Being charged with DUI is a criminal offense that the state of Pennsylvania takes very seriously. According to statistics gathered from the State Justice Department, more than 53,000 drivers were arrested in 2012 for driving under the influence — the fourth-highest number of DUI arrests out of any state. Many of the drivers arrested were first-time offenders who probably felt they were “OK” to drive home without realizing just how serious DUIs really are.
With law enforcement taking such aggressive action against driving under the influence, it’s important that you have a knowledgeable and experienced Columbia DUI attorney representing your case.
A Law Practice Entirely Devoted to DUI Defense
While many lawyers may claim to handle DUI cases, you need to be sure you’re hiring a DUI attorney who has the skills and experience that will be a difference in the outcome of your case.
Steven E. Kellis is a former DUI prosecutor with over 20 years jury trial experience. Having handled hundreds of DUI cases and more than 1,000 evidentiary proceedings, Mr. Kellis knows the tactics that police and prosecutors will use. More importantly, he understands how to best defend a DUI charge, which can help you achieve a favorable outcome in your case.
Some of the common defenses that may be raised include:
- Lack of probable cause
- Improperly conducting the field sobriety test
- Factors that may render the field sobriety or breathalyzer test inaccurate or unreliable
- Insufficient evidence
An experienced DUI attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and help mount the best defense to your charge. A Columbia DUI lawyer may also be able to arrange a favorable plea agreement with the prosecutor before your case goes to trial, which can help end the whole ordeal quickly and certainly.
Penalties for DUI in Pennsylvania
The penalties for DUI in Pennsylvania depend on the facts and circumstances of your case. One of the most important factors is whether you’ve had any prior DUI offenses. The look-back period for DUIs is 10 years, which means that any DUI within the past decade is relevant to your sentencing.
In addition to any prior arrests for DUI, other factors including your blood alcohol content (BAC), whether there were bodily or property damages, and the presence of a child under the age of 14 can also result in more severe penalties. At the extreme end of the spectrum, repeat offenders can face a fine up to $10,000, up to five years in jail, and driver’s license suspension for 18 months in addition to mandatory, court-ordered alcohol and safety classes.
In addition to the legal penalties resulting from DUI, your insurance premiums will typically triple, assuming the insurance carrier doesn’t drop you entirely. The effects of being charged with DUI are far-reaching, which makes it even more important that you have capable representation throughout your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Columbia DUI Lawyer
After being arrested and released for DUI, one of the most important steps you can take to protect your rights is to hire an experienced Columbia DUI attorney. The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis is available 24 hours a day to meet with you and discuss your case. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.