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PHILADELPHIA DUI ATTORNEY
Why hire a DUI attorney?
The consequences of a DUI conviction are serious. These include prison time, heavy fines, license suspension, alcohol treatment, interlock ignition installation, and raised insurance rates. Even a first time offender may receive severe penalties.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a Zero Tolerance Law for convicted offenders of DUI who are under the age of 21. If you are convicted and are under the age of 21, you will have a license suspension for one year, possible jail time, and be fined between $500 and $5,000.
Driving under the influence is one of the most commonly charged crimes. DUI convictions in Pennsylvania are subject to mandatory minimum sentencing. This means that if you are found guilty of driving under the influence, under most circumstances there is mandatory jail time, mandatory license suspension, and a mandatory criminal conviction. Although there are alternative programs for first time offenders, known as Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARP), entry into these programs require the help of a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney.
The most important thing you can do after being arrested for DUI is to call an experienced DUI attorney.
You need a DUI attorney who knows the Pennsylvania DUI laws, is familiar with blood-alcohol tests (BAC) and field sobriety tests, and the Department of Transportation regulations. Often the best defense in a DUI case is attacking the actions of the police in an effort to show that the car stop or acquisition of evidence such as blood results or breath tests were illegally obtained.
Only an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help guide you through this complicated maze and defenses. Here at ThePhillyLawyers we work hard to minimize the negative consequences by having the charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
Is this your first DUI Offense?
Good people make bad decisions, but driving while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance can be life altering. If you are stopped by the Police for DUI, you will need an expert attorney to help navigate through the process.
ThePhillyLawyers can help you and we have extensive experience in the process. For first time offenders, depending on your Blood Alcohol Content Level (BAC), the penalties for DUI vary. If this is your first offense and your BAC is between 0.08% to 0.099%, you will be facing:
- 6 months of probation
- $300 fine
- Mandatory alcohol highway safety school
- Alcohol and drug treatment
- Community Service
If you are a 1st time DUI offender, you may be eligible for Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition Program or ARD. All counties in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania offer 1st time DUI offenders an opportunity to apply for ARD. This program is designed to divert first time offenders from entering the criminal justice system by suspending the charges against the offender. The Court, however, requires that certain conditions are followed. After filing an application for ARD consideration, and if you are accepted, you will be required to do the following:
- You will need to complete 12½ hours of Alcohol Safety School
- You will need to complete a drug or alcohol treatment program
- You will lose your driver’s license for up to 90 days
- You will have to pay fees and fines from $300 to $5,000
Once you have completed all of the conditions of your ARD, you may be eligible to file a Petition for Expungement. If granted by the Court, your criminal record will be destroyed. The Expungement is at the discretion of the District Attorney and Judge. ThePhillyLawyers have good, professional, and ongoing relationships with the District Attorneys in our counties. These relationships are crucial for a positive outcome for a 1st time DUI.
There are many advantages to the ARD Program. If you are entered into ARD, you will not be “convicted” of a crime, and the loss of your operating privileges will be for a short period of time. Completing the ARD program allows you to answer “no” on job applications that ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime.
ThePhillyLawyers has helped hundreds of clients from their initial DUI arrest to ARD completion. If you are arrested for DUI, ThePhillyLawyers can help you navigate through the process. Please call us today a free consultation.
For additional answers to other commonly asked questions, see the following articles on our blog:
Download here a chart listing the penalties for DUI, depending on the various alcohol levels and whether it is a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or subsequent offense.