If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania, you’re probably experiencing overwhelming feelings of stress and anxiety. You have questions regarding your charges and what will happen next. A DUI charge is not treated lightly in Pennsylvania; in fact, the State of Pennsylvania signed an act into law that lowered the legal alcohol limit from .10 to .08%. That means you don’t have to consume as much alcohol to face the same consequences. You need a Monroe County DUI lawyer to represent you and either reduce or exonerate your charges.
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 lawyer Steven E. Kellis has represented 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 to secure the best possible outcome for your unique case. Call our office today at (215) 543-6566 for a free case evaluation.
Charges in a DUI Arrest
In Pennsylvania, one of two charges may be brought against you for a DUI – violating the per se law or driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The per se law states that any driver found to have a BAC of 0.8% or higher is guilty of driving under the influence. “Per se” is a Latin expression meaning “by itself,” so if you are found to have a 0.8% or higher BAC, no other evidence is needed for you to be guilty of DUI.
Types of DUI Cases We Handle
Thanks to his decades of experience working in Pennsylvania courtrooms, Steven Kellis has the knowledge and expertise to achieve the best result in your DUI case. Mr. Kellis will protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive the best possible representation for any of the following charges:
- Extreme DUI
- DUI car accidents
- Out-of-state DUI
- First, second, and third DUIs in Pennsylvania
- Underage DUI
- Boating DUI
Implied Consent in Pennsylvania
Like many other states across the country, Pennsylvania is an implied consent state. That means that any person with a valid driver’s license automatically consents to a chemical test as requested by a law enforcement officer when 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.
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.
Keep in mind that although it is not a crime to refuse chemical testing, you could face criminal penalties for doing so. These penalties could include higher fines, additional license penalties, and even jail time. No matter how frustrated or confused you are, it’s best to listen to the police officer and submit to a chemical test if you are suspected of driving under the influence.
You still have legal rights at this point; as soon as you can, contact a Monroe County DUI lawyer. Depending on the facts of your case, they will fight to reduce or dismiss your charge or work out a plea deal on your behalf.
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 a Monroe County DUI lawyer by your side is extremely important. Steven Kellis’ in-depth understanding of Pennsylvania DUI laws and defenses set him apart from other attorneys. Because he worked as a prosecutor, Mr. Kellis knows the types of arguments that may be used against you. He knows what types of evidence to look for and what to avoid when working to reduce or dismiss your charges.
Let Mr. Kellis fight for you and get the outcome you need in your DUI case. Call (215) 543-6566 today for a free case consultation.
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.
For example, a person may fail a field sobriety test because of a pre-existing medical condition that causes them to lose their balance. Their Monroe County DUI lawyer will work with the person’s doctor or medical team to establish that their condition is legitimate and caused them to fail the test. Once reasonable doubt of the test results has been established, that evidence may be thrown out.
If your case does go to court, Mr. Kellis 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. Depending on the facts of your case, Mr. Kellis may be able to have the prosecution’s evidence thrown out if it is found to have been taken illegally. Police officers are human beings that make mistakes, and those mistakes don’t have to ruin your life.
Speak With a Monroe County DUI Lawyer Today
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it’s important to hire the best lawyer that you can. Monroe County DUI attorney Steven Kellis has been defending people against DUI charges for more than 25 years in the local court systems. Call (215) 543-6566 today for a no-obligation consultation.