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. Mr. Kellis was a former prosecutor of drunk driving cases with over 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 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 Cheltenham, PA are unavailable. However, several metrics 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.
What are 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.
A BAC test is the most common type of evidence used in cases where someone is accused of driving under the influence in Pennsylvania. There are a variety of tests, including field sobriety tests, breath tests, 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 refusing to submit to a BAC test and in circumstances where you are arrested for being over the limit or impaired.
What are 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 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. You may be eligible for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) if you reach your arraignment. 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 you did not drink and drive. Ultimately, you must prove that the prosecution lacks the proper evidence or violated the expected procedure.
Your third option is to plead guilty. If you plead guilty, you should first communicate that you want to cooperate with the prosecution. This can be done with a Cheltenham, PA DUI lawyer who will help you negotiate reduced charges or lenient sentencing.
Other Charges In Pennsylvania DUI Cases
In many DUI cases, other charges must be dealt with to put this behind you. Standard 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.
These can result in stiffer administrative, legal, and financial consequences.
The Local District Court to Report to for a Cheltenham DUI Arrest
After your arrest, you must first undergo a Preliminary Hearing. These are held at the Magisterial District Court local to the area where 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
Why You Need Our Cheltenham PA DUI Lawyer
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 to advocate for you.
Cheltenham, PA DUI lawyer Steven Kellis serves all of Eastern Pennsylvania.