It is fair to say that if you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania, you are experiencing feelings of overwhelming stress and anxiety. You may have questions regarding not only your charges but what you can expect to happen next. If you have found yourself in this situation, it is important that you consult with a DUI defense attorney to determine exactly what legal options you have.
Monroe County DUI attorney Steven E. Kellis has been representing clients for more than two decades. Prior to dedicating his life to defending people charged with DUI, Steven worked as a prosecutor. This experience gives him a unique understanding of the local criminal justice system and has allowed him to develop relationships with the court. You can rest assured that he will defend you to the best of his ability in order to secure the best possible outcome for your unique case. Call our office today at (215) 940-1200 for a free case evaluation.
Implied Consent in Pennsylvania
Like many other states across the country, Pennsylvania is an implied consent state. That means that any person who has received a legal driver’s license has said that they will consent to a chemical test requested by a law enforcement officer when that driver is suspected of driving under the influence. In many cases, the requested test is a breathalyzer. In other cases, like those in which a driver is suspected of having taken illegal or prescription drugs, the police officer may request a urine or blood test.
You do technically have the right to refuse one of these chemical tests, though you will be charged with a crime if you do. When you refuse a chemical test in Pennsylvania, your driver’s license is automatically suspended for 12 months. If you are found guilty of driving under the influence, you will face additional penalties and your suspension could last well over a year.
Penalties for DUI in Monroe County
If you are convicted of driving under the influence in Monroe County for the first time and you were found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of between 0.08 and 0.09, you could be given a $300 fine and up to 6 months of probation. There is no mandatory prison sentence or license suspension for a first-time offense.
A second offense with the same BAC could have you spending between 5 days and 6 months in jail, and paying fines of up to $2,500. In addition, you could lose your license for 12 months. If you are convicted a third time, you may spend up to 2 years in jail, face fines of up to $5,000 and have your license suspended for 12 months. The same penalties apply for subsequent offenses.
If you are convicted of driving under the influence after causing property damage or injury, and if your BAC was higher than 0.09, the penalties are increased. If you are convicted a second or third time, you will also be required to install an interlock ignition device in your vehicle. You will be ordered to attend a treatment program and alcohol safety class, and you may be ordered to complete community service.
No matter how many times you have been charged with DUI, having an attorney by your side is extremely important.
Taking Your Case to Court
Once you hire an attorney, that lawyer will begin to gather and review evidence that is pertinent to your case. Your attorney will determine whether or not the evidence against you was gathered legally, and motions will be filed to suppress the evidence if applicable. In some instances, people have had their cases thrown out of court because of a lack of evidence or evidence that was obtained illegally.
If your case does go to court, your attorney will either help you fight for your freedom or work out a plea deal on your behalf. Your attorney will walk you through each step, helping you make the best decisions for your unique situation. Listen to what your attorney has to say — they have your best interests in mind.
Speak with a Monroe County DUI Attorney Today
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, hiring the best attorney is important. Monroe County DUI attorney Steven Kellis has been defending people against DUI charges for more than 25 years in the local court systems. Call today for a no-obligation consultation.