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. If you have been arrested for driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, you need our skilled Lower Merion DUI lawyers to protect your rights, freedom and reputation.
At The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis, our Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania DUI lawyers bring 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.
Pennsylvania DUI Laws
You can be charged with a crime (a misdemeanor or a felony) when you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This includes anything that impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely such a beer, liquor, wine, cough medicine, pain pills, marijuana, cocaine and Ambien. While most people assume a charge of drunk, drugged or 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 so 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 Lower Merion 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.
PA DUI Charges & The Pennsylvania ARD Program
Like most state Pennsylvania has a first time DUI offenders program. The program is known as the Pennsylvania Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program (ARD Program for short) and may be a good option for you. There are eligibility requirements that must be met that our Cheltenham, PA ARD lawyers will explain to you. They can also help you gain entry into the program and, once program is completed, can help you have the DUI expunged from your record.
DUI Plea Options In Pennsylvania
There are sometimes plea options when facing a DUI or impaired driving charge in Pennsylvania. 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, comes into play as does whether or not you caused an accident, injury or death. Previous DUI convictions are a very important factor as well as are drug crimes, history of traffic violations and violation of open container laws. Let our Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania DUI attorneys review your case and explain your options to you.
Other Charges In Pennsylvania DUI Cases
In many DUI cases there are other charges that need to be dealt with in order to put this behind you. Common ones are 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 Lower Merion DUI Lawyers
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
- Fines, fees and court costs
- 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 Lower Merion 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 Our Lower Merion DUI Lawyers
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 skilled PA criminal defense attorneys with the experience and skill needed to advocate for you. Contact us today to learn how our Montgomery County, PA DUI defense attorneys can help with your case.
Our Lower Merion DUI lawyers serve all of Eastern Pennsylvania including the Abington, Allentown, Bensalem, Bethlehem, Bristol, Broomall, Chester, Conshohocken, Doylestown, Horsham, Jenkintown, Jim Thorper, Lancaster, Lower Merion, Media, Norristown, Philadelphia, Plymouth Meeting, Upper Darby, Upper Dublin, Upper Merion & Upper Providence areas.