Close up of a yellow pencil erasing the words, 'The Past' from old, yellowed paper

3 Reasons to Get a DUI Expunged

 

Too often, Pennsylvanians simply accept their “fate” if they were arrested for a DUI. Not seeing a way out, they plead guilty in hopes of a lighter sentence. Or, they were represented by a shoddy attorney who had no business representing any defendant in court. Regardless of how it happened, that DUI conviction is now on your record. It can stay with you for a lifetime — unless you take action.

Though it is difficult, there are ways to get your DUI expunged from your record in Pennsylvania. If you qualify for expungement, you may be wondering if it’s worth the hassle. The answer is: definitely, and unequivocally, yes! The process of expungement can be lengthy and tedious, but it is well worth it. Here are just three reasons why you should get a DUI expunged from your record:

1. Your Money Matters

After you got your license back, chances are you had to fill out an SR-22 in order to get insurance.Read More

American DUI Checkpoint Highway Road Sign, Red, White and Blue American Highway Sign with words DUI Checkpoint with stormy sky background

What Is the “Ziploc Defense”?

Over the past couple years, a video has surfaced over and over of a man in Florida coming up to a DUI checkpoint, then presenting his license, insurance card and registration in a resealable plastic bag. Also in the bag is a card that states, “I remain silent. No searches. I want my lawyer. Please put any tickets under windshield wiper.” In the video (which has since been removed from YouTube), he seems to get through the checkpoint just fine.

Though the original video is gone, the man responsible, an attorney named Warren Redlich, is encouraging others to use his Fair DUI Flyer. While this seems like a great plan, is it really the get-out-of-jail-free card Redlich says it is? Further, would such a card work for a Pennsylvania DUI checkpoint?

Your Constitutional Rights

DUI checkpoints are set up every now and again by state and local police to catch drunk drivers.Read More

How to Talk to Your Children about Drinking and Driving

One of the most exciting aspects of being a teenager in Pennsylvania is finally getting a driver’s license. No longer is your teen reliant on you to get them around. They now have more freedom to drive themselves to school and work. However, they may also decide to drive to social functions and parties as well. If these parties will have alcohol, there is a risk of your teen being pressured into drinking — and then driving.

As much as we would like to assure ourselves that our kids would never drink, much less drive drunk, the fact of the matter is that sometimes, things just happen. Being prepared for such a situation, and knowing what to do if your teen is ever in a situation where they may be drinking and driving, can save lives.

1. Set Clear Rules

When your teenager gets their license, set strict ground rules for drinking.Read More

Teenage Boys Drinking Beer

Booze and Minors at a Party? Don’t Risk It

After a long week of work, few things take the edge off like throwing back a few brews with the gang. Going out to bars can get expensive quickly, so why not just party at someone’s house? After all, if everyone gets too drunk to drive a car, they can just crash on the couches and floor. Really, everyone wins.

But what happens if a minor shows up to the party? In general, you’re still in the clear. You and your friends over 21 can continue to pound back the beers, while your 20-year-old coworker nurses root beer instead. While it may be tempting to think, “He’s close enough to 21. Give him a drink!” doing so is downright illegal.

Minors Drinking at Home

In some states, minors may drink at home (and even in some establishments) if they have parental consent and supervision. However, Pennsylvania is not one of these states.Read More

Variety of medicines and drugs

Common Medicines and DUI

When you think of a driving under the influence charge, chances are that alcohol is foremost in your mind. The truth is that people can be charged for driving under the influence when they have any substance in their system that impairs their ability to drive — including over-the-counter and prescription medications.

When an officer charges someone with DUI, they only need to prove that you were in control of a vehicle and that your ability to drive was impaired by some substance. For example:

You have been fighting a terrible cough for weeks and finally decide to take over-the-counter cold medicine. The medicine includes a warning on the label that consumers should not drive after taking it because it can cause drowsiness. You take the medicine before work because you don’t want to spend the day coughing, and you get in your car to head to work.

