Have you recently been arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI)? If so, it is important to protect your future. The penalties associated with a DUI conviction are often harsh. It is crucial that you have an experienced PA DUI lawyer at Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC by your side so you can get out of a DUI in PA and get the charges against you reduced or dismissed.
Fortunately, whether you are a first-time or habitual offender, there are defenses that could convince the jury to return a favorable outcome in your case.
Challenging the DUI Charges Against You
There is some precedent for challenging police procedures or evidence during the arrest, and knowing what these points are can help you protect yourself from these serious charges:
Illegal Arrest or Traffic Stop
To legally pull someone over for a DUI stop, the officer doing so needs to have reasonable suspicion for the pullover and probable cause for the arrest. The officer must be able to defend both their suspicion and probable cause in court. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for police to arrest civilians for driving under the influence without true suspicion or probable cause that meets the legal definition.
Some of the most common examples of lack of probable cause in Pennsylvania include:
- Racial profiling
- Being stopped out of turn at a DUI checkpoint
- An officer charging you based solely on the sight of you leaving a bar
- Being pulled over simply because it’s late at night
All of these reasons and more have been cited for DUI charges that were later dropped. If any of these circumstances apply to you, an experienced DUI lawyer could be able to clear your name.
Improper Administration of a Field Sobriety Test
For police officers, field sobriety tests are a crucial part of determining whether to charge someone with a DUI. These tests must be done according to particular protocols laid out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Any failure by the arresting officer(s) to follow these procedures can result in the unfair arrest of an innocent person. If the officers in question failed to provide a straight line or adequately explain the instructions to you, an experienced DUI lawyer may be able to have the charges dismissed.
Interference From Medication or Health Problems
It is not uncommon for pre-existing health problems or medication to impact the results of a field sobriety test and lead to an unjust charge. Police evidence can be suppressed if you were prescribed certain medication and were taking it at the time of your arrest. Other common medical symptoms, such as a fever, can also lead to inaccurate results and can invalidate evidence retroactively.
Other Ways to Avoid a PA DUI Conviction
You may be able to get out of a DUI in Pennsylvania not only by presenting a compelling different strategy or challenging prosecutorial and police evidence. If this is your first time being accused of a DUI, you may be eligible for an accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD) program. Also commonly known as pretrial diversion, individuals charged with non-violent offenses may qualify for enrollment in these alternative programs.
Here, you will be required to fulfill specific terms. For example, you might need to:
- Complete a drug or alcohol treatment program
- Attend meetings regularly with a probation officer
- Abstain from alcohol or drug use
- Attend court-ordered mental health counseling
Then, once you meet the terms of your program, the district attorney dismisses the charges against you or reduces them to a lesser offense. However, once enrolled in an ARD program, if you fail to meet the requirements, the district attorney can proceed with the DUI charges against you, which could mean you are facing life-changing consequences if convicted.
Consequences of a Guilty Verdict
Under Pennsylvania drunk driving laws, the criminal penalties you will face for a DUI conviction depend on how high your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels were at the time of your arrest. For example, someone with a BAC of .08%, but less than .10%, could spend up to two years in jail, be ordered to pay fines up to $5,000, and face a license suspension for up to 12 months.
Motorists convicted of having a BAC level of at least .10%, but no more than .15%, could spend up to five years in jail, pay fines up to $10,000, and have their license suspended for up to 18 months. Anyone convicted of having a BAC of .16 or greater has the potential to face felony-level charges. If convicted, you could spend up to five years in jail, be fined up to $10,000, and have your license suspended for no more than 18 months.
With penalties this high, it is essential to get the DUI charges against you dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense so you can protect your future.
Contact a Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer for Help Today
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, the help of an experienced lawyer can help make sure you get treated fairly and avoid the fallout of a criminal conviction.
Contact Kalikhman & Rayz today to get the legal representation you need to fight unjust DUI charges. You can reach us through our online contact form or by phone to schedule your confidential consultation as soon as today.