Driving under the influence – or DUI – is a serious offense that can lead to fines, a suspension of driving privileges, and even jail time. Because these charges can have serious long-term implications, you may wonder if you need a lawyer for a DUI and how one can help. When you hire our team for legal representation, you gain access to multiple services that can benefit your case. Our team will:
- Review the circumstances of your arrest and charges
- Help you understand the penalties you face
- Look for signs that law enforcement violated your rights
- Contest the validity of breathalyzer results
- Move to have the charges dismissed or reduced
- Protect your rights during police interviews and in court
- Offer legal guidance and advice throughout the proceedings
We Can Help You Understand Your Charges and Potential Penalties
First-time DUI charges are usually an ungraded misdemeanor, which is a low-level charge. However, driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) significantly higher than the legal limit, refusing to perform a sobriety test, having prior DUIs, or causing an accident with property damage or personal injuries can lead to harsher penalties.
Our team can help you understand and fight different types of DUI, from drinking and driving to DUI controlled substance charges. The circumstances of your arrest will inform how we proceed with building your defense.
Penalties You May Face for a DUI
DUI charges should not be taken lightly. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), based on your BAC, you can face the following penalties for a DUI charge:
- For general impairment (BAC between 0.08% and 0.099%): either an ungraded or a 2nd-degree misdemeanor, along with fines of between $300 and $5,000, probation, up to two years in prison, a one-year suspension of your license, the use of an ignition interlock device, and attendance of an alcohol highway safety school
- For high BACs (between 0.10% and 0.159%): either an ungraded or 1st-degree misdemeanor, along with fines of up to $10,000, up to five years in jail, a suspension of driving privileges for up to 18 months, the use of an ignition interlock device, and treatment (if court-ordered)
- Very high BAC (0.16% or higher) or controlled substance use: either an ungraded or 1st-degree misdemeanor, along with a suspension of driving privileges, jail time of up to five years, $10,000 in fines, treatment (if court-ordered), and the use of an ignition interlock device
These are serious penalties that can affect you and your family for months or years, so you do not want to leave the outcome of your DUI charge to chance. You need a lawyer for a DUI so that you can gather the evidence needed to fight the charges you face.
Our DUI Attorneys Can Build a Case in Your Defense
Once we know what charges you are up against, a lawyer from our team can begin investigating the case and exploring different scenarios for your defense. For example, this may involve:
- Questioning the accuracy and/or authenticity of your field sobriety test
- Looking for evidence that your BAC was below the legal limit when you were arrested
- Determining if you were unlawfully pulled over and arrested or if the police failed to read your Miranda rights, all of which can lead to lower or dismissed charges
A strong defense against the charges you face is critical if you are to receive a reduced sentence or have your case dismissed altogether. Your BAC, the circumstances surrounding your arrest, your driving history, and many other factors will come into play.
If we are unable to get the charges dropped right away, one of our DUI attorneys can help you determine if your best course of action is to seek a lesser charge or fight it out in court. Either way, we will be at your side offering the legal support you deserve.
Fighting DUI Charges Has Gotten More Difficult
Driving under the influence is a serious offense that can affect your ability to drive, live independently, and secure employment. DUI charges can also lead to significant fines and jail time. In the past, if you were charged with a DUI, an attorney might have argued that you were not drinking and driving but that you were driving recklessly. This argument may have led to lower fines and a higher likelihood of the case being dismissed.
However, new laws – such as the drunk driving per se law – require all impaired drivers to be judged as having been drinking and driving. These laws and their impacts on safe driving have been studied extensively by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and they make it harder to wiggle out of a DUI with minimal penalties.
This can make having a DUI lawyer in your corner arguing your case that much more beneficial. Although we cannot guarantee any outcome for you, a lawyer from our team will use every tool at our disposal to argue for the court to dismiss or reduce your charges.
McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. Can Help
Contact the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. today at (610) 991-7219 to learn more about how we may be able to help you fight a DUI. After a thorough review of your case, if you choose our team to represent you, we will build a defense to fight for the reduction or dismissal of your charges. Call us today to learn more about how we may assist you in a complimentary case assessment.