After an arrest for driving under the influence, you may have a lot of questions about what the next steps are in the legal process. Add on top of that the fear you may feel for your future, and getting a DUI can seem overwhelming. It’s during this time that you should call a DUI defense attorney to figure out what your legal options are.
Carbon County DUI attorney Steven Kellis has over 25 years of experience representing clients who have been charged with DUI. Before becoming a DUI defense attorney, Steven was a prosecutor. As such, he knows the court system inside and out. With his relationships with the court, he can provide you with an excellent defense to get the best outcome for your case. Contact him today for a free consultation.
For a first-time DUI with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 to 0.09, you could face 6 months of probation and a $300 fine; the law says no license suspension or prison sentence is mandatory. For a second offense of the same BAC, you could face anywhere from 5 days to 6 months in jail, fines of $300 to $2,500 and a license suspension of 12 months. A third and subsequent offense results in 10 days to 2 years in jail, 12 month license suspension and fines of $500 to $5,000.
These penalties increase if you have a higher blood alcohol content and if you caused any injury or property damage. Moreover, for second and third time offenders, installing an ignition interlock device in your vehicle is mandatory. You will also be required to attend an alcohol safety class and treatment program, and may also face community service.
No matter which number DUI this is for you, calling an attorney is very important. They can inform you of your legal rights, and help you decide what your best course of action is.
Refusing a Breathalyzer Test
Pennsylvania is an implied consent state. That means once you get your license and take to the road, you automatically consent you any chemical test an officer may administer to determine whether you are driving under the influence. Often, this means a breathalyzer test to determine your BAC. But in some cases, especially when they suspect drugs are involved, they may instead order a blood or urine test.
Regardless of the type of test ordered, you technically have the right to refuse. But if you do, your license will be suspended for 12 months. That’s on top of any additional penalties you may face for driving under the influence. That means you could go two years or more without a license if you’re found guilty of DUI.
The Court Process
Your first appearance in court will be a preliminary hearing in which you enter a plea with the court. It’s vital you have an attorney by your side during this process. Giving in and pleading guilty without a bargain on the table is one of the worst decisions you can make, and generally only your attorney can work out a plea deal on your behalf.
If you choose to fight your charges, your attorney will begin reviewing evidence and interviewing witnesses, including the arresting officer. From there, they will determine what, if any, evidence was gathered inappropriately, and file motions to have it suppressed or tossed out altogether. In some cases, an examination of the evidence can lead to the whole case being thrown out.
From there, your attorney will either fight the charges on your behalf, or work on a plea deal with the state. Your attorney will present your options to you, and advise you during this process. It’s important to heed their advice, as a DUI conviction could have serious consequences on your life — including employment and housing.
Talk to a Carbon County DUI Lawyer Today
If you have been charged with DUI, don’t trust just any attorney to represent you. Carbon County DUI lawyer Steven Kellis has over 25 years of experience defending clients in local courts. Call today for a free, no-obligation consultation.