Year: 2016

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

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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

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How Does a DUI Affect Employment?

Conviction or not, one of the first emotions people feel when they are arrested and charged with DUI is fear. The fear is generally of the unknown. What is going to happen? What comes next? What will friends and family think? Is everyone going to find out? All of these questions run through a person’s mind, and they tend to run through the mind in a sort of jumble. There is little doubt that being arrested for any crime is stressful, especially if a person has never been on the wrong side of the law before.

In the days following an arrest, emotions become less sharp and other questions begin to surface. It is not unusual for people to begin looking toward both the immediate and distant future. People begin to wonder what will happen to life as they know it if they are convicted. One of the biggest concerns is their ability to maintain their job.Read More

woman-driver-sneezing-in-the-car

Can a Cold Get You a DUI?

It’s that time of year. The weather is changing — and changing rapidly. One day you are bundling up in layers and a down coat, and the next day you are wearing short sleeves and turning the furnace down. Thanks to the odd weather patterns, your body is stressed, and you wind up with a head cold. You have places to go and people to see. You certainly would rather stay in bed than get behind the wheel, but you have no choice.

Not so fast.

Most people don’t know that it is possible to be charged with driving under the influence without a drop of alcohol in your system. If you have a head cold and are taking prescription medication, you can be charged with DUI if you are found to be driving recklessly. It’s a misconception held by many that driving under the influence deals strictly with alcohol. A person can be charged with DUI after putting any type of mind or mood-altering substance into their body.Read More

hunter-with-rifle-and-four-wheeler-tire-in-fall-forest

Can I Get a DUI on My ATV?

Picture in your mind a person charged with driving under the influence. What do you see? If you are like most people, you are picturing a car and maybe a driver speaking to a police officer through their window. Maybe you picture a car with a person participating in field sobriety tests alongside it. No matter what you see in your mind’s eye, chances are there is a car or truck involved.

You aren’t alone. When people think about being charged with driving under the influence, they typically think about their own vehicle.  Very few, if any, picture a tractor. Or a skateboard. Or an ATV. The truth of the matter is that a person can be charged with a DUI while operating all of these things provided they are doing so on a public roadway or public property.

When people ask us if they can really be charged with driving under the influence while driving an ATV in Pennsylvania, the answer we give is simple: Yes.Read More

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First Steps After Getting a DUI

Being arrested for driving under the influence is undoubtedly stressful. Your mind races with questions and concerns, and you aren’t exactly sure what to do next. There are steps to take after a DUI arrest that can better prepare you for what lies ahead. Read on to discover what you should do after your arrest.

2. Emotionally Prepare Yourself

What’s done is done. Now you have to take a deep breath and prepare yourself. Many people who are arrested for DUI experience feelings of embarrassment, desperation and shame. The thought of telling family members and even co-workers about your arrest can cause anxiety. These feelings are not unusual. In fact, they are experienced by almost everyone who is arrested. Now is the time to get ready for the emotions you will be dealing with.

2. Know That You Aren’t Alone

It may feel like you are the only person in the world dealing with your issues, but you aren’t.Read More

designated-driver-drinking-water-at-a-party

How Not to Get Arrested for Drunk Driving

Most things in life are avoidable. When you behave appropriately at work, chances are slim that you will get fired. When you study in school, chances are lower that you will fail. When you make arrangements to get home after a party, you avoid the risk of getting arrested for DUI.

One of the difficult things about going out and tying one on is that you have to get home. Many people think that they will go out, have a few adult beverages and then drive home. For thousands of people each year, this is a grave error in judgment. Yes, you may make it home safely. You may also cause a fatal accident and spend the rest of your life dealing with its aftermath.

Drinking and driving is a decision that people make, albeit not a wise one. To avoid being put in this position, make a better decision before you even leave your house.Read More

policeman-and-woman-during-breathalyzer-test-in-the-foreground-accident-victim

What Happens on My First Offense?

Being arrested for driving under the influence for the first time is stressful. Not only do you have to deal with an arrest, but you are experiencing something with which you have no prior knowledge. What will happen? Will you go to jail? Pay fines? Your mind is naturally overwhelmed with questions. To help you determine your next steps, here is what you can reasonably expect after being charged with DUI in Pennsylvania for the first time.

Administrative Penalties

In Pennsylvania, those charged with a first-offense DUI do not face a mandatory license suspension if their blood alcohol content falls at or below 0.099. For those who have a BAC range between 0.10 and 0.159, there is a mandatory license suspension of up to one year. A BAC range above 0.16 carries a mandatory suspension of one year with the possibility of any hardship license not being granted during the first two months of the suspension.Read More

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A Look at the DUI Trial Process in Pennsylvania


When you are charged with a DUI in Philadelphia and decide to
take your case to trial, there are several things that you can reasonably expect to occur. While no two trials are exactly alike, they do tend to follow the same pattern of events. If you have decided to take your case to a judge or jury, here is what may happen.

1. Expert Witnesses

Your attorney or the prosecutor may call expert witnesses. The prosecution will typically call a law enforcement officer to the stand. These men and women are trained on enforcing DUI laws and will introduce testimony meant to have you convicted. Your attorney may call expert witnesses to point out the flaws in the prosecution’s case.

It’s important to understand that expert witnesses do not come free, and you will pay for their assistance. It is safe to figure that you will pay at least $1,000 for each expert who testifies on your behalf.Read More