Upon conviction for a DUI in Pennsylvania, you will have to pay a substantial fine. You may lose your driver’s license for a year or more and you could spend time in jail. Worse, the conviction will stay on your criminal record forever, potentially preventing you from getting a job or renting a house.
Hiring a Haverford DUI lawyer in is the best way to ensure the protection of your legal rights and the best possible outcome in your case. Contact the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., at 610-680-7842 today to get started.
How Will a DUI Conviction Affect My Life?
The Pennsylvania schedule of DUI penalties and fines is one of the harshest in the U.S. Even your first drunk driving conviction will earn you a minimum of six months of probation.
If you have prior convictions or if there were any aggravating circumstances, those penalties could increase significantly. In fact, you may face up to five years in prison.
Your fines could range between $300 and $10,000. In addition to your fines, you must pay all fees and court costs. You could also lose your driver’s license for as long as 18 months. The judge may require an ignition interlock device on your vehicles for another year. You must complete an alcohol highway safety course and, potentially, an alcohol treatment program.
Your DUI conviction will also become part of your permanent criminal record, with very little possibility of having your record expunged or sealed. Consequently, whenever someone runs a background check on you, they will know you got caught driving drunk.
Potential employers and landlords can reject your application on this basis. You may lose any professional licenses or be unable to obtain licensure in the future.
Finally, you can expect your car insurance premiums to skyrocket as a result of having a DUI conviction on your record.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
Our lawyers can be invaluable when you face drunk driving charges. We will protect your legal rights and fight for your future. We will ensure that you understand the charges you face and how they can impact your future. We will explain your options and help you choose the best course of action for you.
Our legal team has a thorough understanding of how the system works and we know how to work within that system to defend you. As soon as possible, we will dive in and analyze every aspect of your case, in search of potential problems or weaknesses. Using that information, we can often negotiate with the prosecutor for reduced charges or petition the court for a dismissal of your case. Even if your case must eventually go to trial, we can build a strong case in your defense.
Remember, the police do not have your best interests in mind. No matter what they may tell you or encourage you to do—typically plead guilty to the DUI charges—do not make any decisions or answer any questions until you speak to a DUI lawyer.
What Are the DUI Laws in Haverford?
According to state law, you are driving drunk if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or above. Upon conviction for DUI, you will face probation or jail time, pay a large fine, and possibly lose your driver’s license.
If your BAC was above 0.099 percent at the time of your arrest, you will face increased penalties, based on Pennsylvania’s three-tier DUI offense system.
We can explain how the penalty system applies to your case and help you choose the right option for you.
Can a Lawyer Fight the Charges Against Me?
Our attorneys may use one or more legal strategies during a drunk driving case to challenge the prosecution’s evidence. We may argue that the police lacked reasonable suspicion for pulling you over. An officer must suspect that you have broken the law in some way before making a stop. If we can demonstrate that the police lacked reasonable suspicion, it may invalidate the stop. If your arrest occurred at a sobriety checkpoint, we may successfully argue that the checkpoint itself was illegal.
Once the police pull you over, they must establish probable cause before requesting chemical testing for BAC. Typically, an officer establishes probable cause by administering a field sobriety test or a portable, roadside breath test. However, the police must follow established guidelines and protocols to do so.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has established regulations for field sobriety testing and breathalyzer testing for BAC. If the officer did not follow these guidelines, we can argue to have these results and any subsequent evidence thrown out.
The third area of issue in a DUI case involves chemical testing for BAC. The police must adhere to complex rules and guidelines for testing, calibrating, and maintaining breathalyzer equipment. Testing technicians must obtain specific certifications and renew their certification through continuing education. If the police violated any of the guidelines or rules, the judge may disallow the results of your breath testing.
The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get to work finding these or other potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. We will also accumulate relevant evidence for building your defense, in the event your case does go to court.
Do I Have Other Options After a DUI?
If this is your first offense, you may qualify for participation in an accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD) program. The Delaware County District Attorney (DA) oversees the Haverford ARD program. We can advise you on the requirements of the program as well as the risks and benefits.
If you successfully complete the terms of the ARD program, you may qualify for an expungement of your record. However, acceptance into the program is not guaranteed.
Although ARD does not work for every first-time DUI offender, it may provide a preferable alternative to entering a guilty plea.
Choosing a DUI Lawyer in Haverford
You need a DUI lawyer who has your best interests in mind and will protect your legal rights. You also need an attorney with extensive insight into the legal system—particularly as it concerns drunk driving charges in Haverford.
Attorney David C. McKenzie III of the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., has exactly that kind of insight. Having worked previously as a criminal prosecutor, David understands the inner workings of the system. He is standing by to put that knowledge to work on your behalf.
Contact the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., today at 610-680-7842 to schedule a free consultation and case review with a DUI lawyer in Haverford.