Are you facing DUI charges? If so, you likely have a lot of questions, concerns, and fears, like:
- Will I go to jail?
- Will I lose my driver’s license?
- Will I have a criminal record?
- What should I do now?
A DUI conviction will cost you plenty in fines. You will probably lose your driver’s license and you will have a permanent record.
If you want to avoid this devastating series of consequences, your next step should be a phone call to a DUI lawyer in Bensalem, PA.
The drunk driving lawyers at the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., can answer all your questions, protect your legal rights, and help you make the right choices for your future. Contact 610-680-7842 today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys.
How Will a DUI Conviction Affect Me?
According to state law, a conviction for DUI in Bensalem could put you behind bars for five days or five years, depending on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and prior convictions. Fines range from $300 to $10,000 and you may lose your license for as long as 18 months.
You must attend alcohol highway safety school or an alcohol treatment program and you may have to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle you own or drive.
As bad as all of those punishments are, it is the permanent criminal record that causes the most harm for many people.
Your DUI conviction will show up anytime someone runs a background check on you. This means that prospective employers will see it, as will prospective landlords and anyone considering extending you credit. It may prevent you from obtaining professional licensing and it will significantly increase your auto insurance premiums.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI Conviction?
Most DUI convictions have mandatory jail or prison time, while the rest have mandatory probation of at least six months.
The threshold for DUI in Bensalem is a BAC of .08 percent. If your BAC was higher than that threshold or if you have prior DUI convictions, your penalties will worsen based on the state’s three-tier system.
Any prior DUI convictions and BAC readings above .099 will worsen your sentence significantly. Although first-time offenders may qualify for a disposition program, the only way to truly avoid these penalties is to enlist the services of our skilled DUI lawyers immediately.
What Options Do I Have for Fighting DUI Charges?
Although you could try to fight your charges without the help of an attorney, you may not get too far. With our help, your chances of a favorable outcome increase significantly.
We will ensure the protection of your legal rights at all times and help you navigate this complex process. We will also make sure you understand your options every step of the way, fully explaining what your choices may mean for the future.
We start by analyzing your case and examining the evidence the prosecution has against you. If the arresting officer made any mistakes or if your breathalyzer testing did not comply with standards and regulations, we can use this knowledge as leverage to negotiate with the prosecutor.
For example, the arresting officer must adhere to clearly defined procedures and standards for pulling you over and for administering field sobriety testing or roadside breath testing. BAC testing must also comply with established standards for maintaining and calibrating the equipment, training the technicians, and analyzing the results.
If the police violated any of these standards, we may use this information to negotiate with the prosecutor, persuading them to reduce or dismiss the charges against you.
Some of the most common strategies that we use to fight DUI charges include:
- Lack of reasonable suspicion of driver impairment;
- Illegal traffic stop;
- Illegal DUI checkpoint;
- Failure to inform you of your legal rights;
- Faulty field sobriety testing;
- Faulty breathalyzer equipment; and
- Incorrect breath testing procedures.
With us on your side, you will have a better chance for a favorable outcome. It is essential, however, that you contact as soon as possible after your arrest. The longer you wait, the harder it will be for us to negotiate with the prosecutor.
If it does become necessary to take your case to court, you want to give us as much time as possible to build a strong case on your behalf.
Can a Bensalem DUI Get Expunged From My Record?
In most cases, you cannot have a DUI conviction expunged, or removed, from your record. Pennsylvania statutes do provide for very limited expungement in some cases, but only after you reach 70 years of age or after your death.
However, if you have no prior DUI or criminal convictions and if yours was a non-violent offense, you may qualify for the Bucks County Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program.
ARD is a one-time-only program for first-time, non-violent offenders. To participate, you must apply and obtain acceptance from the county District Attorney (DA). Upon acceptance, you must enter a guilty plea and adhere to the terms of the program. This may involve community service, reporting to a probation officer, attending driving school, and other requirements the DA imposes for you.
You will still have to pay fines in this program, so the cost of participating is similar to the costs of a DUI conviction. However, you may get your license back sooner and, after successful completion of the program, you may qualify for an automatic expungement of your permanent record.
Our attorneys will let you know if the ARD program might work for you. If so, we can explain the benefits and help you apply to the program.
Finding a DUI Lawyer in Bensalem, PA
At the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., attorney David C. McKenzie III spent many years working as a prosecutor himself. This gave him the opportunity to handle hundreds of DUI cases from the prosecutorial side.
Today, Mr. McKenzie puts this experience to work for you, defending clients against drunk driving charges.
Contact the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., today to learn more about your options. We offer free consultations and case reviews to help you through this challenging time. Call us today at 610-680-7842 to schedule your appointment or speak directly with a DUI lawyer in Bensalem.