The penalties for a DUI conviction are severe. With any DUI case, it is very important to have a competent and experienced attorney to investigate and manage your case. In Pennsylvania the loss of your driver’s license is mandatory if convicted, or if you are fortunate enough you may qualify for ARD. Retaining legal counsel as quick as possible is in your best interest. Do not refuse to take a breathalyzer or a blood test. There are penalties for refusal.
If you are arrested for DUI, it is always in your best interest to say nothing and request an attorney. Call us immediately at 215-600-1244. Never talk to law enforcement, especially because it is serious crime to lie to the FBI. The sooner an attorney is involved in your case, the better it is for you.
There are two components to a dui arrest: (1) criminal, and (2) Department of Motor Vehicles. These are separate and distinct proceedings. There are mandatory sentences for a DUI conviction, even for first time offenders that include jail time and one year loss of license.
People are often unaware of mandatory sentences for DUI. In addition, being stopped for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a narcotic, even if prescribed, can result in a conviction. This all means that it is very important to have competent counsel.
There is the possibility of entry into an ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitated Disposition) program that can help reduce the penalties. This is a privilege not a right, and the District Attorney has the sole discretion to place someone into ARD. The advantage of this program is that you lose your driver’s license for only two months, not a year, and it is not considered a conviction—provided you complete the requirements of the program, which can include community service, a drug and alcohol program, and drug and alcohol evaluations. Furthermore, if you successfully complete the program, your arrest record can be expunged, and you can honestly answer the question, “have you ever been arrested” and reply “no.”
For repeat offenders, the penalties for DUI are increasingly severe. Even if you obtain an expungement of your criminal record, you are ineligible for ARD consideration for ten years. A second time offender is subject to a mandatory 30-day jail sentence and at least a one-year license suspension. Once again, a good lawyer may be able to help you do that sentence on weekends.