What do I Need to Know if I'm Arrested for DUI?
The first thing you need to know if you are arrested for DUI in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is that your best bet is to hire a criminal defense attorney with experience in DUI defense. The criminal courts are a confusing and complex entity, and the consequences of a conviction can be severe and life-changing.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, the penalties that come with a DUI conviction could include the loss of your driver’s license for anywhere from 30 days to a year. If it’s your first DUI, there are more options available to you, and some of them will limit the length of your suspension. Also, the immediacy of your license suspension depends upon your submission or refusal to submit to a chemical blood alcohol concentration test.
Even worse than losing your license, a conviction for DUI often comes with a jail sentence. Depending again on the circumstances of your case, it could be a few days, or it could be a few years. Even if it’s a first time DUI conviction, if it comes with a high blood alcohol concentration, you could be in prison for many years.
Additionally, a conviction comes with fines and other expenses. You will pay court costs that are likely as high as the fines themselves, and, if you are ordered to do so, you will be required to pay for the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. This device tests your breath before it allows you to start the car, then periodically retests it.
The most severe of the penalties for a DUI conviction is the black mark on your criminal history. A DUI conviction can lead to a lost job currently, and can lock you out of future employment, especially if the potential job requires driving. A criminal history can keep you out of certain apartment or home rentals, as well.
For some people, convictions for DUI lead to the loss of professional licenses. The most common example of this is commercial truck drivers, but there are other professions where this happens. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and even teachers and accountants can find their professional licenses yanked due to DUI charges. These professions and many others assume that if you have received a DUI, you are drinking intemperately, and they have rules in place to remove habitual drinkers from the profession.
A DUI conviction can have life-altering consequences, but there are defenses available to you. A defense attorney who specializes in DUI cases will know to look at the equipment and personnel who tested your blood alcohol content for deficiencies in training and calibration. He will know to examine video evidence. And, he will know when to go to trial and when a plea deal is best.
An experienced attorney whose caseload is mostly or entirely DUI will know all the options available to you. He will examine the details and circumstances of your specific case, research case law if necessary, and will explain your options to you. It is vitally important that you leave out no details. An attorney cannot help you get your charges reduced or dismissed if he doesn’t know exactly what happened, and there’s nothing worse for either of you than for a detail you forgot to suddenly come up in court.
Don’t hire an attorney with little experience in handling DUI cases. You deserve the best defense possible.
Don’t wait to hire representation! The longer you wait, the harder it will be for your attorney to get you the outcome you desire.
If you have been stopped for Driving Under the Influence, you need an experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney who knows DUI defense to help you. The Logue Criminal Defense team has defended hundreds of DUI cases, often getting the charges reduced or dropped altogether. Logue Law Group serves the Pittsburgh, PA area, West Virginia, and Ohio. Call today for an initial consultation at no charge to you: 1-844-PITT-DUI or (412) 389-0805. Or, you may contact us online.