Scranton DUI Attorney
Being arrested for a DUI in Scranton can have serious consequences. If convicted, a person may face jail time, high fines, and will have a permanent criminal record. That record can prevent them from obtaining future employment, housing opportunities, and more. Other consequences of being arrested for a DUI include license revocation, and possibly a requirement to install an ignition lock device in a vehicle.
While being arrested for a DUI can seem hopeless, it’s not. There are defenses available, and a Scranton DUI attorney can provide them. If you have been arrested for a DUI, call a lawyer that can help today.
Pennsylvania Law on DUI
The state’s driving under the influence laws are outlined in 75 Pa.C.S.A., section 3802. This statute prohibits anyone from driving, operating, or being in physical control of a vehicle if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. The statute also states that when an individual’s BAC is between 0.08 percent and 0.10 percent, they may face stiffer penalties if pulled over and arrested for DUI.
Controlled substances are also included within the statute. It states that a person may not drive, operate, or be in physical control of a vehicle if they have used a drug, or combination of drugs, “to a degree which impairs the individual’s ability to safely drive.”
Also according to the statute, minors may not drive if they have a BAC higher than 0.02 percent. Commercial drivers or drivers of a commercial vehicle are prohibited from driving if they have a BAC higher than 0.04 percent.
License Revocation After a DUI
Like most states, Pennsylvania operates under the legal theory of implied consent. This means that within the state, drivers suspected of driving under the influence must agree to a chemical test. In order for the test to be administered though, the police officer must have probable cause that the person is intoxicated and operating a vehicle.
When a driver refuses to submit to this chemical test, their license may be revoked for up to one year. Following a DUI test refusal, the individual has up to ten days to request a hearing in order to challenge the license suspension.
Other Penalties for a DUI in Pennsylvania
The penalties after being convicted of a DUI in Pennsylvania can vary. Subsequent convictions after a first offense will carry stiffer penalties, as will a higher BAC.
A conviction of a first offense with a BAC between 0.08 and 0.999 percent may include:
- Up to six months probation
- Fine up to $300
- Completion of Alcohol Highway Safety School
- Certain drug and alcohol treatment requirements
When a person is facing a first conviction, and their BAC was between 0.1 and 0.159 percent, the penalties become harsher. They include:
- Between 48 hours and six months mandatory incarceration
- Fines between $500 and $5,000
- Completion of Alcohol Highway Safety School
- License revocation for one year
- Full drug and alcohol assessment
Fines and jail time increase when a person has been convicted of driving with a BAC of 0.16 percent or more, even for a first offense. In this case, a person may spend anywhere between 72 hours and six months in jail, and be required to pay between $1,000 and $5,000 in fines. Alcohol Highway Safety School will still be required, as will a full drug and alcohol assessment. With a high BAC, the individual will also have their licenses revoked for one year.
Subsequent convictions will carry even greater penalties. These will include a full drug and alcohol assessment, completion of Alcohol Highway Safety School, high fines, and jail time. After a second offense, an individual will likely have their license revoked for one year, even when they have a lower BAC. They will also likely be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
Defenses to a DUI Charge
Being arrested for a DUI can seem like a hopeless situation, but it’s not. There are defenses available and a DUI lawyer in Scranton can provide them.
Defenses can include challenging the ‘driving’ aspect of a DUI. The law clearly states that a person cannot be in physical control of the movement of a vehicle with a high BAC. However, if the person was not actually driving, the charge can be challenged.
When the defendant’s rights were not upheld during the arrest, this can also provide a defense to a DUI charge. If the officer did not have probable cause to make the arrest, or did not read the defendant their Miranda warning, the entire case can be challenged.
Field sobriety tests, breath tests, and blood tests are not always accurate. Challenging the results of these tests in court can also provide a solid defense to a DUI charge.
Contact a Scranton DUI Lawyer that can Help
Being charged with a DUI, even for a first offense, is very serious. If you have been charged or arrested, contact Ernest D. Preate, Jr., Esquire at 570-558-5970. He is an experienced Scranton DUI attorney that will review your case, and help you build a solid defense. You do not have to accept the charge and any resulting penalties from it. Call today so you can move past the DUI charge, and move on with your life.