We all make mistakes. Sometimes it’s as simple as picking up the wrong type of bread at the grocery store. But other times, it can be as serious as choosing to drive under the influence of alcohol. If you’re arrested for a DUI in Pottstown, it can impact your entire life. Even a simple arrest could cost you your job, depending on how long you’re held in custody.
Of course, if you are convicted of driving under the influence, the penalties can be severe. You may face jail time, fines, and more. In addition, you may find it much harder to find a good job, housing, or even get an education. That’s why it’s so important to fight any DUI charges you face.
At The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis, we have been providing Pennsylvania residents with the representation they deserve for over 25 years. We are well-versed in the local and state laws that dictate DUI penalties. We also know the defenses that may help you get your charges dropped. Finally, we are familiar with state prosecutors, and therefore have a better chance of getting you a favorable plea bargain.
Give us a call at (215) 940-1200 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Pottstown DUI lawyer.
Important Pennsylvania DUI Laws
There are various laws addressing DUIs in Pennsylvania. Most of these laws are found in Chapter 38 of the Pennsylvania Code. This code defines a DUI, dictates penalties for different types and levels of DUIs, and more. Some of the most important sections include:
38 § 3802(a-c): If you are too impaired to drive, it’s illegal to do so regardless of your true blood alcohol content (BAC). Additionally, there are different levels of DUIs based on BAC: general impairment, high level of alcohol, and highest level of alcohol.
38 § 3802(d): You can be charged with a DUI if you are impaired by medicine or a controlled substance.
38 § 3803: This section explains the different levels of DUIs established in § 3802, including controlled substances, minors, commercial vehicles, and more.
38 § 3804: Different DUIs have different penalties depending on BAC, controlled substance use, number of prior DUIs, and other factors.
38 § 3809: Unless you’re a passenger in a bus, taxi or limo, it is illegal to have an open container of alcohol in your vehicle.
There are quite a few other laws that can impact you if you’re arrested for a DUI. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry too much about other, more complex statutes. Your Pottstown DUI lawyer knows the law and how it can affect you. Give us a call at (215) 940-1200 or contact us online today to get the representation that you deserve.
What Is the Pennsylvania ARD Program?
Like many other states, Pennsylvania offers an alternative option for some first-time DUI offenders who want to avoid jail time and other standard penalties. This is called the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program, or ARD. Those who qualify for ARD can avoid trial altogether, and often avoid having a DUI on their record. At the same time, the court can focus on other cases, since they don’t have to spend resources on yours.
In order to qualify for ARD, you must have no prior DUI or other criminal convictions. In addition, you must have never been in the ARD program before.
However, don’t consider the ARD program an easy alternative. If you qualify for ARD, you are still required to fulfill a number of obligations. This may include community service, alcohol rehabilitation treatment, the installation of an ignition interlock device, highway alcohol safety classes, and more.
In total, ARD can cost thousands of dollars. You should consult with an experienced Pottstown DUI lawyer before you decide to plead your case or enroll in ARD so you understand all of your legal options.
Plea Options After a DUI in Pottstown
If you choose not to enroll in ARD or don’t qualify to do so, your case will likely go to court. You have two main options in court: You can plead guilty or not guilty. Neither option should be taken without the advice of a DUI lawyer. By pleading not guilty, you will be fighting your charges. Our lawyers can help develop a strong defense on your behalf if this is the best option in your case.
In many cases, you will be advised to plead guilty. While this can seem counterintuitive to your goal of minimizing penalties, it can work well in your favor. Prosecutors are often looking for ways to avoid taking up the court’s time. So, they may offer you a plea bargain. Generally, this means you plead guilty to a lesser charge, like reckless driving.
While this option is often simpler, it’s not always the best choice. There are many cases in which your Pottsville DUI lawyer can build a strong defense to have your charges dismissed. They may discover that the breathalyzer wasn’t calibrated correctly, or the police officer didn’t have proper cause to pull you over.
Get the Help of a Pottstown DUI Lawyer Today
Don’t make the mistake of trying to represent yourself in a DUI case. Prosecutors are much less likely to negotiate with a person representing themselves. What’s more, you likely aren’t familiar with the rules of evidence, laws that affect your case, and more. Your lawyer is intimately familiar with these aspects, and they know what it takes to give you a better chance of a favorable outcome.
The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis is here for you. Don’t wait. You need to get representation as soon as possible after you’ve been arrested. Give us a call at (215) 940-1200 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Pottstown DUI lawyer.