Yes, a single DUI conviction will not prevent you from buying a gun in Pennsylvania. However, if you’ve been convicted of three or more DUIs in the past five years, you will be prohibited from buying a gun.
What Else Can Prevent You From Buying a Gun in Pennsylvania?
There’s a range of other prohibiting conditions that can bar from purchasing a firearm in Pennsylvania, including:
- Being a fugitive from the law
- Having been convicted of being in possession of a controlled substance
- Being an illegal resident of the United States
- Having been convicted of a range of crimes, including theft, robbery, and the intimidation of witnesses
This is not a complete list of prohibiting conditions. Generally, though, having a serious conviction on your record will prevent you from purchasing or owning a firearm in Pennsylvania.
Can DUIs Prevent You from Doing Anything Else?
Yes, DUIs have multiple long-term consequences. For instance, having a DUI can prevent you from entering Canada. While this is a strict regulation, there are a few ways to get around it. You may be able to get into Canada with a DUI if you:
- Are in possession of a temporary resident permit
- Prove to the border guards that you’ve been rehabilitated
- Received a record suspension
- Have successfully applied for rehabilitation
Several other countries share Canada’s strict border policy, so it’s best to check where you can travel if you have a DUI on your record.
Will Prospective Employers Ask About My DUI?
DUIs can make the job application process difficult, too. Employers typically request that potential job candidates provide a list of their previous convictions, DUIs included. If prompted, you shouldn’t try to hide your DUI. Instead, be honest with the hiring manager. Tell them that the DUI was a stupid mistake and that you’ve grown since you received your conviction. The hiring manager questioning you about your DUI you is an opportunity to address this error head-on.
Can a DUI Conviction Affect My Car Insurance Rates?
Yes, DUI convictions typically increase car insurance rates. According to Forbes, a DUI conviction increases a policy holder’s rate by 63% on average. This rate increase usually lasts between three to five years, depending on your behavior after your conviction. Car insurers sometimes drop clients who have been convicted, as well.
What Is Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD)?
The ARD program is designed to cut courtroom costs and offer first-time DUI offenders a second chance. Through the program, you can avoid a jail sentence, and may have your record expunged.
Eligibility slightly differs from county to county. Typically, though, you must meet these criteria to qualify:
- This is your first DUI offense, and you have no previous convictions
- There was not a child under the age of 14 in your vehicle at the time of the accident
- You must have a valid driver’s license
- You must be willing to pay for the program, which costs $2,500 on average
- You must be willing to submit to a drugs and alcohol test
Completion of the ARD program typically involves six months of community service time, alongside the attendance of a highway safety school. While this program can’t benefit those with multiple DUI convictions, it can be very beneficial to those facing their first DUI case. If you’re curious about the program, consider contacting a lawyer. They can tell you more about the benefits of ARD.
Should I Hire a Lawyer If I Have Been Charged With a DUI?
A lawyer can assist you in several ways if you are faced with a DUI charge. They can:
- Explain your potential penalties and help you understand how they might impact your life
- Fight for your rights in the courtroom
- Use a plea deal to negotiate for better sentencing
- Suggest that breathalyzer results were invalid
- Investigate your case and determine if law enforcement violated your rights
These services can help you in your fight against your DUI charge, which can have serious consequences. In Pennsylvania, these are the penalties you’ll face if you’re charged with a first-time DUI:
- General impairment: General impairment DUI charges involve cases where the defendant’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was between 0.08% and 0.99%. If convicted of this charge, you could face $300 in fines, a probationary period, and an ungraded misdemeanor.
- High BAC: If your BAC was between 0.10% and 0.159%, you could face a high BAC charge. This conviction involves up to six months in jail, increased fines, a 12-month license suspension, and an ungraded misdemeanor.
- Very high BAC: Any BAC above 0.16% is grounds for a very high BAC charge. With this charge, you’ll receive an ungraded misdemeanor, up to six months in jail, a 12-month license suspension, and between $1000 and $5000 in fines.
These are penalties for first-time offenders. If this is your second or third DUI, you could face more serious consequences. For example, if you’ve already been convicted of multiple DUIs in the past, you could be looking at up to five years in prison.
Consult a Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer Today
Contact our firm today and let us get to work for you. We’re here for the residents of Pennsylvania and want to help them get their lives back on track. You deserve legal representation if you’ve been charged with a DUI. We’ll fight aggressively for your rights.