Lawyers Representing Clients Facing Drunk Driving Charges In Pennsylvania
Driving under the influence (DUI) conviction or even an allegation of drunk driving can have devastating consequences on an individual’s life and career. Fortunately, an arrest does not automatically lead to a conviction. Let a DUI defense lawyer at KaplunMarx defend your rights and fight to reach the best possible outcome in your case.
What To Do During and After A DUI Arrest in Philadelphia To Make Sure Your Case Runs Smoothly
If you have been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, there are several steps you can take in order to protect your rights.
First, find a safe place to pull over.
It is very likely that the officer who pulled you over will continue to watch your behavior closely including how you drive, how you pull over, and how you act.
Be polite to the officer. Treat him or her respectfully.
If you are rude or hostile, an arrest is more likely. If the officer asks that you step out of the vehicle, you must comply. If you fail to do so, you could be charged with resisting arrest.
Don’t answer any potentially incriminating questions.
You do have to give your name, license, and registration to the police officer. However, do not discuss details of where you were, if you were drinking or how much you’ve had to drink.
If you are concerned you may incriminate yourself, apologize to the officer and ask for an attorney to be present. Do not make any inaccurate statements. If you don’t know the answers to questions, say you don’t know.
If the police officer asks you to take a field sobriety test, you have the right to decline.
Field sobriety tests are not reliable indicators of impairment. On the contrary, these tests can be extremely subjective.
You could also decline being tested by roadside Breathalyzers. Our lawyers advise individuals to take blood tests or chemical tests, which you are required to take at the police station.
Once you have been released, write down everything you remember.
Write down details such as what you were doing and where you were, how much you had to drink, how the officer behaved, what you told the officer, and if the officer read you your Miranda rights. Contact an experienced DUI lawyer in Philadelphia who will fight for your rights.
Is DUI A Felony in Pennsylvania?
Most DUI charges are misdemeanors in the state of Pennsylvania, however, this crime can be charged as a felony under certain circumstances. For example, if you injure or kill someone while driving under the influence, you could face felony charges.
In the past, offenders could face misdemeanor charges regardless of how many prior DUI convictions were on their record. But, the PA DUI laws recently changed.
Now, the law states that third-time offenders will face felony DUI charges regardless of whether they hurt or killed anyone as a result of their intoxication. This law does not affect first-time offenders, but it could mean harsher penalties for repeat offenders.
What Are The DUI Penalties In Philadelphia County?
The penalties for a DUI conviction can vary depending on the nature of the crime and the offender’s criminal record. If this is your first offense, you could face up to six months of probation, hundreds of dollars in fines, and mandatory enrollment in an alcohol education program.
However, there are more severe penalties for first-time offenders who had a BAC above 0.10%. These offenders could face possible jail time, license suspension, longer probation sentences, and larger fines. Remember, this only applies to first-time offenders. The penalties increase in severity even further for repeat DUI offenders.
People who are convicted of DUI can face other consequences, too. If your job involves driving, you may find yourself without a job if or when your employer sees a DUI on your record.
Your permanent criminal record could also affect your future employment. Even a first-time DUI offense can have a significant impact on your future ability to obtain certain jobs.
More and more employers are conducting criminal background checks. So, it is highly likely that employers may discover your DUI and this could prove to be a factor in a potential employer’s decision to hire you.
If you get convicted of a DUI, your driver’s license could be suspended or revoked. In order to get your license reinstated, you will have to show evidence of auto insurance, which satisfies your state’s minimum coverage. You may require an SR-22, a type of vehicle liability insurance document required by the state Department of Motor Vehicles for “high-risk” insurance policies.
Insurance companies tend to charge convicted DUI offenders much more for coverage, and it could be several years before your rates are reduced again. While most people are aware of the immediate effects of a DUI conviction, many still don’t grasp these long-term repercussions.
How to Beat A DUI With A Criminal Defense Attorney
A drunk driving attorney will stand by your side protecting your rights and fighting for your freedom. Your DUI defense lawyer can review the details of your case to determine whether or not law enforcement followed proper protocol when pulling you over, performing chemical tests, placing you under arrest, and questioning you.
If an error is discovered, your attorney can fight to have certain pieces of evidence thrown out of your case. An attorney can also handle plea bargain negotiations.
If taking an agreement is in your best interests, your attorney will aggressively negotiate with the prosecution to minimize the penalties imposed on you. If your case goes to trial, your attorney will poke holes in the prosecution’s case to put doubt in the jurors’ minds.
A DUI conviction can affect your life for years after the criminal case is over. Your best chance at protecting your future is working with the best DUI attorney in Philadelphia.
Contact Our Award-Winning DUI Defense Law Firm In Philadelphia, PA to Discuss Your Case Today
Have you been accused of driving while intoxicated? If so, seek legal representation from a top DUI lawyer in this state at once. Dealing with the repercussions of a DUI is a difficult burden to bear, but you’ll get through it with our help.
We will fight aggressively to protect your rights and secure your freedom. Schedule a free consultation with a lawyer on our team by calling (215) 939-4895 or filling out the form on our website.