Definition of DUI in Philadelphia
A police offer has accused you of driving under the influence of alcohol if that person has given you a citation for DUI. The officer feels as though he or she has reason to believe that you were operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of more than .08 percent. If you are a commercial driver, then the officer is accusing you of having a BAC of more than .04 percent. The officer is accusing you of having a BAC that is greater than .o2 percent if you are under the age of 21.
The reason for the stop may have been that you were exhibiting erratic driving behaviors such as weaving, swerving or speeding. You may have given off a poor reading when you submitted to the Breathalyzer test, as well.
Consequences of DUI in Philadelphia
The consequences are so massive for a DUI that you will not want to move forward with your case unless you hire a Philadelphia DUI defense attorney. First, you can have your license suspended immediately for one full year if you refuse to take the breath test. Subsequent test refusals can leave you with no license for as long as 18 months.
You may receive jail time for a first-time offense of DUI in the city of Philadelphia. There is no mandatory jail sentence that a judge must give you. However, you can receive up to six months of probation or jail if the judge sees fit to assign it to you. Your fine for a first offense is $300. Second offenses for DUI in Philadelphia can result in jail sentences of at least five days and up to six months. The fines can be as much as $2,500. You could lose your license for up to 12 months, as well. A third-time offense of DUI can place you in jail for 10 days to two years. Your fines can be as high as $5,000, and you can lose your license for 12 months.
The judge may order alcohol or drug treatment, alcohol highway safety classes or an ignition interlock device. The ignition interlock device is a device that acts a Breathalyzer and a security device. You will have to test yourself by blowing into the machine before your car will turn over. The machine will take your BAC and send the results to the appropriate department.
Another way that a DUI can affect you is by increasing your insurance rates. Your insurance rates will skyrocket after you receive a DUI conviction. Your insurance company could decide to drop you from the policy, as well. Furthermore, you will have a criminal record if you receive a DUI conviction. The criminal record can haunt you for many years by preventing you from getting the job you want or the apartment that you desire to have one day. To prevent this from happening, you will want to contact an attorney who can fight for you.
Tiered Penalty Differences in Pennsylvania
The sate of Pennsylvania uses a tiered system to punish DUI offenders. That means that the penalties increase when the BAC gets higher. Pennsylvania’s tiers are .08, .10 to .159 percent, and .16 and up. A first-time offender who has a BAC of .16 will have to serve a mandatory 72 hours in jail.
How a Defense Attorney Can Help You
A defense attorney can assist you in many ways. This person can act as a confidant and a friend during one of your darkest hours. The attorney can then act as your protector once you provide all the necessary details and then accept the attorney’s representation. The accusing party has to produce proof that you were driving under the influence of alcohol to make a DUI stick. The attorney can push for an acquittal if the prosecution is unable to do so. The attorney can try to request a dismissal if any instances of foul play or improper procedure are apparent. The goal of a defense attorney is to keep your reputation intact and preserve your future by showing the court your innocence.
Qualities of a Reliable DUI Attorney
The success of your case depends on the skill set that your attorney possesses. You want to find someone who has experience with DUI cases. That is the most important aspect of choosing the correct firm. Secondly, you want to choose an affordable attorney. You don’t want to sign up for something you cannot afford, so be careful. You may be able to get a free consultation, and the attorney may tell you the rate during that meeting. Compassion and empathy are important as well. Make sure your attorney understands your plight. Last but not least, your attorney should have some statistics to show you. The person who is representing you should not have any problem presenting you with statistics and credentials if you ask for them.
Schedule an Appointment Today
It is in your best interest to schedule an appointment with a Philadelphia DUI defense attorney immediately. You can use the dedicated phone number to contact the firm on the phone, or you can schedule an appointment by completing a short form. Tell the attorney a little bit about your situation, and someone will schedule you for a consultation. You should bring any documentation and witnesses that you have. The attorney will be able to assess the situation at that time and let you know if he or she can represent you.