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 over twenty years and can give straightforward advice about your arrest. Mr. Kellis has been named “Top 10 Best DUI Lawyers” and “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” in 2014 and has an “AVVO Rating of 10.0 for Superb Legal Ability”.
Did the police officer have reasonable suspicion to pull you over? Did the police officer have probable cause to arrest you on a DUI charge? Did the police officer read you Miranda Warnings or Implied Consent Warnings? Was the breath test machine properly calibrated? Was the breath test or blood test operator properly certified? Was the breath test or blood test given within two hours of the time of driving? Was the police video of the stop and arrest reviewed? 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.
With 20 years of experience in DUI law, Steven Kellis is more than qualified to defend your case. He’ll diligently research the details of your case, including breath and blood test results, the events during and after your arrest, and more to ensure a thorough review of your situation. Because our practice is limited to Pennsylvania DUI defense, we know exactly what steps to take to boost your chances of an acquittal. When you hire Steven Kellis, you’re partnering with a skilled and meticulous DUI legal team that cares for their clients.
Because a drinking and driving charge can severely alter your life, Mr. Kellis carefully assesses every client’s case with attentiveness and discretion. His comprehensive experience with breath test machines and blood tests gives him an advantage over other Pennsylvania DUI lawyers, and he has consequently resolved hundreds of DIU cases for his clients.
For a free, confidential consultation regarding your DUI charges, please call the Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis today at (215) 240-4031 or complete our contact form.
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A drinking and driving charge can be a confusing and stressful experience, especially if it’s your first arrest. A DUI conviction can permanently alter your life by affecting your ability to drive, your job, your future employment opportunities, and your freedom. The penalties for a DUI in Pennsylvania are potentially severe, particularly when it is not your first offense. The initial step after being charged with a DUI is to immediately contact an attorney for an evaluation. Pennsylvania DUI law is complex and requires advice from an experienced DUI lawyer who can successfully resolve your charge. Because harsh penalties can result from a drunk driving conviction, a strong defense strategy should be built for your case. It is very important to understand your rights before proceeding with the legal process.
Selecting an appropriate attorney to handle your case is vital. Due to the potential complications associated with DUI law in Pennsylvania, it’s important to have representation from an attorney who understands both sides of the law, the prosecution and the defense. Steven Kellis spent five years working with DUI cases as a Senior Assistant District Attorney and DUI Prosecutor, experience that gave him firsthand knowledge of the methods used by prosecutors and police officers in drunk driving cases. As a defense attorney, Mr. Kellis has aggressive investigation and cross-examination tactics, and has represented clients in DUI cases for more than 20 years. His law practice is focused solely on Pennsylvania DUI defense.
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 and glassy 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 DUI. At least two clues of intoxication must be detected. Field sobriety tests are given at the discretion of the police officer and are considered voluntary.
The Portable Breath Test machine, commonly known as the Preliminary Breath Test or PBT, is usually given at the scene to the driver to determine if he is over the legal BAC limit of .08%. The difference between a PBT and a formal breath test is reliability. Although PBTs offer an advantage of a hand held machine in terms of mobility, these devices are far less accurate than those used at the police station or a DUI Center. Thus, a hand held PBT machine is more likely to deliver false readings than an Intoxilyzer 5000 or Datamaster Breath Test Machine. Therefore, these devices should only be used to establish probable cause for your arrest and their numeric results cannot be used as evidence against you in court. Officers are only allowed to testify that the PBT results indicated only the presence of alcohol. Unlike formal breath tests, PBTs are entirely voluntary and you are not required to blow into the PBT breath machine when you are being investigated for a PA DUI. However, if you refuse to submit to a portable breath test, you can still be taken to the police station or DUI Center for a formal breath, blood or urine test. It is important to know that, due to implied consent laws, you are required to submit to any type of formal chemical testing (such as breath, blood, or urine).
In fact, if you refuse to take a formal breath, blood or urine test, you may face more severe penalties than if you would have taken the test and failed.
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.
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Steven Kellis has the experience and knowledge to provide an aggressive defense strategy for clients facing drunk driving or other DUI-related charges. Mr. Kellis is always available to meet with you about your case. Contact our office today at (215) 940-1200 for a free consultation to explore the options available to address your charges and make decisions that are best for you and your family.