Have you been arrested for drunk driving? You probably have a multitude of questions and concerns about what to do next. Please read the information below for answers to common questions about DUI defense.
If you wish to speak to a DUI defense attorney in the Philadelphia area, please contact Kenneth L. Baritz & Associates, P.C.
Will I Lose My License?
This is one of the most common questions we are asked. If you have previously been convicted of drunk driving and are convicted again, you face a license suspension of at least one year. If you are convicted of a first DUI with a high BAC level (.10 and higher), or with a controlled substance in your system, or if you refused testing altogether, or if your case involved a car accident, then you will face a one-year license suspension. However, if this is your first DUI and your BAC was under .10, your license will not be suspended, unless the incident involved a car accident.
Will I Go To Jail?
If you are convicted of drunk driving for the second time, you face a mandatory minimum penalty of either five days, 30 days or 90 days in jail, depending on what level of alcohol/drugs was in your system, whether there was an accident and whether you refused testing. If this is your third conviction, you face a mandatory minimum penalty of either 10, 90 or 365 days in jail, depending on what level of alcohol/drugs was in your system, whether there was an accident and whether you refused testing. If this is your first DUI and you have no prior criminal record, you may be eligible for a pretrial diversion program in order to avoid jail time. However, if you are not eligible for a pretrial diversion program, you may be facing a mandatory minimum sentence of either 48 or 72 hours in jail, depending on what level of alcohol/drugs was in your system, whether there was an accident and whether you refused testing. If you are not eligible for a pretrial diversion program, and your BAC was less than .10, and there was no car accident in your case, then you will not be given a jail sentence, and instead will be given a period of probation not to exceed six months.
What Happens To Minors Who Are Convicted Of Drunk Driving?
In addition to the penalties listed above, a driver under the age of 21 who is convicted of DUI in Pennsylvania may face additional penalties, such as a license suspension, fines, alcohol safety school and community service. A driver who is under the age of 18 also may face additional fines, probation and alcohol treatment.
Are Field Sobriety Tests Reliable?
Police officers often use field sobriety tests — such as reciting the alphabet backwards and the walk-and-turn test — as a method of proving that someone is intoxicated. However, these methods are notoriously unreliable. If you have been charged with drunk driving based on the results of field sobriety tests, please talk to our attorneys as soon as possible.
I Failed The Breathalyzer Test. Will I Be Convicted?
Not necessarily. Once you meet with us to discuss what has happened to you, we will start building a defense case on your behalf. This includes closely analyzing the results and administration of the Breathalyzer test. Errors may have been made when the test was administered. The machine may have been improperly calibrated. The officer may not have been properly trained. We will look at these and other defenses.