A DUI arrest can be traumatic and life changing for many people. It can also be very scary, extremely embarrassing and can feel like a living nightmare. This is especially true if you were arrested or charged after a DUI accident with injuries or damages.
You could lose your license – not be able to get to work or pick your kids up from school. You could be sentenced to prison, placed under house arrest and have a permanent mark on your record — affecting job applications, college admissions and other basic rights.
If you were arrested or charged with drunk driving or DUI / DWI of a controlled substance in Pennsylvania, the penalties are very strict. As little as two beers could cost you your license, your job, your freedom.
A tough and experienced Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer can help explain your rights, your options and the best way to move forward with your life. Beating DUI charges in PA is possible.
At SMA Law Group, we offer free case evaluations to anyone charged with a DUI in Allegheny County or Western Pennsylvania. Call Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer Christopher Thomas today. He is here to answer your questions, listen to your situation, explain your rights and offer the best steps to defending your rights and getting your future back on track.
Yes, a DUI charge is a very serious matter. But until you are convicted, you have several rights.
There are several state and county diversion programs that may offer people the opportunity to keep their license, stay out of jail and wipe their record clean (expungement). One such program is the Allegheny County ARD Program or the Allegheny County DUI Alternative To Jail Program.
Attorney Chris Thomas and his staff have successfully argued to have their clients placed into DUI programs that offer an alternative to jail and in many cases a permanent record, when the client’s guilt is clear and trial is not a strong or reasonable option.
Other defenses can also be argued. For instance, if a police officer does not have reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle and their missteps can be proven, your charges could be dropped completely. Many other scenarios exist in which people arrested for DUI can have their sentencing reduced or their case dropped completely.
Having an aggressive and experienced DUI attorney to fight for your rights, negotiate with the courts and thoroughly investigate your case is the best way to increase your chances of having your charges reduced or dropped.
Learn more about DUI Diversion Programs in Western Pennsylvania.
A license means freedom. And no one wants to lose their freedom.
In Pennsylvania, sentencing for a DUI / DWI is very tough. Depending on your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level and the nature under which the charges took place, you could face losing your license for up to 18 months.
The sentencing for a first-time DUI of a BAC level of .10% to .159% is one-year license suspension and a fine of up to $5,000, among other penalties.
A second DUI in ten years under the lowest level of BAC (.08% – .099%) is a mandatory one-year license suspension, a maximum of 6 months in prison and a fine of up to $2,500, among other penalties.
If you were arrested for DUI of a Controlled Substance or prescription medication, your license could be suspended for up to a year and you could spend up to six months in jail.
If you are a minor, were driving a commercial vehicle or school bus, refused to take the field sobriety test, were involved in an accident with injuries or had minors in your vehicle, the fines and penalties increase.
Please see the Pennsylvania DUI Law Grading and Sentencing Guide for more information on specific sentencing guidelines.
Losing your license is not the only thing to worry about when arrested for a DUI. Depending on your BAC level, you may also face time in prison and heavy fines of up to $10,000.
A first-time DUI faces fines of up to $5,000 for a BAC level over .10%.
In addition, you may be required to attend rehabilitative programs and Alcohol Highway Safety School (AHSS), perform community service hours, be placed under Ignition Interlock and be subject to a full drug and alcohol assessment.
Pittsburgh DUI Attorney Christopher Thomas has a thorough knowledge of your rights under Pennsylvania law and he will work rigorously to defend them. He will work with you and give you options that are the best for you and your family.
Attorney Thomas is experienced at taking cases to trial, negotiating a plea, expunging DUI records and advocating for acceptance into probationary programs for first-time offenders.
We are also experienced in helping people determine whether their DUI case or DUI conviction can be affected by the recent (2016) U.S. Supreme Court Birchfield Ruling, which could result in a reduction in sentencing for certain DUI cases.
Our DUI Law Office, located in Downtown Pittsburgh, helps clients involved with the following DUI Charges:
We also help people understand the following types of alternative DUI programs, treatment programs and DUI laws in Pennsylvania:
We help people understand the DUI Court Process and, when possible, Appeal DUI Convictions.
Our criminal attorneys believe that people are inherently good. But good people make mistakes and some are falsely accused. A harsh punishment is rarely productive for anyone. Defendants also have families who have to bear the burden of their loved one being sentenced to jail and losing their job or their license. Many people need treatment programs, not harsh sentencing.
Our aggressive and compassionate attorneys are here to guide you through a difficult time. Everyone has unique situations and we take the time to listen to your story and fully understand the situation so that we can do everything possible to defend your rights.
Call Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer Christopher Thomas for a free legal evaluation of your case. Attorney Thomas is here to answer your questions, listen to your situation, explain your rights and offer the best steps to defending your rights and getting your future on track.
Call 412-765-3345 for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys are available by phone, email or in-person.
SMA Law Group attorneys believe in aggressively representing our clients while maintaining the personal compassion needed when counseling clients through difficult situations and navigating a complex legal system. Contact us today.