What Can I Do If I Am Arrested for a DUI During the Summer?
The summer months typically see an increase in car accidents and drunk driving. Multiple holidays occur over the next couple of months where heavy drinking is involved. July 4 and the Labor Day Weekend are perfect examples of holidays where alcohol consumption is the norm. Police officers generally set up sobriety checkpoints to look for drunk drivers during both holidays. High school and college students are also enjoying their summer breaks during this time. Unsurprisingly, there is also an increase in DUI arrests during the summer.
Understand the Consequences of a Pennsylvania DUI
A DUI conviction can cause major damage to your personal and professional life. Your finances could also suffer. In Pennsylvania, the consequences of a DUI could entail:
- Loss or suspension of a professional license
- Substance abuse treatment
- Misdemeanor or felony on your record
- Driver’s license suspension
- Mandatory ignition interlock device
Simply put, the consequences of a DUI may be far-reaching and severe. Depending on the circumstances of a DUI, these penalties could affect your life for years to come. In cases where a drunk driver hits another person and causes injuries or deaths, the consequences could include years in prison and a felony. The consequences of a DUI arrest in Pennsylvania increase depending on your blood alcohol content and prior offenses. Always take a DUI seriously and seek legal assistance as soon as possible.
Avoid These Common DUI Arrest Mistakes
It is very easy to make mistakes that could jeopardize your case in the moments after a DUI arrest. Common mistakes include:
- Talking about the arrest or admitting guilt: Some people assume they are automatically guilty and unable to defend themselves against a possible conviction. They may admit guilt and speak at length with the police, which significantly increases the chance of a conviction. In other cases, these individuals may discuss their cases on their social media accounts. This also increases the chance of a conviction.
- Waiting to hire an attorney: Never wait to hire an attorney. You may have a preliminary hearing soon after your arraignment. At this point, the prosecution will make their case by presenting evidence of your alleged crime. If there is enough evidence, then the judge may determine the case can move to trial. An attorney can defend you during the hearing.
- Using an inexperienced attorney: It can be a mistake to use a public defender or an inexperienced attorney. You should pick an attorney with a record of resolving DUI cases in Pennsylvania. Depending on the attorney’s skill and the evidence surrounding your case, it may be possible to dismiss the charge against you.
Contact a Pennsylvania DUI Attorney
You need legal guidance in the following days after a DUI arrest because you will need to make an appearance in court. During this time, a DUI attorney can look at the facts of your case to help you determine your next steps. You also have only a couple of days to contest a suspended driver’s license.
About Our Montgomery DUI Lawyer
Stiff DUI Penalties for Convicted Pennsylvania Offenders
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is determined to ensure that those convicted of driving while impaired will receive a sentence stiff enough to discourage repeat offenses. At Fiore & Barber, we are equally determined to ensure that the rights of those accused of this offense are protected, and that their case is vigorously and successfully defended by experienced attorneys.
Penalties vary by blood alcohol content percentage (i.e., BAC%), substance under whose influence the accused was operating a vehicle (e.g., alcohol, controlled substance), number of prior offenses, and age of the accused. Generally speaking, the higher your BAC% and the greater the number of prior convictions, the stiffer the penalties. (more…)
Thanksgiving DUI: Pennsylvania DUI Statistics and Information
With the holiday season quickly approaching, it is a good time to start planning ahead so that you avoid getting a Thanksgiving DUI. Below are some Pennsylvania DUI statistics and information that will hopefully help keep you from getting behind the wheel after drinking this Thanksgiving and holiday season.
In December of 2014, the NHTSA put out a report that outlined the statistics related to drunk driving in Pennsylvania. It revealed that in 2013 there were 1,208 fatal car accidents in the state. Approximately 30% of these accidents involved a drunk driver. That is, a who had a blood-alcohol content that was at or above the legal limit of .08 percent. (more…)
Woman Involved in DUI Crash Will Be Arraigned Feb. 4
Last fall, a Worcester woman was accused of running into a street lamp and then fleeing the scene. She is set to be arraigned in Montgomery County Court on February 4, 2015. She is being charged with two counts of misdemeanor DUI and one count of damage to an unattended vehicle or property.
According to the police report, she ran into a street lamp off of North Wales Road in Whitpain Township around 8:30 p.m. on October 6, 2014. She then turned down Crestline Drive. A police officer witnessed the accident, and another police officer noticed the vehicle outside of her residence a short while later. She was still in the vehicle at the time, and the police officer saw the front-end damage to the vehicle. (more…)
Pennsylvania Legislature Slams Shut Loophole for DUI Offenses
On October 27, 2014, Governor Tom Corbett signed legislation that will greatly affect punishment for certain DUI offenses.
Until this new legislation, subsequent DUI offenses were governed by the decision in Commonwealth v. Haig, 981 A.2d 902 (2009). In that case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that the actions of an individual subsequent to the DUI violation were beyond the scope of the prior offense provision during sentencing. In layman’s terms, this meant that an individual can be convicted as a first-time offender on multiple DUI arrests if those offenses were committed after the first violation.
Under the new amended law, the relevant recidivism time-period to the ten-year period before sentencing (not after violation) will be counted towards the prior offense grading and penalty. It also added the language “whether or not judgment of sentence has been imposed for the violation.” Therefore, going forward, a driver with multiple DUI offenses will be sentenced to much harsher penalties. This provision is effective 60 days from Monday, October 27.
To discuss this amendment or how it may affect your case, please contact Fiore & Barber, LLC.