Allentown DUI Attorney
If you’ve been charged with drunk driving, you need a lawyer - and fast. That’s why the Allentown criminal defense attorneys at the Regan Law Firm are ready to help you immediately! In Pennsylvania, a person driving, operating or in physical control of a vehicle may be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in the following circumstances:
- After drinking enough alcohol to render him incapable of safe driving;
- The driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.02 or higher and the driver is either under the age of 21 or operating a school bus or school vehicle;
- The driver’s BAC is 0.04 or higher and the driver is operating a commercial vehicle other than a school bus or school vehicle;
- The driver’s BAC is 0.08 or higher;
- There is any amount of a Schedule I drug (such as marijuana) in the driver’s blood;
- There is any amount of non-prescribed Schedule II or III drug (such as Adderall or steroids) in the driver’s blood; or
- The driver is under the combined influence of alcohol and a drug or a combination of drugs to a degree that impairs the driver’s ability to safely drive.
DUI Sentencing Laws in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania categorizes DUI cases so that the higher the BAC, the stiffer the penalties. In addition to the increased penalties for higher BAC’s, penalties also increase when the defendant has a prior DUI in the preceding ten years. All defendants convicted of a DUI will incur a mandatory minimum sentence, though this does not always include jail. You can learn more on our DUI FAQ page, as well.
DUI charges in Pennsylvania are misdemeanor offenses. A first offense DUI, meaning the driver’s first DUI in the last ten years, is an ungraded misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. The mandatory minimum sentences for an adult convicted of a first offense DUI are as follows:
- If the driver is incapable of safe driving, or has a BAC of 0.08 to less than 0.10, the minimum sentence is six months of probation;
- If the BAC is 0.10 to less than 0.16, minimum sentence is 48 hours in jail;
- If the BAC is 0.16 or higher, the minimum sentence is 72 hours in jail.
If this is the driver’s second DUI in the last ten years, the mandatory minimum jail sentences increase to five days, thirty days and ninety days respectively. If this is the third DUI in the last ten years, the penalties increase to ten days, ninety days, and one year respectively. Additionally, the maximum sentences for a driver with a prior DUI may increase to two or five years depending on the BAC, prior DUIs, and whether there was a crash with injuries or property damage.
Our Defense Strategies for DUIs in Allentown
There are several common defenses in a DUI case. The officer may have stopped the car without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. The chemical breath or blood test may have occurred more than two hours after the driver was in control of the motor vehicle. The officer may have failed to observe the driver 20 minutes prior to submitting to a chemical breath test. The chemical breath test machine may not have been calibrated properly or performed by a certified operator. These are some of the common issues that may arise in a DUI case. A lawyer and client should discuss these potential defenses, and any other relevant issues, when deciding to take the case to trial or enter into pleas negotiations.
The ARD Program
Depending on the driver’s criminal history, he or she may be eligible for the ARD program. If accepted into ARD the driver would not go to jail and would incur a much shorter license suspension. In addition, upon successful completion of the ARD program the driver may petition the court to expunge all government records of the DUI arrest. For more information, see our DUI FAQ.
Contact an Allentown DUI Lawyer Today
To speak with a skilled Allentown criminal defense attorney with years of experience representing clients accused of driving under the influence, contact The Regan Law Firm today. We can also help if you’re the victim of DUI Refusal charges. Call us now for your free, no-obligation, confidential initial consultation at (484) 498-6334.