In Pennsylvania, DUI conviction means harsh fines, suspension of your driver’s license, and potential time behind bars. It also leaves you with a permanent criminal record that can prevent you from getting a job, holding a professional license, or even renting an apartment. Do not risk your future by trying to fight your drunk driving charges on your own. Contact us today at 610-680-7842 to set up a free case evaluation with a Lower Providence DUI lawyer.
The Pennsylvania DUI attorneys at the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., can protect your legal rights and fight to have your charges reduced or dropped. If you must go to court, we will build the strongest possible case in your defense.
What Are the Penalties for a Lower Providence DUI Conviction?
The penalties established for a drunk driving conviction include stiff fines, probation or jail time, and a lengthy suspension of your driver’s license.
Under state law, if you have no prior offenses on your record—and if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) did not exceed 0.10 percent—the judge has the option of letting you off with probation. This is also called community supervision.
If you have previous drunk driving convictions in Pennsylvania or any other state, or if your BAC registered at 0.10 percent or above, your sentence may include jail time.
In the table below, you can see the penalty structure that the statutes establish for Lower Providence DUI conviction.
You must also pay your court costs and fees and attend an educational program called alcohol highway safety school. The judge can order you to rehab or a substance abuse program for treatment and compel you to install an ignition interlock device on your car for a year or more.
As harsh as those penalties may sound, the permanent criminal record poses the biggest threat to your future.
Whenever someone runs a background check on you, they will see your conviction. This can make it difficult for you to get a new job, rent a house, obtain professional licensure, or get admitted to a good school. You will also have a harder time getting car insurance and face insurance premiums that can cost much more than you previously paid.
Do I Need a DUI Attorney for DUI Charges in Lower Providence?
Nothing in the Lower Providence statutes says that you have to use a DUI lawyer. However, with so much at stake, you should consider all the benefits we can offer you.
We can ensure that you understand how a drunk driving conviction can affect your future and explain each of your legal options. We will serve as your advocate throughout the entire process, protecting your legal rights and ensuring that you make the best possible choices for your future.
Most importantly, however, we can identify any potential weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case against you and use them to your advantage. We may be able to negotiate a reduction in your charges or, ideally, a full dismissal of your charges.
How Will a DUI Lawyer Fight My Drunk Driving Charges?
Because Pennsylvania takes such a harsh stance on drinking and driving, innocent people sometimes get arrested and go to jail for DUI. In other cases, the police may violate your legal rights during a traffic stop.
Legally, the police must have a reasonable suspicion that you were driving drunk or otherwise breaking the law before they can stop your car. If they stopped you without having reasonable suspicion, any evidence they obtained may be illegal. If they failed to properly administer the field sobriety test, we could also argue that the officers lacked probable cause to arrest you.
Another potential defense strategy involves the BAC testing process. The breathalyzer equipment used must meet strict standards for testing and calibration. The technician who administers the test must have proper and current certification. If the equipment or technician failed to meet these standards, we can argue that this evidence is not admissible.
A Lower Providence DUI lawyer will use any potential problems with your case as a point of negotiation with the prosecutor and leverage for a reduction or dismissal of the charges. If your case does go to court, we can use any of these strategies as a part of your legal defense.
Do I Have Other Ways to Avoid Jail Time?
If this is your first DUI in Lower Providence, you may qualify for the Montgomery County accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD) program. The ARD program gives first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to avoid jail time and a permanent criminal record.
If you qualify for this program, we must prepare a written application and submit it to the Montgomery County District Attorney (DA). The DA and the Montgomery County ARD Captain review the application. If they agree to admit you to the program, you must go before a judge and plead “no contest” to the charges.
You must enter into an agreement with the court to complete the requirements of the ARD program. These typically include probation, community service, an alcohol treatment program, and fines and court costs. Once you complete all of the program requirements, you can have your record expunged.
If you do not complete the program requirements—or if you subsequently get arrested for another DUI—the court will sentence you in accordance with the original DUI charges.
Because this is a discretionary program, the DA and ARD Captain can decline your application for any reason. Having one of our attorneys prepare your application and represent you through this process can help to ensure that you do everything possible to obtain entry into this potentially beneficial alternative.
How Can I Meet With a Lower Providence DUI Lawyer at No Cost?
Before you make any decisions that could affect your future—and definitely before you make any statements to the police or prosecutor—talk to a DUI lawyer in Lower Providence.
The McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., will provide a complimentary consultation to answer your questions and explore the potential options for your case. Contact our office today at 610-680-7842 to learn more.