Nobody ever wants to have to call a DUI lawyer. But you are here because you are facing drunk driving charges in Cheltenham and need help navigating the legal process and building a defense to protect your rights. A DUI charge in Pennsylvania is a serious matter. Not only are the penalties severe, but a DUI charge also creates a social stigma that lingers long after you complete your sentence.
If you are in the Cheltenham area in Montgomery County, call McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. to review your case and discuss how to build your defense, possibly reduce your charges, or even have your case dismissed outright. DUI defense is one of our primary practice areas. Our Cheltenham DUI lawyer knows the Montgomery County court system and can help you explore which legal approach is in your best interests.
What does a Cheltenham DUI Attorney Do?
We’ll begin by examining the basics of the case and finding answers to important questions, such as:
- Was the officer justified in pulling you over? Police officers must have good reason to suspect a driver is drunk before pulling them over. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. We will explore whether the officer had probable cause to pull you over.
- Did the officer properly conduct your field sobriety test? Pennsylvania’s implied consent law (Pa. Act 24 § 1545) requires drivers to submit to chemical testing (e.g., breath, blood, or urine testing) of their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, motorists can refuse a field sobriety test (e.g., standing on one leg, following a penlight with their eyes, walking in a straight line and back, etc.). If you agreed to take these field sobriety tests, we may investigate whether the officer conducted them properly.
- Are the chemical BAC test results admissible as evidence? In some cases, officers fail to properly administer breath and other tests of blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Faulty machinery may also affect the results of these tests. We’ll explore whether any circumstances surrounding the administration of the chemical testing may have affected the results. Procedural or machinery errors could render the results inadmissible as evidence.
- Was the suspension of your driver’s license correctly administered? If you refuse a chemical test and are arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania, you face a 12-month suspension of your driver’s license even before conviction on DUI charges. You can appeal the suspension but must act within 30 days. We can help you meet this deadline and appeal the suspension.
- Do you qualify for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD)? First-time DUI offenders may qualify for ARD, which dismisses your case upon successful completion of a rehabilitative program. You must meet all requirements of the ARD program, which may include an alcohol highway safety course, alcohol treatment, and a license suspension. Your DUI can be expunged from your criminal record afterwards.
A Cheltenham DUI lawyer at McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. will provide an objective evaluation of your case and explain what to expect as we handle every aspect of your case. Our DUI defense is comprehensive. We can help you appeal your license suspension, explore whether you qualify for ARD, represent you in discussions with prosecutors about reducing or dismissing charges, defend you in court (if necessary), and even help you expunge your record later, if you qualify.
What Penalties do I Face if Convicted of DUI in Cheltenham?
Getting legal representation after a DUI arrest is important because there is a lot at stake. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the penalties for drunk driving in Pennsylvania depend on your previous record and your level of intoxication.
First Offense DUI Penalties in Pennsylvania
If this is your first DUI arrest, there is no risk of prison time for a BAC between 0.08 and 0.099. In this circumstance, you could receive up to six months of probation, a $300 fine, and possible mandatory treatment or alcohol highway safety training.
But if you have a BAC at the high (0.10 to 0.159) or highest level (0.16 or higher), you face up to six months in prison, a 12-month license suspension, and fines up to $5,000, even if this was your first offense.
Penalties for Two or More DUI Convictions in Pennsylvania
If you have a record of drunk driving, it only gets worse. For example, a defendant with a high-level BAC who already has two or more prior DUI offenses could face up to five years in prison, $10,000 in fines, and an 18-month license suspension.
Motorists with prior offenses found guilty of driving at higher levels of intoxication (0.10 and higher) may also need to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for a year, which functions like a breathalyzer and prevents a vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol. If you were in an accident and caused injuries, you may face felony charges, bringing even stiffer penalties.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney for a DUI in Cheltenham?
With so much at stake, you may want to work with a Cheltenham DUI attorney who can represent you and hopefully reduce charges or even dismiss the charges altogether. Still not convinced? Here are a few more reasons to get legal help after your DUI arrest in Cheltenham:
- Depending on the circumstances of your case, your lawyer might be able to bargain your case down to an alcohol-related reckless driving charge, also known as a “wet reckless.” It carries lower fines and jail time. This may be possible if you are a first-time offender, your BAC was borderline, and there were no other charges stemming from the arrest.
- We can help you petition for an occupational limited license, also known as the “bread and butter” license, which will enable you to drive to work, school, and other vital commitments (75 Pa. C.S.A. § 1553). This can be a confusing process. McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. can guide you through it.
- We know the legal process specific to drunk-driving cases in Montgomery County and know which evidence to request, which questions to ask, and what reductions in sentencing are possible.
Former McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. Clients Tell Their Stories
You will not be the first DUI client we represent—far from it. Our team has handled many DUI defenses, securing favorable outcomes for many of those clients:
- “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
- “Had an employee go through a rough patch while out in Pennsylvania. He was out there for business and caught a serious felony DUI with a major accident. McKenzie Law Firm really came through! Thank you for your professionalism and getting our team member back on track.” – Andrew Sterling, employer of a former client
- “David is such a prolific and excellent attorney. Anyone accused of DUI or other crimes has to give this law office a call before anyone else, just to set the bar and expectations. You will not be sorry you called him. Highly recommended.” – Martin Judnich, former client
- “I would recommend McKenzie Law Firm to all and any DUI and criminal cases in Pennsylvania. Working for a law firm in San Diego, CA I can rest assured that our [clients’] friends and family in the Pennsylvania area are in good hands with Mr. McKenzie.” – Cassandra Michel, colleague
These are real testimonials from real clients, colleagues, and friends of McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. If you hire us to lead your DUI case in Cheltenham, you can expect the same positive experiences that these clients rave about
What Clients Appreciate Most About Our Law Firm
When speaking with our clients, we find that they appreciate several specific aspects of our firm, including:
- Our active communication: As you can see from testimonials, our clients can reach attorney McKenzie and other team members whenever they need them. We understand that a DUI case can create anxiety and that worries about your case don’t abide by a nine-to-five schedule. When we handle your case, you can contact us at any time with questions and concerns and expect a prompt response.
- Attorney McKenzie’s background as a prosecutor: David McKenzie spent several years as a criminal prosecutor. This experience allows him to share with clients how prosecutors approach DUI cases. This perspective may be especially helpful when attorney McKenzie negotiates case settlements with current prosecutors.
- Our knowledge of DUI law: Because we regularly handle DUI cases, we know the latest developments in DUI law. We’re always prepared to argue on our clients’ behalf because we know what is and is not legal when it comes to pulling over, testing, and arresting those accused of DUI.
Contact McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. Today for a Free Consultation
Our law firm provides full service. We will handle your case from start to finish. By taking your defense off of your hands, we hope to minimize your stress as much as possible.
David McKenzie is a Cheltenham DUI attorney with years of experience fighting for drivers accused of DUIs. If you are facing a drunk-driving charge, call (610) 680-7842 today for a free consultation.