All people, no matter how good they may be, make mistakes throughout their lives. One such mistake may be a DUI charge. Unfortunately, even a first-time DUI charge can have negative repercussions for an individual’s personal and professional life. As law enforcement officials in Pennsylvania and nationwide have continued to increasingly crack down on DUI, even those individuals with no prior history of DUI or related offenses can face severe consequences.
We understand that good people are capable of making mistakes and that many first-time DUI charges are simply that – mistakes. Our goal at The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis is to calm your concerns by thoroughly preparing your case and taking an aggressive stance to defend your rights against the pending DUI charges. Mr. Kellis has used his 20 years of jury trial experience and his dedication to exclusively defend clients against DUI charges to help them avoid the severe penalties of a first-time DUI offense. Contact Mr. Kellis for an immediate free consultation, and learn more about the strong defense that he can provide for you in your first-time DUI case.
Penalties for a First-Time DUI Conviction
Pennsylvania law classifies drunk driving offenses and their resulting punishments according to the blood alcohol content (BAC) level of the individual at the time of the alleged DUI. These offenses and some of their potential penalties are grouped as follows:
- General Impairment: BAC 0.8-0.9%: Probation that does not exceed 6 months, fines of $300.
- High BAC: BAC .10-0.159%: 48 hours to 6 months in jail, $500 to $5,000 fine, 12 month license suspension
- Highest BAC: BAC 0.16% and higher: 72 hours to 6 months in jail, $1,000 to $5,000 fine, 12 month license suspension
The good news is that for a first-time DUI offense that is classified as General Impairment, there is no mandatory jail time and no mandatory driver’s license suspension. However, a first-time DUI offender whose offense qualifies as a General Impairment may face up to six months of probation, attendance at Alcohol Highway Safety School, and fines of up to $300.
If, however, you refuse to undergo an alcohol breath test at the time of DUI arrest, you may be required to drive only using an ignition interlock device for one year. Likewise, a DUI offense involving a High BAC or Highest BAC may subject you to higher fines, mandatory terms of incarceration, and a mandatory driver’s license suspension. Steven E. Kellis has represented countless individuals charged with a first-time DUI, and wants you to be aware of not only the potential penalties, but also the options that you may have in terms of dealing with your charge.
Alternatives to a First-Time DUI Conviction
In some cases, a DUI conviction may be inevitable. However, there are options that may be available to first-time DUI offenders that can help keep your record clean. Aside from the many defenses that may apply to your case, a first-time offender may qualify for a deferred verdict and a period of probation. If an individual successfully completes the probationary period, then the offense may be removed from the individual’s permanent criminal record. Depending on your circumstances, you could qualify for Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, which allows you to complete certain requirements, including alcohol education classes. Again, if you successfully complete the program requirements, you will be able to have the offense wiped clean from your record.
Contact Us | Free Consultation
At The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis, we devote our practice exclusively to representing those who have been accused of DUI or DUI-related offenses. Mr. Kellis can provide you with unparalleled experience and a unique knowledge of Pennsylvania DUI laws. For a free consultation regarding your DUI charge, contact us today.