A Bensalem PA DUI attorney with Steven E. Kellis understands that being arrested in Bensalem can have serious consequences. From a legal standpoint, getting charged with a DUI can make you vulnerable to hefty fines of up to $10,000, the loss of your driver’s license for up to one year, and even up to five years of jail time.
But that’s not all; a DUI charge can also increase car insurance rates. It may even lead to losing your job if your employer finds out about it.
With the high stakes, the worst thing you can do is represent yourself in court or hire a Pennsylvania DUI attorney who doesn’t have the case-specific experience needed to fight for you successfully.
The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis can help. Mr. Kellis has more than 25 years of experience with DUI cases, and as a former prosecutor, he knows how the system works — and how prosecutors and police officers think.
Armed with this knowledge and experience, Mr. Kellis is qualified to fight every aspect of a DUI case, including the results of field sobriety tests, blood tests, and breathalyzer tests that can be used as evidence against you.
Will I lose my license if charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania?
The simple answer to this question is yes: you will lose your license by pleading guilty or being convicted of DUI in Pennsylvania. However, the length of the suspension depends on the offense.
A first-time DUI carries the potential for a 12-month license suspension if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .10% or higher. Many first-time offenders can participate in Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, which avoids jail time and decreases license suspension to 30, 60, or 90 days.
Twelve to 18-month license suspension, the first six of which you cannot drive. After the first six months, you can drive only if you install an ignition interlock device (IID), which you are responsible for buying.
Refusing the breathalyzer or blood test
In Pennsylvania, refusing a chemical test automatically triggers a 12-month license suspension. You can appeal the suspension by requesting a hearing within 30 days. Speak to a Bensalem, PA DUI lawyer as soon as possible so you don’t miss the 30-day window.
Drivers under 21
Underage individuals are subject to a 12-month license suspension if caught with any alcohol in their system. After serving six months of the license suspension, they may be able to drive with an ignition interlock device (IID).
What Are My Options After a DUI Arrest in Bensalem?
You have a few options after you are arrested for a DUI in Bensalem. The two main options are to either plead guilty or not guilty. By pleading not guilty, you tell the court you are fighting your charges.
Your Bensalem PA DUI attorney may advise you to plead not guilty for various reasons, including:
- The breathalyzer wasn’t correctly calibrated
- The police didn’t have proper cause to pull you over
- The chain of evidence was broken
- You were improperly questioned
- You weren’t in control of the vehicle.
In other cases, your lawyer may advise you to plead guilty. However, they will likely only do so if the prosecutor has offered some plea bargain. Plea bargains are standard in DUI cases, especially if it’s your first DUI and you didn’t cause any injury or property damage.
In many instances, a DUI will be reduced to a reckless driving charge. Or, if the evidence isn’t robust, the prosecutor may offer to drop your charges to a minor offense like speeding.
You may sometimes qualify for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program. To be eligible for this program, you must:
- Have never gotten a DUI before
- Not have any violent crimes on your record
- Have not caused any injuries or deaths due to your DUI
- Not have had any minors in the vehicle at the time of the DUI.
If you do qualify for ARD, there are strict rules you must follow. The judge may mandate community service, restitution, substance abuse therapy, highway safety classes, and other rules. You will have to pay for all of this out of pocket. If you complete ARD, you can keep a conviction off your record. However, if you slip up even once, you will likely be sentenced for your DUI.
Because of the cost of the ARD program, taking a plea bargain may be better for your situation. Your Bensalem, PA DUI lawyer will help you determine all of your options after you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence.
Local Courts Where Your Case May Be Heard
Your DUI case will most likely be heard in a district court. There are 18 such courts throughout Bucks County. However, only two of them are in Bensalem. So, if you’re arrested for DUI in Bensalem, no matter where you’re from, one of these courts will likely be where your case will be heard.
The Bucks County website provides the location of these courts. In addition, it provides information about the judges presiding over these courts (as of July 9, 2019):
Judge Michael W. Gallagher
2404 Byberry Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
Judge Joseph P. Falcone
3237 Bristol Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
We are familiar with these courts and judges at The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis. That means we know how to make solid arguments and follow particular procedures in their courtrooms.
That knowledge and experience can make all the difference when finding the right Bensalem DUI lawyer.
Your Experienced DUI Attorney in Bensalem, PA
Although you may be tempted to plead guilty to a DUI charge so you can move on with your life, this decision may put a huge blemish on your record. You will discover other options when you hire a capable Bensalem, PA DUI attorney like Steven Kellis.
Mr. Kellis can argue to get the charges reduced or potentially dropped. If these options are not viable, pleading for a lesser charge could be the best alternative, which may result in a less serious criminal charge and increase the odds of getting your charge expunged.
And if your case goes to court, Mr. Kellis can vigorously fight for you using several strategies. For example, Steven Kellis can argue about the validity of breathalyzer tests, whether or not a police officer had probable cause to stop, detain, or arrest you, and whether or not you were given a Miranda warning at the appropriate time during the process.
These details have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.
Contact an Experienced Bensalem PA DUI Attorney Today
Please don’t leave the outcome of your case to chance by putting it in the hands of an attorney who doesn’t have the know-how to get the job done. When you’re in such a vulnerable position, you should trust only an experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney with your case.
Contact us for a free consultation to learn how Steven Kellis can help you.