Federal and state governments have taken a strong stance against driving under the influence. All states take DUI charges seriously and will seek to prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law. This is because the majority of automobile fatalities involve drunk drivers.
If you live outside of Pennsylvania but have been arrested in PA for DUI, you will need to know how to handle the situation. As with any charges, they are handled in the state where you received them. A DUI arrest in Pennsylvania can jeopardize your driving privileges regardless of the state where you reside.
DUI is considered driving with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of over 0.08 percent for adults over the age of 21. Drivers under age 21 are subject to a BAC of 0.02 percent but are considered driving under the influence if any alcohol has been consumed.
An out-of-state DUI can be a complicated situation because you will need to address the problem in Pennsylvania. You can also be subject to DMV hearings both in Pennsylvania and your home state.
DUI penalties in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, there is not a separate administrative process for handling your driver’s license as there is in many other states. The law dictates suspending your driving privileges under certain circumstances if you are convicted of DUI.
Some of the penalties for a DUI conviction include:
- Fines from $300 to $5,000
- Jail time (ranging from five days to two years)
- Driver’s license suspension for 12 months
- Interlock ignition device
A first DUI conviction carries the lowest penalties. If you are involved in an accident it will increase the potential penalties. If your BAC is over 0.10 percent it is considered extreme DUI and additional penalties will apply if convicted.
Impact of out-of-state DUI arrest in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, the law does not allow the police to suspend your out-of-state driver’s license. However, your driving privileges in Pennsylvania will be suspended, meaning that you cannot drive while in the state if you are convicted of DUI.
You will need to make the necessary court appearances in Pennsylvania in order to defend the DUI charges. An experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney will work to defend your case from start to finish, no matter where you reside.
If convicted of DUI, Pennsylvania will report this conviction to your home state. This could result in driver’s license suspension in the state where you live.
Driver license compact and reporting penalties
Every state except Massachusetts, Tennessee, Michigan, and Wisconsin participates in the Driver License Compact. The Driver License Compact provides that all participating states will exchange information for traffic violations, including DWIs. Even if your state is not part of the Driver License Compact, it may still levy penalties or restrictions if your conviction is reported to them by Pennsylvania.
What to Do if You Are Arrested in Pennsylvania for DUI
The first thing to do if you are arrested for an out-of-state DUI is to seek representation by a qualified attorney. An attorney who specializes in DUI knows the current laws and will work to resolve your case and protect your rights.
Pennsylvania DUI penalties can be severe if you are convicted, making a negative impact on your life. Even though you reside in another state, you’ll still be subject to the penalties of Pennsylvania if convicted of DUI. Some of the penalties for a DUI conviction are similar from state to state and may include:
- Suspension of driver’s license or driving privileges
- Jail time
These penalties increase if the blood alcohol content (BAC) is extremely high or if you were involved in a DUI accident.
Our Pennsylvania out-of-state DUI lawyer can help
It is essential that you choose an experienced DUI attorney in Pennsylvania to handle your DUI case. You need a lawyer who understands DUI laws and will handle your case expeditiously.
When you live out of state, your lawyer will try to make your case as convenient as possible. Choose a long-standing PA DUI attorney who knows and understands the state laws and penalties and will work tirelessly to defend you in court.