In Pennsylvania, drunk driving charges are some of the most common criminal offenses; they also carry some of the harshest penalties. If you are facing prosecution for DUI in Audubon, PA or one of the neighboring communities, you must make a series of important decisions about your case, all of which can significantly affect your future. Because a conviction includes harsh penalties, it is critical that you understand the charges pending against you. Knowing how the legal process works can also help you identify potential strategies for mounting a defense. Unfortunately, the Pennsylvania DUI statutes are lengthy and complex, and a misstep anywhere along the way can jeopardize your case. When you trust an Audubon DUI lawyer from the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. to assist you through the process, you are being proactive about protecting your future.
Will I go to jail for a DUI?
The penalties you face depend on your blood alcohol content (BAC) and whether you have prior convictions. While you won’t likely face jail time if it is your first DUI and you blew a .085, you will if this is your second time facing DUI charges. Check out our table below to determine the penalties you might be facing.
Are there any factors that could increase these penalties?
Several factors can increase the potential penalties of a conviction for drunk driving. These include:
- Being under 21
- Driving a commercial truck
- Refusing to submit to BAC testing
- Being under the influence of a controlled substance
- Children present in the car
- An accident resulting in injury, death, or property damage
If any of these conditions apply to your case, you may face the risk of increased fines, prison time, or other expanded punishment. And, although you must take any drunk driving charge seriously, facing any of these aggravating circumstances requires the assistance of a knowledgeable Audubon DUI lawyer. Choosing a DUI attorney who has experience working with these exacerbating factors can influence your case outcome in a positive manner.
How might a DUI affect my life?
From the time of your arrest, you can expect the legal process to take about six months. After the initial charges are filed, the courts will schedule a preliminary hearing followed by a formal arraignment and, if your case proceeds, a trial. You will need to appear at most or all of these proceedings, depending on how you choose to respond to the charges. Whether you enter into a plea arrangement or are found guilty at trial, you must then serve any required jail time or probation, pay your fines, and attend any court-mandated drug or alcohol programs. You may also have to perform community service. Even once you have satisfied the terms of your sentence, you will not be able to put the situation behind you. Your conviction becomes a permanent part of your record, and the information will be available to anyone who runs a background check. Financially, you will struggle to obtain car insurance and, when you do find a carrier that will insure you, you can expect to pay significantly higher premiums. Potential employers and landlords may legally decline your application for a job or rental home. Your criminal record may even hamper your ability to obtain credit or a professional license, such as that required to work in real estate.
How can I fight Audubon DUI charges?
Although every case is unique, an Audubon DUI lawyer can evaluate the evidence against you to identify potential weaknesses. An attorney who specializes in criminal defense for drunk driving charges can work on your behalf in three ways.
- Having your case dismissed. This is the best possible outcome, as no evidence will exist that you were ever charged. Once your lawyer has the opportunity to review the evidence in your case, he can pursue any weaknesses to convince the prosecutor or the judge that your case has no merit. To achieve this outcome, it is critical to have your Audubon DUI attorney in place and working on your behalf as quickly as possible after your arrest.
- Negotiating reduced charges. If the judge or prosecutor is unwilling to drop the drunk driving charges entirely, your attorney may be able to negotiate a reduction in the charges. In that case, you may be able to enter a guilty plea for a less damaging charge that will not affect your life as severely as a DUI conviction would. Again, having our team on the case early in the process will provide the best opportunity for having your charges reduced.
- Winning an acquittal in court. Although going to court is not the ideal course of action in many cases, an Audubon attorney from the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. knows the strategies necessary for prevailing in the courtroom. This approach will require mounting an aggressive defense, including gathering evidence that will provide you the best possible advantage.
Our team will look into all your options, whether that is fighting the charges, accepting a plea deal, applying for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, or taking your case to trial.
Call the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. today.
When choosing a lawyer to represent you in your Montgomery County DUI case, consider how profoundly a conviction may change your life. Understanding Pennsylvania and Montgomery County laws and legal processes will help protect your rights. But it is equally important that you comply with all court requirements and timelines. When you have a DUI attorney working on your case, you can avoid these potentially devastating missteps. Because time is of the essence, act quickly to find the best local lawyer to assist you in your case. Contact the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. today to schedule your consultation with our Audubon DUI lawyer: 610-680-7842.