Media Pennsylvania DUI Lawyers

Old bank building on State Street in Media, PA

Whether you’re celebrating a holiday or just going out for the night, being arrested for driving under the influence can completely wreck your life. Not only could you be facing jail time, fines and other legal ramifications, but you might also be stuck dealing with issues like losing your job, your rented home, and even your ability to go to school.

The good news is, if you’re arrested for a DUI in Pennsylvania, you have the legal right to fight the charges. At the Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis, defending those charged with driving under the influence is all we do. Our Media DUI lawyers have the skills and experience to build a strong case on your behalf. Our ultimate goal is to get your case dismissed altogether. If that’s not possible, we’ll work with the prosecutor to get your charges reduced.

At the end of the day, our sole mission is to help you. Give us a call at (215) 940-1200 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Media DUI lawyer.

Levels of DUI in Pennsylvania

In general, there are three different levels of DUI in Pennsylvania: General impairment, high blood alcohol content (BAC), and highest BAC. The potential DUI penalties for each level depend on how many DUI convictions you have had prior to this arrest.

General Impairment (.08 to .099% BAC or Undetermined BAC)

  • First DUI: Ungraded misdemeanor, up to 6 months probation, $300 fine, alcohol treatment potentially required, mandatory alcohol highway safety school
  • Second DUI: Ungraded misdemeanor, jail time from 5 days to 6 months, 1-year license suspension, fines from $300 to $2,500, 1 year with an ignition interlock device, alcohol treatment potentially required, mandatory alcohol highway safety school
  • Third or Subsequent DUI: 2nd-degree misdemeanor, jail time between 10 days and 2 years, 1-year license suspension, fines from $500 to $5,000, 1 year with an ignition interlock device, alcohol treatment potentially required

High BAC (.10 to .159% BAC)

  • First DUI: Ungraded misdemeanor, jail time from 2 days to 6 months, fines from $500 to $5,000, 1-year license suspension, alcohol treatment potentially required, mandatory alcohol highway safety school
  • Second DUI: Ungraded misdemeanor, jail time from 30 days to 6 months, 1-year license suspension, fines from $750 to $5,000, 1 year with an ignition interlock device, alcohol treatment potentially required, mandatory alcohol highway safety school
  • Third or Subsequent DUI: 1st-degree misdemeanor, prison time between 1 and 5 years, 18-month license suspension, fines from $1,500 to $10,000, 1 year with an ignition interlock device, alcohol treatment potentially required

Highest BAC (.16% and above, or controlled substance DUI)

  • First DUI: Ungraded misdemeanor, jail time from 3 days to 6 months, fines from $1,000 to $5,000, 1-year license suspension, alcohol treatment potentially required, mandatory alcohol highway safety school
  • Second DUI: 1st-degree misdemeanor, jail time from 90 days to 5 years, 18-month license suspension, fines from $1,500 to $10,000, 1 year with an ignition interlock device, alcohol treatment potentially required, mandatory alcohol highway safety school
  • Third or Subsequent DUI: 1st-degree misdemeanor, prison time between 1 and 5 years, 18-month license suspension, fines from $2,500 to $10,000, 1 year with an ignition interlock device, alcohol treatment potentially required

There are also some cases in which you could be arrested for a DUI, even if you aren’t on any controlled substances or have a BAC under .08%. Under PA. Cons. Stat. § 3802(a)(1), you may not “drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the individual is rendered incapable of safely driving, operating or being in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.”

Essentially, if the officer who pulls you over believes you are too impaired to safely operate the vehicle, even if your BAC is below .08%, you can still be arrested for DUI.

What About ARD?

Pennsylvania has a program called Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD), which is available to some first-time DUI offenders. The ARD program allows you to avoid any kind of jail sentence. However, your case will result in any or all of the following:

  • 6-12 months probation
  • Community service
  • CRN evaluation to determine if you will be required to have a more comprehensive drug and alcohol assessment
  • Restitution to victims
  • Alcohol Highway Safety School
  • Treatment, including rehabilitation
  • Administrative and court costs
  • Other conditions imposed by a judge, such as the installation of an ignition interlock device

As we mentioned above, ARD is not available to everyone. Those who have been previously placed in ARD are not eligible. In addition, if you have a DUI conviction in the past 10 years, you are not eligible. Finally, if you had a passenger in your vehicle under 14 years old when you got your DUI or caused serious/fatal injuries as a result of your DUI, you aren’t eligible.

In total, ARD costs about $2,500, not including attorney fees. In some cases, the costs can be much higher. As such, it may not be the best option for everyone. Your Media DUI lawyer will help you evaluate all of your legal options.

What Defenses Are There for DUIs in Pennsylvania?

There are a few different defenses our Media DUI lawyers may employ to help you reduce the charges against you, or to get the case dismissed altogether. One of the most common is an improper stop by the police. Officers are required to have a reason to pull you over. If you’re obeying all traffic laws and driving safely, you can argue the police made an unreasonable stop.

Second is the improper administration of field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests have been shown over and over to be unreliable, but they are still in use. If these tests aren’t properly administered, they may not be admissible in court. In addition, field sobriety tests generally aren’t considered signs of intoxication on their own.

Not following proper protocol elsewhere is also a major reason why DUI cases may be dismissed. For instance, if blood is improperly tested, or the breathalyzer isn’t properly calculated, the evidence gathered may be considered inadmissible. More rarely, if the officers question you without reading you your Miranda rights, anything you say may also be inadmissible.

The most common scenario is that our lawyers work with the state prosecutors to come to an agreement that keeps the case out of court. The state is always overly burdened by criminal cases, and if they can take a case off the docket, they will. Often, in return for pleading guilty, you will get a reduced charge or reduced punishments.

Get the Help You Need from a Media DUI Lawyer

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Pennsylvania, whether it’s your first arrest or fifth, you have legal options. At The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis, we have years of experience helping clients fight their DUI charges to get them reduced or thrown out altogether.

We can’t promise results, but we’ll do our best to help you get a favorable outcome in court. Give us a call at (215) 940-1200 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Media DUI lawyer.

Our Media DUI defense attorneys defend those facing DUI, drug crime and criminal charges throughout Eastern Pennsylvania including Abington, Allentown, Bensalem, Cheltenham, Conshohocken, Lancaster, Philadelphia, and Pottstown.