If you are facing DUI charges, secure representation from an Abington DUI lawyer at McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. We know the ins and outs of the court system in Montgomery County. We will give you our objective evaluation of your case and a no-nonsense explanation of your prospects so we can decide on the best course of action.
Driving under the influence (DUI) cases are complex and require in-depth knowledge of the law to exercise your rights fully. If convicted of a DUI offense, you may face a prison sentence and other penalties, not to mention the DUI will remain on your criminal record.
The ramifications of such a record could include job loss or lost opportunity for future positions, as well as lost income while serving a prison sentence. A driver’s license suspension could prevent you from commuting to work or performing certain work duties. You may also have to appear in Abington traffic court.
DUI Penalties in Pennsylvania Are Severe
Pennsylvania has a tiered penalty structure based on both driving history and blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of the defendant’s arrest. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, categories include general impairment (.08 to .099%), high BAC (.10 to .159%), and highest BAC (.16% or higher).
A first-time DUI offender with a BAC of .08 to .099 will not generally face jail time, but may face several other penalties, including a $300 fine and up to six months of probation.
Penalties only get tougher if your BAC was .10% or above and/or you’ve had prior DUI arrests. If you already have one or more DUI convictions on your record, you could face jail time and steep fines depending on your BAC, including:
- Up to five years in prison
- Fines and penalties ranging from $300 to $10,000
- Up to an 18-month license suspension
- Mandatory ignition interlock device installation on your vehicle for a year
Certain aggravating factors may increase your charges and penalties, including:
- Injury to a passenger, fellow motorist, or pedestrian while committing the DUI
- A child being present in the vehicle
- A DUI occurring while driving with a suspended license
We will look for options to reduce your penalties or plead down to lesser charges, like reckless driving involving alcohol or “wet reckless” charges. We can even file an appeal of your license suspension or seek an occupational limited license so you can continue to drive to work or school and complete other essential errands.
If your BAC was at or just above.08, this is your first offense, and you have an otherwise clean driving record, you may qualify for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). This essentially dismisses your DUI case upon completion of a rehabilitative program.
Do I Have to Consent to a Chemical Test?
Yes. Pa. Act 24 § 1545 requires you to take a chemical test by supplying breath, urine, or blood work if officers lawfully arrest you for DUI in Abington. Refusing to take a chemical test can result in a 12-month license suspension for a first offense or 18 months for a subsequent offense.
Further, the state can use your refusal to allege your knowledge of your intoxication. Refusing to take a chemical test could still result in a DUI conviction and associated penalties.
How Can a DUI Lawyer in Abington, PA Help My Case?
Even if your BAC chemical test came back above the legal limit or you believe your behavior during the traffic stop suggested your level of intoxication, talk to an Abington DUI attorney from our firm about your case.
Several mitigating circumstances may affect the charges against you and the penalties you face. The factors that your Abington criminal defense lawyer will review and potentially argue include:
- Whether the breathalyzer machine was calibrated correctly, the officer administered the test correctly, or the results were faulty
- Whether there was sufficient probable cause to initiate the DUI stop and whether the stop and subsequent arrest were lawful
- Whether you qualify for ARD or reduced charges or penalties; this may require speaking with the prosecutor handling your case
Our Abington DUI lawyer will review all aspects of your case, secure evidence, speak with expert witnesses (if necessary), provide a full evaluation of your case, and help you navigate the legal system in Montgomery County.
Why Shouldn’t I Try to Fight a DUI Charge on My Own?
Even if your DUI charge doesn’t rise to the level of a felony, you should take the potential consequences of a conviction extremely seriously. Hiring an attorney is a basic step for those who want to make the best of a difficult situation.
The risks of handling a DUI case on your own include:
- Failing to evaluate your case accurately: If you don’t have a legal background, you might not understand the nuances of your case. Having Attorney David McKenzie interpret the facts of your case may be revealing.
- Failing to recognize the strengths of your case: An attorney may recognize flaws in the prosecution’s case against you—such flaws can be strengths in your defense. These nuances can be highly technical and may not be obvious to a non-lawyer.
- Neglecting other responsibilities in your life: Handling a DUI defense will require much time and energy. If you try to handle your defense, other areas of your life may suffer.
- Suffering a worse legal consequence than necessary: If you don’t build an effective defense, you may suffer unnecessary legal consequences. A lawyer could secure a better outcome if they can put forth a more compelling case than you could.
You want to choose the right lawyer for you. McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. has a track record of successfully defending clients from DUI charges. Several of those clients have provided positive accounts of our representation:
- “David was very knowledgeable in the area of DUI. He was focused on my [situation] and ensured all of my questions were answered. His pricing was fair and offered a favorable result to my case. If you are looking for a good attorney that will be focused on your situation and needs rather than theirs, call David McKenzie.” – Jennifer, former client
- “After being charged with DUI and refusing a breathalyzer test, I spoke to a few local lawyers on the phone. From the very beginning, David came across as personable, believable, and informative. He helped answer the many questions I had over the phone and through email. If I did email him, he always responded within the same day, sometimes immediately.” – Anonymous former client
- “I would recommend David to any person facing a DUI or another criminal charge. He was very knowledgeable of the entire process from start to finish. This helped to put me at ease through the long wait to be admitted into ARD.” – Matt, former client
We will use our prior experience in DUI cases to seek the best outcome for you.
McKenzie Law Firm Approaches Cases from a Former Prosecutor’s Perspective
David McKenzie is a former criminal prosecutor. He understands the motivations of prosecutors and knows how to negotiate with them.
David McKenzie will use his background as both a prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer as he handles your case. This rare perspective makes McKenzie unique among DUI attorneys in Abington.
If you have been charged with a DUI, do not take it lightly. Call McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., to complete a free consultation. You can reach us by phone at (610) 680-7842. Let us protect your rights. We represent clients in Abington and all over Pennsylvania.