Pennsylvania follows the course of the rest of the United States in having two kinds of drunk driving charges. One is charged when a person’s blood alcohol concentration is .08 percent or higher, and is a General Impairment Driving While Impaired charge. The other is an Aggravated DUI charge, and the conditions for receiving this charge are different from state to state. Examples of aggravating factors include having one or more children in the car with you, a high BAC, or an accident that results in injuries.
Pennsylvania takes it even further with a third DUI level. This third level also has aggravating factors.
It’s never an easy task to understand DUI laws, but Pennsylvania’s are harder to comprehend than most.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, call Logue Law Group right away. He and his team of Pittsburgh DUI attorneys can help you understand and fight your charges.
What Are Aggravating Factors?
Many things can increase a DUI charge in the state of Pennsylvania. Any number of them may be chosen by the prosecutor to be included, and each of them increases the consequences faced upon conviction. The job of the Pittsburgh DUI attorney you hire is to eliminate some or all of the aggravating factors and get you a good outcome.
Included in the list of aggravating factors are the following:
- High blood alcohol concentration. A BAC of .10 percent or higher leads to High BAC charges. A BAC of .16 percent or higher leads to Highest BAC charges. Your attorney may try to challenge the breathalyzer and/or blood test, as well as the traffic stop and field sobriety tests, thereby challenging the results of the BAC.
- Previous convictions. If this is your second, third, fourth, or even tenth DUI, your previous convictions will increase the amount of jailtime, fines, and other consequences you face now. Your attorney might try to have your earlier conviction(s) dismissed, expunged, or downgraded.
- Having one or more children with you in the vehicle. If you are arrested for DUI and have a kid younger than 14 with you, you could face enhanced charges.
- Injuries as the result of an accident. Your potential punishments can be increased if you cause an accident that results in injuries, and you were driving drunk.
Under certain conditions, an offender can enter the Accelerated Rehabilitative Program, otherwise known as ARD. If you go through this program, it’s possible to get your conviction expunged. Without going through the program, it’s much harder to get an expungement. The following are the eligibility requirements for ARD:
- No deaths or serious injuries except to the alleged offender
- It was the first offense within the last ten years
- The accused had no passengers in the car who were under the age of 14
In Pennsylvania, Aggravated DUI is not a specific charge, but any of the aggravating factors listed above can lead to enhanced DUI charges. It’s always best to hire a Pittsburgh DUI attorney with experience in fighting these kind of charges.
How We Can Help
There are serious consequences attached to a High BAC or Highest BAC DUI charge. A first-in-ten-years .16 percent Highest DUI charge comes with any or all of the following consequences:
- Ungraded misdemeanor charges
- Suspension of your driver’s license for 12 months
- A possible full drug and alcohol assessment with treatment
- A jail sentence of up to six months
- Alcohol Highway Safety School
- Fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000
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