangerous controlled substance is a crime in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. You may face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the type of drug you were caught with, amount of drug and your criminal history. There are certain aggravating factors that can further complicate your drug possession charges such as being caught with the drugs in you car, automobile or vehicle. If you have been caught with drugs in your vehicle in the Lancaster, Lebanon or Reading, Pennsylvania areas you should speak to our York, Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers at once.
Driving While In Possession Of Narcotics Penalties
Pennsylvania, like all states, has very strict laws regarding operating a vehicle while in possession of drugs or narcotics. If caught driving with drugs in your car you may face:
Criminal drug possession or trafficking charges
Felony drug charges
Vehicle may be impounded
License revocation or suspension
Possible probation, house arrest or jail sentence
Drugs Commonly Found During DUI Stops In Pennsylvania
Many drugs are used recreationally today and can be transported in a vehicle. Examples are:
Illegally obtained prescription medications
Driving While In Possession Of Street Drugs Defense
Our Lancaster, Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers are skilled enough to successfully defend your case. In addition, we will make sure the police had probable cause to pull you over initially, that they had the right to search your vehicle and he will determine whether or not you were aware the drugs were in your car.
Let our Lebanon, Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers put their experience defending DUI and drug possession cases to work for you. We represent both Pennsylvania residents and non-Pennsylvania residents who were caught with drugs in their car at time of a routine traffic stop. Let our Upper Darby, Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers fight to protect your rights and do everything possible to lessen the consequences of your pending criminal charges.
Child Endangerment and DUI Laws
The courts and legal system take getting a DUI with a child in the car extremely seriously in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Even if you have never been charged with DUI before, if you have a child in the car you may automatically be charged with a Felony DUI. You can also be charged with Child Endangerment. Prosecutors are also inclined to seek much more severe penalties i.e longer prison sentences in a DUI/Child Endangerment case. Having a child in the car while driving drunk can also jeopardize your ARD eligibility if it is your first DUI.
If you have been arrested and charged with DUI while having a child in the car it is in your best interest to retain our qualified West Chester, Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers.
Possible Penalties Of A DUI With Child In The Car
A DUI with a child in the car is one of the most severe types of DUI’s there are in Pennsylvania. Penalties can result in extended suspension of driving privileges, jail or prison sentences, fines, fees and court costs. If you are facing a DUI while having a minor in the car it is very important you speak with our skilled Scranton, Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers.
How Can Our York, Pennsylvania DUI Defense Lawyers Help
In many cases of DUI with a child in the car you need someone on your side fighting on your behalf. You need someone who can convey to the judge and prosecutor that you are not a criminal. You need an attorney who can make them understand that you just made a mistake during a moment of indiscretion. An experienced Chester County, PA DUI Attorney will take the time to get to know you, your background as well as your case in a matter as serious as this.
Contact Our Scranton, Pennsylvania DUI Defense Lawyers
The Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers at our firm have many years experience competently and successfully all types of DUI cases in the Pennsylvania area, including DUI with a child in the car.
Obtaining Alcohol Abuse Treatment
If you are suffering from alcohol abuse/dependency, you may want to consider entering into a treatment program. Several individuals who are arrested for drunk driving in Pennsylvania suffer from alcohol dependency. There are several programs, such as Alcoholic Anonymous that may be able to help you. Do not let your untreated alcohol dependency condition result in subsequent drunk driving arrests. Contact our Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers to find out what programs you can enter into to get the treatment you need.
Pennsylvania’s DUI Case Process
When you are pulled over, and ultimately charged with a DUI in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, there are several stages, or phases, of your case. The outcome of one phase may have a direct impact in the next so it is important that attention to detail is paid and a complete gathering of facts is done after you are arrested.
Please understand that you do not have to face your DUI case alone. There are 2 primary aspects to a Pennsylvania DUI: legal and administrative. Our skilled and experienced Pittsburgh Pennsylvania DUI Defense Lawyers can help you navigate through all aspects of your DUI case. The stages of a Pennsylvania DUI are:
Being Pulled Over: This happens upon the police officer pulling you over either via having probable cause or at a DUI checkpoint.
Breathalyzer/Field Sobriety Tests: Field sobriety tests, usually in the form of breathalyzer test, are typically administered at scene of DUI if the officer has reason to believe you are intoxicated. Smelling like alcohol or exhibiting any odd behaviors or motor skills may give the officer reason to believe you have been drinking.
Arrest: If you blow above a .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) on the breath test or refuse a breathalyzer test you may be arrested at the scene.
Arraignment: This is an informal court procedure where the court presents the charges against you. In turn, they request a plea from you.
Discovery: Once you retain counsel your attorney comprises evidence and relevant information regarding your case. Issues such as reasons you were pulled over, BAC level and administration of field sobriety tests are addressed during the discovery phase. More often than not the police report will contain this information.
DMV Hearing: This is the administrative aspect of a DUI case. When charged with DUI in Pennsylvania the DMV has the authority to suspend your driving privileges regardless of what happens in court. The DMV is a separate entity and they can impose penalties independent of the courts. It is in your best interest to have our Harrisburg, Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers present at your DMV hearing.
Trial (if applicable): While it is ideal to either have your case dismissed, or you take a plea bargain from the prosecution, this is not always the outcome. If no other means of resolution is possible your attorney may take your case to trial. The trial, should your case go that far, is the final phase of your DUI case.
Hire Our Pennsylvania DUI Defense Lawyers
We invite you to contact our Allentown, Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers to discuss your DUI case in confidence. They can provide you with legal advice and guidance on how to proceed. Do not delay in obtaining legal representation. Doing so may harm your case.
Our network of Erie, Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers serve the entire state of Pennsylvania including: Abington Allentown, Bensalem Township, Bethlehem, Chadds Ford, Chester, Easton, Erie, Lancaster, Lower Merion Township, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Radnor, Reading, Scranton, Wayne, West Chester, Wilkes-Barre, Williamsport and York, Pennsylvania.