A DUI charge (“Driving Under the Influence”) in Pennsylvania is no laughing matter. This is especially true with second or third DUI’s. With second, third and even fourth DUI’s, the penalties increase, jail or prison time becomes a possibility, and some DUI’s are now graded as felonies. DUI charges are serious matters indeed. Fortunately, with the right combination of legal research, diligence, and experience, the right criminal defense attorney can minimize any impact a DUI will have on you and perhaps even win your case.
First, it is important to know that DUI’s are categorized, primarily, in two different ways. Oftentimes, the two largest factors in a DUI analysis are the blood alcohol content of the accused individual and the number of DUI’s that person has had in the past. A lower blood alcohol content will put you in the first tier, a higher one will put you in the second tier, and the highest blood alcohol content of all will put you in a third tier. The higher the tier, the greater your penalties will be. Law enforcement will generally obtain blood alcohol content through a breathalyzer test or a blood test from a blood draw. There are laws that govern exactly how police obtain blood alcohol content. It is important they follow these laws correctly. If they fail to do so, it can sometimes strengthen the case of someone facing a DUI. It is also important to know that additional penalties can be placed on an individual if they refuse to consent to a blood alcohol test. You may face an additional license suspension of one year or greater.
Next, the number of DUI’s a person has in the past substantially affects the penalties they will face. The most important number to remember in this consideration is ten. Ten years. If you get a second or third DUI within ten years the courts may throw the book at you. But if you had a single DUI, twenty years ago, and picked up a second in the past year, that new DUI will be treated as a first. This is an extremely important factor in the law. Three DUI’s within ten years is bad news. If your prior DUI was right on the ten-year mark, there are important legal considerations that my firm can look at to see if the DUI can be treated as a first. We have success in the past in convincing prosecutors to treat a DUI a bit differently if the last one was very far in the past.
In addition to the factors above, there are many other issues that can arise in DUI cases. For instance, whether the police have probable cause to investigate the DUI, did they carefully administer the field sobriety tests and were they diligent in obtaining and keeping records of blood alcohol content for use in court. A good criminal defense attorney will look very closely at these matters and see if there is an angle to fight your case. We may even be able to fight the license suspension that accompanies a refusal. Each case is different and must be handled precisely.
At Joe Pometto Law we understand the seriousness of DUI’s. They can result in license suspensions, the termination of a Commercial Driver’s License (“CDL”) or even jail time in some instances. We are very good at helping our clients avoid jail on DUI’s. Joe Pometto Law will also work extra hard to protect and preserve your license and ability to work and provide for your family. Contact us now and lean on our experience in fighting DUI charges to the utmost.