While driving, you begin to feel drowsy and weave in and out of your lane in front of a police officer.Read More

Female hand rejecting glass with alcoholic beverage on blurred background

Understanding Pennsylvania’s Dram Law

Under a Pennsylvania law called the Dram Shop law, any person or business who provides alcohol to a person who is visibly intoxicated is held legally responsible for any injury or damage that person may cause. The law applies to bars and other drinking establishments, and it also applies to private individuals who are hosting an event.

The dram law comes into effect in court most typically when an intoxicated person causes a vehicle collision or other kind of injury. The person or business who provided the person with alcohol is normally part of a larger lawsuit filed by the victim or victims against the at-fault driver. It’s important to understand, however, that this isn’t the only time this law may be put into effect. For example:

You know that your friend is drunk and beginning to lose control of their inhibitions. You continue to provide alcohol to your friend, they walk out of your house and start a fight with someone else in your driveway.Read More

Two glasses of an alcoholic beverage

Myths About Alcohol Consumption

Chances are that you have heard different myths about alcohol. If you are of the age to drink legally, you may even have acted in a particularly way after knocking back a few because you bought into one or more of these misconceptions. It’s time you learned the truth. You know that just because something is said doesn’t make it real, and these myths about alcohol are no exception.

1. Diet Cola and Alcohol

Some people believe that sipping a diet cola will keep them from becoming as intoxicated as if they stuck to alcohol alone. This is simply not true. What a diet cola will do is make you feel more energized thanks to the caffeine it contains. What it won’t do is keep you from getting drunk. In fact, because diet drinks don’t have sugar to slow the absorption of alcohol, cocktails with diet colas can get you drunk faster.Read More

Drunk young man driving a car with a bottle of beer

Child Endangerment DUI in Pennsylvania

 

Being caught driving under the influence in Pennsylvania carries severe consequences, especially if it is not your first offense. While there are times when a DUI can be charged as a misdemeanor, certain factors can make it an automatic felony. Most of the time, these situations include additional crimes on top of driving under the influence that make the situation much more dangerous. One such crime is child endangerment.

While driving drunk is unlawful, having a child in the car while doing so is far worse. Under Pennsylvania’s child endangerment laws, your DUI will automatically be bumped up to a felony. In addition, the charge of child endangerment will also be added on, which is generally considered a misdemeanor. Nonetheless, it carries severe penalties if you are convicted. Here’s what you need to know about child endangerment DUIs in Pennsylvania.

The Legal Penalties

First, let’s start with the DUI itself.Read More

Party people celebrating in the club

Rethink Driving Drunk This Holiday Season

For many of us, it’s hard to imagine celebrating Christmas, New Years and the holiday season in general without at least a cup of eggnog. Sure, it may not seem like the most appetizing of drinks, but really, is there a more festive, iconic beverage? For those who simply can’t stand it, you might instead have a couple of cocktails or a few beers. Whatever your drink of choice is, holiday parties just aren’t the same without it (especially when the in-laws are in town).

Though it is find to get downright drunk at a private holiday party — as long as you’re over 21 — it is what happens after the party that can become an issue. Choosing to get behind the wheel of the car after a night of drinking and partying is never a good idea. It can, at the very least, land you in legal trouble and, at the worst, cause a fatal accident.Read More

Top view of earphone, calculator, alarm clock, spectacle, notebook, pen, smartphone and chalkboard written with CHECKLIST

Pennsylvania DUI Expungement Checklist

Being convicted of driving under the influence in Pennsylvania can have serious, life-altering consequences. It may be more difficult to find a job, and you may be without a car for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, many of the costly consequences of a DUI simply must be dealt with if you are convicted. However, there is good new for residents of Pennsylvania.

Unlike some other states, Pennsylvania does allow you to get a DUI expunged from your record. What that means is it is like the DUI never happened. It cannot be held against you in any future court cases, on job applications or in any other circumstance. However, the process of getting your DUI expunged from your record is not necessarily an easy task; it can take time, and strict criteria must be met. Here is a checklist for you to consider if you are seeking a DUI expungement:

For Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Cases

In Pennsylvania, the court offers a special program to offenders with a limited criminal record, if any at all.Read More