Pennsylvania DUI Attorney
A DUI arrest is a serious charge that needs the attention of an experienced attorney. Despite severe penalties and ongoing efforts by Pennsylvania law enforcement to curb impaired drivers, people continue to drink and get behind the wheel. Every year, 38 out of 10,000 Pennsylvanians are arrested for driving while intoxicated, which calculates to approximately 53,000 arrests in 2013.
If you’ve had a DUI, it may be your first incidence of legal trouble, and you should know your rights. The smart solution is to hire an experienced attorney who understands Pennsylvania DUI law and can resolve your case with the best possible outcome.
As a former Senior Assistant District Attorney who’s participated in hundreds of DUI-related trials, Steven Kellis has seen both sides of the law, and knows the many defenses to Pennsylvania drunk driving charges. He has handled cases like yours for twenty years and can give straightforward advice about your arrest. Did the police officer have probable cause to pull you over? Was the breath machine properly calibrated? These are questions Attorney Kellis will investigate. He knows the tactics police and other prosecutors use, and will scrutinize all aspects of the evidence used against you by the prosecution.
Challenging the Evidence
You will need a Pennsylvania lawyer experienced in handling DUI cases who can uncover and expose mistakes and inaccuracies made by police officers. Steven Kellis is Nationally Certified in Field Sobriety Testing and has hands-on experience working with breath and blood test machines used by law enforcement agencies throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
He understands the process of cross-examining police officers and others involved in the administration of sobriety tests and will challenge these tests if improperly given. He will photograph the arrest scene and review the police videotape of the stop, when available. This is a very important part of building a defense and requires a knowledgeable attorney devoted to DUI law. Mr. Kellis works quickly to file pretrial motions to suppress evidence, if possible, which can result in reduced penalties or dismissal of the DUI charge.
The initial method for determining intoxication during the traffic stop is the field sobriety test. After the police officer pulls you over, factors such as whether or not you have alcohol on your breath, slurred speech, or red eyes will be considered. If the officer suspects that you’re intoxicated, you’ll be asked to get out of the car and perform several tests, such as the one-legged stand, walk a straight line, and horizontal gaze nystagmus. The purpose of field sobriety testing is to help the officer determine if you are intoxicated or otherwise impaired and should be arrested for DWI. At least two clues of intoxication must be detected. Field sobriety tests are given at the discretion of the police officer.
The breathalyzer test, usually administered at the police station, is important evidence used against you by the prosecution. This machine measures the amount of alcohol in your blood, referred to as BAC. Since 2003, and the passage of Act 24, the illegal blood alcohol content for drivers 21 years old and over in Pennsylvania is .08 or higher. If you are under 21, you are considered to be DUI if your BAC is .02 or greater. Breath machines require maintenance and calibration, and sometimes give faulty readings. There is also the possibility of human error from the police officer administering the test. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) an estimated 23 percent of drivers tested with a breathalyzer will have a BAC higher than their actual blood alcohol content.
Law enforcement officers typically administer a blood test, also used to determine your BAC. For some of his clients, Attorney Kellis has discovered that the BAC was lower than the legal limit after retesting blood samples through a private lab. An expert needs to examine every detail of a DUI charge in order to provide a successful defense.
About Steven Kellis
Having worked as a prosecutor and a defense attorney, Mr. Kellis understands both sides of DUI law. With more than 20 years of experience in jury trials, Mr. Kellis specializes in handling all types of DUI-related charges, from simple Pennsylvania drunk driving arrests to vehicular homicide. Because of his strong PA DUI background, he has a high rate of success. Mr. Kellis is proud to provide clients with assistance in defending their rights when accused of a crime.
Concentrating on a single practice area allows Mr. Kellis to provide a highly focused defense for his clients. The law firm of Steven Kellis represents clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, including the counties of Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, Bucks, Lehigh, Berks, Lancaster, Northampton, Monroe, Carbon, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lackawanna, York and other counties in Pennsylvania.
Mr. Kellis is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Pennsylvania State Delegate of the National College for DUI Defense, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He graduated from Villanova Law School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University.
Contact Our Pennsylvania DUI Law Firm
Steven Kellis has the experience and knowledge to provide you with skilled legal representation in your DUI case. With his assistance, you can explore the options available to address your charges and make decisions that are best for you and your family. Contact the law office of Steven Kellis today for a free consultation.