Delaware County DUI

Delaware County DUI Attorneys

We Aggressively Fight Driving Under the Influence Charges

In Pennsylvania, you could be charged with a DUI if you operated a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or when you had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more. The penalties you could face for a conviction vary depending on your BAC and criminal history. Possible punishments a court can impose include probation, incarceration, fines, alcohol highway safety school, and/or alcohol and drug treatment. Additionally, it can order that your driving privileges be suspended for a year or more. Defenses may be raised to fight your DUI charge, allowing you to seek to avoid or minimize penalties. An attorney can review your case and discuss your legal options.

At Testa & Pagnanelli, LLC, our Delaware County DUI lawyers have the skills, knowledge, and resources to defend you. Backed by over 75 years of combined legal experience, we have handled a range of complex cases and are well-versed in the judicial process. At our firm, we put our talents to work to develop compelling and comprehensive defense strategies for our clients to pursue favorable outcomes.

To discuss your case with one of our DUI attorneys in Delaware County, please contact us at (610) 365-4733 today.

What’s Pennsylvania’s DUI Law?

A person commits a DUI in Pennsylvania if they drive, operate, or are in actual or physical control of a car while under the influence of alcohol. The state separates the offense into three levels based on the driver’s BAC.

The first level is general impairment and provides that it’s a crime for anyone to drive when they:

  • Can’t safely operate a motor vehicle because their normal faculties are impaired as a result of the consumption of alcohol, or
  • Have a BAC of 0.08% or more but less than 0.10%

The second level is high rate of alcohol, which prohibits driving with a BAC of 0.10% or higher but less than 0.16%. The third level is highest rate of alcohol, which is when a person’s BAC is at 0.16% or more.

BAC is determined by a breath or chemical test taken within two hours after the person had operated a motor vehicle on suspicion of impairment.

Can You Go to Jail for a First DUI in PA?

Incarceration is a possibility for a first-time DUI. Still, whether you will go to jail depends on your BAC.

A first general impairment DUI can result in:

  • A mandatory minimum of 6 months of probation
  • $300 in fines
  • Attendance in alcohol highway safety school
  • Drug and alcohol treatment (if ordered by the court)

In cases involving high rate and highest rate of alcohol, jail time can be imposed.

A first high rate of alcohol DUI is penalized by:

  • 48 hours to 6 months of imprisonment
  • $500 to $5,000 in fines
  • Attendance in an alcohol safety school
  • Drug and alcohol treatment (if ordered by the court)

A first highest rate of alcohol DUI carries the following penalties:

  • 72 hours to 6 months of imprisonment
  • $1,000 to $5,000 in fines
  • Attendance in an alcohol highway safety school
  • Drug and alcohol treatment (if ordered by the court)

It can be frightening to see that there’s a potential for probation, jail time, and other severe penalties for a DUI. But do not lose hope. Depending on the facts of your case, avenues may be explored to pursue a just result. Our Delaware County DUI lawyers can help you see your paths forward.

What Are the Penalties for Subsequent DUIs?

The potential penalties for a second, third, fourth, or subsequent DUI violation are also severe. Again, the exact punishments depend on BAC level. They are also tied to the number of previous offenses.

Multiple general impairment DUIs are punishable as follows:

  • Second violation:
    • 5 days to 6 months of imprisonment
    • $300 to $2,500 in fines
    • Attendance in alcohol safety school
    • Drug and alcohol treatment (if ordered by the court)
  • Third and subsequent violations:
    • 10 days to 2 years of imprisonment
    • $500 to $5,000 in fines
    • Drug and alcohol treatment (if ordered by the court)

High rate and highest rate of alcohol offenses are considered more severe. As such, the potential penalties are harsher than those for general impairment DUIs.

How Long Do You Lose Your License in PA for a DUI?

Driver’s license suspension is another penalty that can be imposed for a driving under the influence conviction. It isn’t ordered in every case. Only those where the driver had a BAC of 0.10% or more or upon a second or subsequent violation.

Below are the possible periods of driving privilege suspension:

  • BAC between 0.08% and 0.099%:
    • First offense: no suspension
    • Second or subsequent offense: 12-month suspension
  • BAC above 0.10%:
    • First or second offense: 12 month-suspension
    • Third or subsequent offense: 18-month suspension

How Can You Fight a DUI Charge in PA?

As with any other criminal matter, in a DUI case, the prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. By identifying holes in their arguments, you may be able to cast doubt in the minds of the judge or jury, which could lead to a favorable outcome.

Depending on the facts, possible defenses that can be raised include, but are not limited to:

  • Unlawful stop: Police officers must have reasonable suspicion to pull someone over. If they didn’t have articulable reasons for making the stop, it might be considered unlawful, and the evidence they uncovered may be thrown out.
  • Unlawful arrest: Like a traffic stop, an officer must have justification for arresting someone. If they didn’t have probable cause to believe that the driver was under the influence, the arrest would be unlawful. Again, the evidence may be deemed inadmissible.
  • Invalid test results: A breath or blood test might have indicated that the driver’s BAC was 0.08% or higher, but the results may have been affected by something other than alcohol, such as improper testing procedures.

At Testa & Pagnanelli, LLC, our Delaware County DUI attorneys can review the facts of your case to determine how to challenge the allegations against you.

Call Our Firm Today

If you were charged with a DUI, allow our team to protect your rights and future. We can be your zealous advocate from beginning to end, working tirelessly to ensure that your voice is heard.

To speak with a DUI lawyer in Delaware County, please call (610) 365-4733 or submit an online contact form today. We offer a free initial consultation.

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