DUI Attorneys in Pennsylvania
A DUI attorney can represent you if you're charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI). As a misdemeanor crime, a DUI can result in penalties such as fines, court-ordered treatment, and even prison time.
NOTE: The content of this website is intended solely for informational purposes. It is not a source of legal advice and should not be used as such.
Hiring a PA DUI Attorney
Being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania means you'll be facing misdemeanor charges in a criminal court.
Many people charged with such crimes find that having an attorney can save them a significant amount of time and frustration.
Not only can a DUI lawyer represent you if your case goes to trial, they can:
- Appear in court for you or accompany you to court.
- Ensure that correct paperwork is completed and filed.
- Help you determine the best plea or other courses of action based on your circumstances.
To fully understand how a lawyer can help you, you should first learn what can happen if you're convicted of a DUI in PA.
DUI Charges in Pennsylvania
You can be charged with a DUI if you drive drunk or under the influence of drugs.
To determine if you're intoxicated, you'll usually be given a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. If your BAC is at least 0.08%, you are breaking the law.
It is also illegal to refuse to take BAC test or other test for intoxication.
DUI lawyers typically have experience in handling these types of charges.
Penalties for a DUI in PA
Your penalties for a DUI are primarily based on two factors:
- Your prior offenses.
- Your level of intoxication.
Prior DUI offenses and/or a higher intoxication level mean that you can face more serious charges or harsher penalties.
NOTE: You can also face harsher penalties if you get a DUI while driving a commercial vehicle or cause an accident involving property damage or injury.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) outlines the levels of impairment based on BAC levels:
- General Impairment: 0.08% to 0.099%.
- High BAC: 0.10% to 0.159% BAC.
- Highest BAC: 0.16% and higher.
Even if you have no prior DUI charges and your BAC level is at the lowest illegal amount, you are subject to:
- A fine.
- Alcohol safety classes.
- Court-ordered treatment.
A higher BAC and/or prior offenses results in:
- PA driver's license suspension.
- Higher fines.
- Prison time.
- Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
A DUI attorney will understand how the details of your arrest can influence the penalties you receive and recommend the best course of action for you to take.
Costs of a DUI
Getting a DUI is expensive. Not only can you be fined $300 to $10,000 depending on your situation, but you may also need to pay:
- Fees for alcohol education or treatment programs.
- Fees to reinstate your Pennsylvania driver's license (if it's suspended).
- Installation and rental costs of an ignition interlock device.
- Higher car insurance rates.
The already high cost of a DUI may prevent some people from hiring a lawyer. However, a DUI attorney can offer expertise to help you get the best outcome in your situation, which could save you both time and money in the long run.