After a DUI arrest, you’ll immediately have questions. One is, “How bad is this going to be?”
Another that typically comes after is, “Should I get a lawyer?”
Every single DUI case can benefit from the expertise of an experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney. Even if you only agree to the free consultation, you at least have an overview of your case and options.
Why Hire a Lawyer?
Many DUI cases are built upon flimsy pretexts. The arrest or the stop may have had procedural flaws. Once these flaws are presented to a judge, it’s possible that all charges will be dropped. Other times, you can weaken the case by filing a motion to have evidence withheld or by revealing that a conviction for heftier charges is unlikely.
A DUI lawyer in Pennsylvania can also negotiate directly with the prosecutor, something that is very difficult for someone representing themselves to do. The prosecution simply won’t view the defendant the same way they would a representing attorney.
There are many other ways that a Pennsylvania DUI defense attorney can benefit your case. Your lawyer’s goal is to seek the best outcome. These efforts could preserve opportunities for your future while helping you save thousands of dollars in the long run.
Speak with Steven E. Kellis, an experienced DUI attorney in Pennsylvania, for free during a no-obligation case review. Call (215) 940-1200 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation now.
The Consequences of a DUI Are Far Worse Than Lawyers’ Fees
Regrettably, prosecuting someone for DUI puts them in the mindset of a high-stakes better. Do they take their chances and hope for the best? Do they gamble their future on the possibility of getting ARD or a plea deal from a lenient prosecutor?
Or, do they take their hard-earned money to a lawyer, who may or may not secure a better deal than they could arrange on their own?
What’s patently unfair about this decision is that one set of stakes seems less certain than the other. We can hold out hope that we will avoid the harshest DUI penalties, but we know for a fact that we have to pay a DUI lawyer.
However, taking a closer look at what’s at stake with a conviction makes the cost/benefit analysis much more clear.
Depending on how intoxicated you allegedly were at the time of the arrest, Pennsylvania’s first-time DUI penalties include the following:
- Misdemeanor conviction
- Probation (which comes with fees)
- Alcohol highway safety school (more fees)
- Possible order to receive testing and treatment (yet more fees)
- Fines of at least $300 and up to $5,000 for highest BAC
- Minimum 12-month license suspension for .1+ BAC
- Minimum 48 hours to six months jail time for .1+ BAC
On top of those penalties, there are lesser-known consequences such as:
- Bail costs (you lose 10% if you get bonded out)
- Towing costs
- Insurance premium increases, possible denial of coverage
- Various court fees
- Possible fees for ignition interlock, monitoring bracelet, etc.
- Potentially losing your CDL or your job
- Being required to list DUI conviction on future job applications
According to the Pennsylvania DUI Association, a single DUI can cost you over $10,000. That figure does not include the loss of potential future earnings and non-financial impacts of having to deal with a DUI on your record.
Knowing these odds, the cost of hiring a lawyer suddenly seems like a much safer bet. Individuals that want to “take their chances” may find out too late that the house has the odds stacked against them. Plus, they don’t often get a second chance to try their luck on an appeal.
Build a Stronger Case with a Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer
The average person lacks the legal knowledge and experience necessary to spot vulnerabilities in the prosecution’s case. They often want to argue about the arresting officer’s subjective opinion, which can be difficult to beat in court. They may also think that certain technicalities of the law, such as not having the vehicle turned on at the time of their questioning, can help them get DUI charges dropped.
What can actually help your case is knowing how the prosecution builds theirs. Many prosecutors rely heavily on aspects that the general public thinks are unbeatable, but aren’t.
Blood alcohol content test results are an excellent example. The difference between a normal DUI and a “High BAC” DUI is jail time, bigger fines, and harsher penalties in general. Yet the only thing helping them seek these charges is a machine that may or may not be reliable.
Breathalyzers and blood testing machines are prone to mistakes. Simple errors like an out-of-date certification or a lack of calibration records can force prosecutors to drop the only evidence that brings them a higher charge.
The stop itself may have also been a legal overreach. Certain pivotal evidence, like someone’s alleged lack of balance, may be deemed inadmissible if a DUI attorney can prove the defendant has a medical condition affecting their balance.
In the end, your DUI lawyer will use every opportunity to poke holes in the prosecution’s case. If you are able to file motions before your arraignment or early hearing, you may even be looking at a different set of charges than the ones filed at the time of your arrest. This is especially important if your prosecutor has “thrown the book at you” and intends to prosecute on every possible charge.
Waiting until you are already locked into a trial or begging for a plea deal means that your options are far more limited. It also means you may be looking at defense strategies for a great many charges at once, instead of consolidated charges that often result from negotiations.
Get a Free Consultation with an Experienced Pennsylvania DUI Defense Attorney
Getting any amount of advice from a knowledgeable DUI attorney in Pennsylvania can help your case. Learn the strategies others have used to beat their DUI charges and gain an ally to help you negotiate for lesser charges or lesser penalties. Defense attorneys know which arguments encourage prosecutors to be more lenient. The most important thing to know is that you can talk to a lawyer now, and you can do it for free during your initial case review. Call Steven E. Kellis today at (215) 940-1200 or contact us online, and you can get the clarity you need to form a solid strategy for your case.