If you were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you need an experienced Cheltenham, PA DUI lawyer to protect your rights, freedom, and reputation.
Pennsylvania DUI lawyer Steven Kellis brings extensive knowledge of drunk driving law and decades of experience to the table. Mr. Kellis was a former prosecutor of drunk driving cases who has more than 25 years of experience in front of a jury.
The insider knowledge of drunk driving cases and the long history of representing clients makes Attorney Kellis the kind of advocate you need to help you respond to your drunk driving charges. Call (215) 940-1200 to schedule your free case consultation with a Cheltenham, PA DUI lawyer.
DUI Statistics for Cheltenham
Localized statistics for DUI arrests in the town of Cheltenham, PA are unavailable. However, there are a number of metrics that indicate the volume of DUI charges in Montgomery County.
One way to measure DUI prosecutions in Montgomery County is by tracking the number of court-ordered Court Reporting Network (CRN) evaluations. These are recommended for almost all DUI cases that advance to a preliminary hearing. Montgomery County performs an average of 2,751 CRNs a year.
Pennsylvania State Police Unit Troop T works predominantly in Montgomery County and makes highway stops for suspected DUIs. In 2018, Troop T made 167 DUI arrests.
Fortunately, DUI-related road deaths in Montgomery County are relatively low. According to a study by Value Penguin, Montgomery County has the third-lowest DUI-related fatality rate in Pennsylvania.
Statewide, Pennsylvania authorities made 22,139 DUI arrests in 2019, a 10% increase from 2018. Pennsylvania State Police also confirmed that there were 4,692 DUI-related crashes in the same year.
The Local District Court to Report to for a Cheltenham DUI Arrest
After your arrest, the first procedure you will be required to undergo is a Preliminary Hearing. These are held at the Magisterial District Court local to the area in which you were arrested.
There are two possible magistrate judges you may face after a DUI arrest in Cheltenham:
- Judge Christopher J. Cerski
117 York Road
Suite 100 A
Jenkintown, PA 19046
- Judge Elizabeth McHugh
117 York Road
Suite 100 B
Jenkintown, PA 19046
DUI Plea Options in Montgomery County, PA
Once you are facing DUI charges, you will be given several plea options.
At first, you will be able to issue no plea in order to delay the official entering of your plea. For example, this will allow you to reschedule your hearing until you find an attorney.
You can also attempt to have the charges dropped before your arraignment through certain legal motions. If you reach your arraignment, you may be eligible for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). There are eligibility requirements that must be met that a Cheltenham, PA DUI lawyer will explain to you. They can also help you gain entry into the program and, once the program is completed, can help you have the DUI expunged from your record.
You can also plead not guilty if you wish to contest the charges. You won’t necessarily have to prove that you did not drink and drive. Ultimately, you must prove that the prosecution lacks the proper evidence or that they violated expected procedure.
Your third option is to plead guilty. If you decide to plead guilty, you should first communicate that you would like to cooperate with the prosecution. This can be done with the assistance of a Cheltenham, PA DUI lawyer who will help you negotiate reduced charges or lenient sentencing.
Pennsylvania DUI Laws
You can be charged with a crime any time you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol that impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. While most people assume a charge of impaired driving is possible only when your blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds .08 percent, you can also face criminal charges whenever the prosecutor can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were too impaired to be driving your vehicle.
The most common type of evidence used in cases where someone is accused of driving under the influence in Pennsylvania is a BAC test. There are a variety of tests including field sobriety tests, a breath test, blood tests, and urine tests designed to assess your BAC.
You don’t have to submit to a breathalyzer or field sobriety test, but you do need to agree to have your BAC tested in some way if police have reasonable cause to believe you are drunk. Otherwise, you could face criminal charges and lose your license under Pennsylvania implied consent laws.
Our Cheltenham Township criminal defense attorneys will help you if you have been charged with refusal to submit to a BAC test, as well as in circumstances where you are arrested for being over the limit or impaired.
DUI Plea Options In Pennsylvania
When facing a DUI or drugged driving charge in Pennsylvania there are sometimes plea options. The most common plea option is pleading down your DUI charge to a ‘wet reckless’ aka alcohol-related reckless driving charge. The penalties are much less severe and there are factors that come into play.
For instance, your BAC level, and how close it was to the .08 legal limit, matters, as does whether or not you caused an accident, injury, or death. Prior DUI convictions are a very important factor as are drug crimes, history of traffic violations, and violation of open container laws. Let our Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania DUI attorney review your case and explain your options to you.
Other Charges In Pennsylvania DUI Cases
In many DUI cases, other charges need to be dealt with to put this behind you. Common additional charges include driving without insurance, driving while suspended, resisting arrest, open container violation, child endangerment, drug possession, and leaving the scene of an accident.
Any of these can result in stiffer administrative, legal and financial consequences.
Why You Need Our Cheltenham Pennsylvania DUI Lawyers
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a crime that can result in a suspension of your driver’s license, jail time, fines, probation, drug counseling, and other penalties. If you are a college student your academic status can be jeopardized.
Penalties differ for impaired driving offenses depending upon whether the incident is the first drunk driving charge and on how high your blood alcohol content was. Some of the possible consequences of conviction include:
- An evaluation for drug or alcohol addiction
- Court-ordered counseling or rehabilitation
- A permanent criminal record
- The suspension of your driver’s license
- Community service.
In some cases, jail or prison time is mandatory, including a required 48-hour minimum in jail for a first offense if your BAC is .10 to .159 percent when tested by law enforcement. With mandatory minimums, the only way to avoid jail is to get the charges dropped or win a not-guilty verdict.
Our Cheltenham, PA DUI lawyers can help you deal with the charges, explore defenses, negotiate a plea deal, or gain entry into diversion programs. The right choice will depend upon the specifics of your case.
Contact a Cheltenham, PA DUI Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence in Eastern Pennsylvania, it’s vital to enlist a Pennsylvania drunk driving lawyer to help. At The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis, you will find a skilled PA criminal defense attorney with the experience needed to advocate for you.
Contact us today to learn how a DUI defense attorney can help with your case.
Cheltenham, PA DUI lawyer Steven Kellis serves all of Eastern Pennsylvania.