Being charged with drinking and driving in Pennsylvania is a serious offense with no easy answers. If you’ve gotten a DUI, you need straightforward advice to make smart decisions based on your rights and Pennsylvania law. This may be your first arrest and involvement with the legal system. Understand that there is often anxiety associated with a DUI charge, requiring help from an experienced lawyer who can get the best possible outcome for your case.
Steven Kellis is a former Senior Assistant District Attorney who’s prosecuted hundreds of drinking and driving cases and knows the many possible defenses for DUI charges. Mr. Kellis has worked on both sides of DUI law, has relationships with police officers and the courts in Montgomery County, and will fight to reduce or dismiss charges against you. He has handled cases like yours every day for the past 25 years.
A first offense with a blood alcohol content under .10 percent generally results in a $300 fine and a six month probation period. Penalties increase the higher your blood alcohol and the more times you are convicted. Every case has different circumstances requiring a specific defense strategy guided by an experienced attorney.
What to Expect When You’re Arrested
A DUI arrest typically occurs when a police officer stops a vehicle for a traffic law violation or for driving behavior that indicates intoxicated. Signs of drunk driving include quick acceleration, weaving from one lane to another or tailgating. If the officer suspects that you’ve been drinking, you’ll likely be asked to perform field sobriety tests, such as standing on one leg or walking a straight line.
Based on observing these tests and noting other indicators of intoxication, such as stumbling when getting out of your car, alcohol on your breath or slurred speech, the officer will continue with a DUI investigation and arrest you. The next step is to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC) using a breathalyzer machine, usually located at the police station. Always submit to the breath test. If you refuse, you could lose your license for up to one year, even if you are not guilty of a DUI. If your BAC measures .08 or higher, you will be charged with driving under the influence: usually a misdemeanor. At this point you will need to contact an attorney.
Challenging Your Charge
Attorney Steven Kellis advises people facing a drinking and driving charge to avoid going before the Montgomery County judge and pleading guilty without first knowing their rights. It’s very important to seek the help of an experienced lawyer who understands DUI law. A mistake could have been made with the field sobriety test or breathalyzer and a thorough investigation is required. Breath machines can be defective and are subject to human error. They must be adjusted and calibrated to account for air temperature fluctuations, otherwise the machine may give a false reading. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) an estimated 23 percent of drivers tested with a breathalyzer will have a BAC higher than their actual blood alcohol content. Dieters and diabetics can get faulty readings due to having high levels of acetone, which can be falsely identified as alcohol by some breathalyzers. There are many other factors that can give an inaccurate reading, all of which must be challenged by a knowledgeable attorney.
Evidence inappropriately or illegally obtained by the police can be subject to suppression, or thrown out altogether. A DUI expert must carefully investigate the facts of your case. A solid defense can result in fewer penalties assessed against you and a reduction or dismissal of your driving under the influence charge.
Cities we serve in Montgomery County
Contact Our Montgomery County DUI Law Firm
When facing a drinking and driving charge, it’s important to seek advice from an experienced attorney who understands Pennsylvania DUI law and will fight for your rights. Contact us today for a free initial consultation to explore options for successfully resolving your pending DUI charges.
Montgomery County Office
630 Freedom Business Center, Third Floor
King of Prussia, PA