If you were arrested on charges of driving under the influence (DUI), it’s normal to feel anxious. After all, every part of your life could change if you’re convicted. You could lose your job, any scholarships you were awarded, and your driving privileges. An arrest isn’t a guilty sentence, though. You still have time to fight the charges against you and avoid harsh legal penalties. Our Berks County DUI defense lawyer can help you.
By partnering with a law firm, you eliminate the odds of a misstep in your case. Our Berks County criminal defense lawyers can guide you through the legal process, ensuring you’re aware of each step that lies ahead. When you contact us, we provide a legal consultation to discuss your case in more detail.
A Guilty Sentence Will Stay on Your Criminal Record in Berks County
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the penalties you can face for a DUI conviction depend on any prior offenses you were charged with. Depending on your criminal record, you could face a few days in jail or several years in prison.
You’ll also typically pay fines if you’re found guilty of driving while intoxicated. Often, you’ll be charged between $300 to $10,000 for a DUI conviction. The courts may also decide that you should have your driving privileges revoked, or you’ll need to install an ignition interlock device into your car to ensure you aren’t trying to drive after consuming alcohol.
If you do not successfully fight your criminal charges and are found guilty, your DUI charge will remain on your permanent record. Failing a background check may limit your options for a job, an apartment, and college.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Berks County?
In Pennsylvania, a DUI conviction usually means jail time or probation for at least six months. However, you could face these penalties for as long as five years.
A police officer will arrest you for having a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above .08%. The penalties you face for a higher BAC may be more severe.
You may avoid jail time for a DUI by working with our legal team. We understand how the legal process works in these types of cases, so we’re prepared to defend you against the harsh penalties you’re up against.
Our DUI Lawyer Can Help You Fight the Charges You Face
You can stand up against your DUI charges by working with our legal team serving Berks County. We can inform you of your legal rights, protect you against false accusations, and explain the legal options available.
Our law firm is equipped to create a defense strategy to use in court. When we represent you, we may be able to find holes in the prosecution’s arguments against you. We can also fight to have your charges reduced or dropped entirely.
Sometimes, the police make errors in Breathalyzer testing, field sobriety tests, and traffic stops. If so, we can use this to our advantage and point to the arresting officer’s mistakes.
Below are some additional strategies our Berks County driving under the influence lawyer may use in your defense strategy:
- Establishing that law enforcement used an improper DUI stop
- Proving officers didn’t read you your Miranda rights
- Showing the arresting officer lacked probable cause;
- Offering evidence that law enforcement did not adhere to field sobriety testing standards; or
- Showing that the Breathalyzer produced faulty results.
Don’t wait to get in touch with us. Bringing your case to our firm early enough allows us to create a strong defense on your behalf.
Getting a DUI Charge Cleared off Your Record With Our Criminal Defense Lawyers
It isn’t common to get a DUI removed from your criminal record. In some cases, Pennsylvania law allows expungements, but these are generally only prohibited in cases where the convicted person has died or turned 70 and hasn’t broken the law for ten years or more.
You may also file a special petition with the court after five years—provided you have kept a clean record during that time. Even if you meet these requirements, a judge can deny your request.
How to Get Rid of Your DUI Charge in Berks County
Certain people who were charged with DUI may gain entry to the Berks County Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program.
The ARD program allows first-time offenders to avoid a few of the harsh penalties that accompany a guilty verdict. We can help you apply for ARD with the Berks County District Attorney (DA).
If the DA accepts you into the program, you plead guilty in court. The judge will establish the terms of your program, which will likely require you to complete community service, check in periodically with your adult probation officer, and attend highway alcohol safety school. You must also pay all applicable fines, court costs, and fees.
In exchange for your strict compliance with the ARD requirements, your driving privileges are restored.
Finding a Criminal Defense Lawyer After Facing Drunk Driving Charges
Our founder, Attorney David C. McKenzie III, used to work as a criminal prosecutor. Today, he puts his experience to use for our DUI clients. Understanding the law from the prosecutor’s perspective allows us to fight for your rights.
You don’t have to navigate the complex criminal process without a criminal defense attorney to defend you and protect your legal rights. We offer a free initial consultation and case review to DUI clients. We endeavor to answer all your questions so you can decide how you’d like to move forward. Call our law office today.