Pennsylvania takes driving under the influence (DUI) charges very seriously—as should you. If you are convicted of a DUI in Plymouth Township, PA, your life will be forever changed. Depending upon the circumstances of your case, you may be forced to pay stiff monetary fines, give up your driver’s license, or even spend time in jail.
Even after you have “paid your debt to society,” you will continue paying for your DUI conviction, which will stay on your permanent record. With this blemish, you will find yourself weighed down by increased insurance rates and frustrating challenges with finding a job and a nice place to live.
A thoughtful and strategic legal defense against this conviction is your best hope for minimizing the negative outcome of your DUI.
Call McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. today for a free consultation: (610) 680-7842.
DUI Penalties in Plymouth Township, PA
The penalties for DUI convictions in Pennsylvania depend on two factors:
- The driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC)
- Prior DUI convictions over the past 10 years
Suspension of Your Driver’s License
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, if your BAC is high (.10 to .159) or the highest (.16 and above), and you have had prior DUI convictions, your current DUI could result in a 12-18-month suspension of your driver’s license. Even conviction for general impairment (BAC .08 to .099) can strip you or your license for 12 months.
Expect to pay a fine between $300 and $5,000—as well as all court fees—for general impairment. If you are convicted of DUI with high BAC levels, you will pay from $500 to $10,000 plus related court costs. The highest BAC level convictions will lighten your wallet to the tune of $1,000-$10,000.
Perhaps the most difficult punishment for a DUI conviction in Plymouth Township, PA is jail or prison time. Even with a general impairment conviction, you face up to two years of incarceration and up to five years for either a high or highest BAC.
The Effects of Aggravating Circumstances
For just about any criminal offense, aggravating circumstances may intervene in the judicial process to increase the severity of the offense and/or the culpability of the defendant. The criteria for “aggravating circumstances” change from one jurisdiction to the next.
Generally, in Pennsylvania, the following aggravating circumstances can impact the penalties you suffer for a DUI conviction:
- If you refuse a blood or breath test, you will automatically be charged with the highest level of impairment.
- If a chemical test reveals the presence of any amount of drug, you will be charged with the highest level of impairment.
- If you are underage and receive a DUI, and you have a BAC of 0.02 or higher, you will be charged with high BAC DUI.
- If you have a minor in the vehicle with you at the time of your DUI, your driver’s license will be suspended for 18 months, and you will pay a $1,000 fine for your first offense.
What to Expect After Your DUI Arrest
Here is what typically happens after you have been pulled over for a DUI in Plymouth Township, PA, and are arrested for DUI:
- You will be taken to a local holding facility to wait for arraignment.
- During an arraignment, the judge will determine whether to hold you overnight.
- After your release, you will receive in the mail notification of your preliminary hearing.
- In your preliminary hearing you and your DUI lawyer in Plymouth Township, PA will go over the evidence.
- The judge decides whether the evidence warrants a trial.
- Based on the judge’s decision, you may be formally charged, and you will enter a plea.
Things can move rather quickly. It is important, particularly during the arraignment, that you do not make any statements that the prosecutors can use against you to make your DUI conviction stick. The sooner you get a lawyer involved, the sooner you can be guided on what to say, and what not to say.
Call McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. as soon as possible for a free consultation: (610) 680-7842.
Options for Fighting Your Charges or Lessening Your Penalties
Now that you see how serious a DUI charge and conviction can be in Pennsylvania, we are here to tell you that there is hope. You have options.
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program
The ARD program is available to some first-offense DUIs. You will need to apply to enter the program. A judge will review whether you have any extenuating circumstances and decide whether you qualify.
Extenuating circumstances can include a person becoming injured in an accident resulting from your DUI, as well as any prior DUI convictions on your record. A DUI attorney can help you put your best foot forward in your ARD application.
Challenging Your Sobriety Test Results
Pennsylvania § 1547 sets rigid standards for BAC testing. Your DUI Lawyer In Plymouth Township, PA can evaluate the procedures your arresting officer followed during the course of your BAC testing. If the officer deviated from an established procedure in any way, your lawyer can challenge the admissibility of these results at your trial. Your lawyer can also review the police report to check for any other external factors that might have influenced your test results or call into question the viability of your arrest.
How a Plymouth Township DUI Lawyer Can Benefit You
Having a local lawyer by your side to guide, educate, represent, and support you will bring a great deal of relief to you in this stressful time. A DUI lawyer in Plymouth Township, PA like David McKenzie knows about alternatives to jail time that can be presented to the judge.
Your DUI attorney may be able to persuade the judge to allow you to participate in a drug court or diversion program, undergo house arrest, or even be granted supervised probation. They can help with your ARD application and talk to the judge about your suitability for the program.
Last, but not least, McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. can lift you up with emotional support—something you may feel rather low on these days. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at (610) 680-7842.
Call Our Firm Today for Help with Your Criminal Charges
When you call our firm, we will listen to the facts of your case, talk to you about your charges in a way that makes sense to you, and review the best defense strategies we can implement in your case.
Call McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. today at (610) 680-7842.