Being charged with DUI in Westmoreland County or elsewhere in Pennsylvania can be a scary experience, and one that can have lasting repercussions on your life. Facing the charge of DUI is nothing if not unnerving, which is why having seasoned, aggressive representation for your DUI case important. If you are facing Westmoreland County DUI charges, you need to contact our DUI arrests attorney to assess your case and formulate your defense.
You probably have a slew of questions about your DUI case. You may be wondering if you will go to jail, lose your driving privileges, and be assessed a fine. You may also have questions about mandates to attend driving school, how the DUI will affect your criminal record, and if your insurance rates will go up. The answers to these questions depend largely on whether or not you have been convicted of or plead guilty to DUI in the past.
While getting charged with a DUI is always a big deal, if it is your first DUI, the penalties may be less than if it is a subsequent charge. However, the severity of penalties even in a first-time DUI depend on your blood alcohol concentration at the time of your arrest. Pennsylvania orders impairment based on blood alcohol criteria. If your BAC is between .08 and .099, then you may face only fines and probation. However, if your BAC was .10 or more or if you were impaired by a controlled substance while driving, you may face six months in jail, suspension of your license, fines of up to $5,000, possible treatment for alcohol or drugs, and DUI school. In addition, even a first-time conviction of DUI goes on your permanent record, which means that future employers and others (including auto insurers) will be able to see that you were convicted of DUI.
Second or greater convictions of DUI can land you in a more serious situation, with up to three years of jail time on the table. If your DUI resulted in the bodily harm of another person, such as during a car crash, penalties may be enhanced.
Is there any point fighting your Westmoreland County DUI charges?
Many defendants in DUI cases make the fast assumption that the evidence against them is strong enough to garner a conviction; why else would the district attorney bother to pursue the charge, after all? While that’s a valid thought process, the truth is that it is not always true. Our legal team has successfully defended clients in the past against charges of driving under the influence, helping our clients avoid the substantial negative outcomes that come with such a conviction.
While each DUI case is unique, some successful DUI defenses in the past include:
- Improper stop. The officer who stopped you and ultimately charged you with DUI must have had a reason to do so under the law.
- Improperly administered field sobriety tests. The tests used to determine your impairment must be administered properly or be subject to challenge in the courtroom.
- Inaccurate breathalyzer equipment. Officers must use properly functioning breathalyzers and must possess the training to administer the test properly.