If you face DUI charges in Pennsylvania, a lawyer can protect your legal rights and help you through this frightening and complex process.
A drunk driving conviction may mean jail time, large fines, a suspended license, and a permanent criminal record. However, the attorneys at the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., can work on your behalf to build a strong case in your defense. In many cases, we can negotiate with the prosecutor to have your charges dismissed or reduced.
How Can a DUI Conviction Affect My Future?
Virtually every DUI conviction in the state involves jail time or probation, a large monetary fine, a driver’s license suspension, and a permanent criminal record.
Even after you pay your fines, serve your sentence, complete traffic school, and get your license back, your DUI conviction will affect your life profoundly.
Your auto insurance rates will skyrocket and you may struggle to even get car insurance. You may not qualify for many types of professional licensure once you have a conviction on your record. Your drunk driving conviction will also show up any time someone runs a background check. That means you may encounter resistance if your try to rent a house or apartment, get a job, or rent a car.
Potential DUI Penalties in Warminster
According to state law, conviction for a DUI in Pennsylvania may mean time behind bars, significant monetary fines, and the suspension of your driver’s license.
Penalties for DUI follow a three-tier system. The penalties increase in severity depending on your past criminal record, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), and any extenuating circumstances connected with your arrest. In Warminster, the BAC limit is .08 percent.
Do I Have to Go to Jail for a DUI?
ARD is a pre-trial intervention program open only to non-violent, first-time offenders. The program’s purpose is to help first-time DUI offenders avoid going to jail and to reduce repeat offenses. Completing the ARD program can also reduce the amount of time your driver’s license suspension.
We can provide a full explanation of the ARD process. If you decide this approach is best for you, we can complete the necessary application paperwork and provide a recommendation to the court.
Can I Have a DUI Removed From My Record?
Expungement of a DUI conviction is difficult to achieve. In many cases, the convicted person must die, reach 70 years of age without committing any crimes in the last 10 years, or petition the court five years after their conviction.
Successfully completing the ARD program is the easiest way to remove a DUI conviction from your record—otherwise it may remain on your record for life. Once you successfully complete ARD, you may qualify for an automatic expungement of your DUI conviction.
The best way to ensure that you do not have a DUI on your record is to let us negotiate to have the charges dropped or reduced to a less serious crime. If we cannot convince the prosecutor to reduce or dismiss your drunk driving charges, your next best option is taking your case to trial.
How Can a DUI Lawyer Help Me?
We will protect your legal rights and ensure that you understand all of your options. We also understand how the process works in Pennsylvania and we know where the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case may lie.
The police have a tough job as it is. Because our communities place excessive pressure on law enforcement to crack down on drunk driving, sometimes this pressure can lead to shortcuts and mistakes in traffic stops. Our attorneys can seek out these shortcuts and errors to determine if your arrest was valid.
For example, an officer must have reasonable suspicion of some problem before pulling you over. To test your blood alcohol concentration, the officer must have probable cause to believe that you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If the officer lacked a valid reason for pulling you over, we can fight to exclude or invalidate any subsequent evidence obtained. If the police fail to administer field sobriety testing or roadside breath testing correctly, we may succeed in having that evidence thrown out.
Using this information, we can negotiate with the prosecutor to have your DUI charges reduced or even dropped. If your case does proceed to court, we have the background and experience to collect the evidence necessary to build a strong case in your defense.
Remember, our DUI attorneys are familiar with the local courts, judges, and prosecutors. This provides you with an even greater advantage, as the prosecutor will realize that you are serious about fighting your charges.
If you have prior DUI convictions on your record or if you had aggravating circumstances that may increase the severity of your charges, having a drunk driving lawyer is even more important. Repeat offenses carry significantly higher penalties and you will not get the opportunity to participate in an ARD program.
Finding a DUI Lawyer in Warminster, PA
At the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., Attorney David C. McKenzie III provides aggressive, accessible representation for DUI clients. In his previous role as a prosecutor, Mr. McKenzie handled thousands of criminal cases, many of which were DUIs. This insider’s perspective will help ensure that he builds the strongest possible case in your defense and helps you obtain the best possible outcome for your future.
Because we want you to understand your options and make the right choice for yourself, we offer free consultations and case reviews. We also offer flexible hours and accept appointments during evenings and weekends.
Contact us today at 610-680-7842 to schedule your appointment or to speak directly with a DUI lawyer in Warminster.