HOW TO CHALLENGE A DUI ACCUSATION IN PENNSYLVANIA
In Pennsylvania, if you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI), should you take the case to trial and plead not guilty? Or should you accept a plea deal? Where can you find the legal help that you are very much going to need?
Literally thousands of drivers are arrested every year in Pennsylvania for DUI. If you believe that you are not guilty of a DUI charge, and if your lawyer cannot have the charge dropped or dismissed, in most cases, you should plead not guilty and insist on your right to a trial.
If you are innocent of driving under the influence, the right Lemoyne DUI lawyer will fight aggressively for your acquittal. R. Davis Younts is the attorney you can count on.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF A CONVICTION FOR DUI?
You probably already know that a conviction for DUI in Pennsylvania can have serious legal consequences. Even a first offense DUI conviction can be punished with a hefty fine, a driver’s license suspension, and for some first-time offenders, a jail sentence.
But what many people may not realize is that a DUI conviction can also have extra-legal ramifications that may affect your life negatively for the foreseeable future. A DUI conviction can put your employment at risk and make it difficult to obtain any work that requires driving.
A DUI conviction will considerably increase the cost of your automobile insurance. If you hold a professional license, a conviction may trigger disciplinary action by your professional licensing board. If you’re an immigrant in Pennsylvania, a DUI conviction puts you at risk for deportation.
WHAT IS THE “LEGAL LIMIT” FOR PENNSYLVANIA MOTORISTS?
A driver may face a DUI charge if he or she drives with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level at 0.08 percent or higher, even if that motorist’s driving ability is not actually impaired. Similarly, if you appear impaired, you can be charged with DUI even with a BAC level below 0.08 percent.
The BAC measurement is a key factor when it comes to sentencing DUI offenders:
- “General” impairment means a BAC measurement ranging from 0.08 to 0.099 percent.
- A “high” BAC measurement ranges from 0.10 to 0.159 percent.
- The “highest” BAC measurement is 0.16 percent or higher.
However, a driver under 21 years of age may be charged with driving under the influence if that driver’s BAC level measures at 0.02 percent or higher. And in addition to probation, fines, classes, and a driver’s license suspension, you can receive a jail term for a DUI conviction.
HOW MUCH JAIL TIME IS REQUIRED FOR PENNSYLVANIA DUI CONVICTIONS?
In many DUI cases, the law requires at least a few days in jail for offenders who are convicted of DUI. Listed below are the mandatory minimum jail terms for Pennsylvania DUI convictions:
- For a first offense with general impairment, jail time is not mandatory. Two days is the jail sentence for a first offense with a high BAC level, and three days is the jail sentence for the highest BAC level.
- For a second offense with general impairment, five days of jail time is required. Thirty days is the jail sentence for a second offense with a high BAC level, and ninety days is the jail sentence for the highest BAC level.
- For a third offense with general impairment, ten days of jail time is required. Ninety days is the jail sentence for a third offense with a high BAC level, and one year is the sentence for the highest BAC level.
WHEN IS A PENNSYLVANIA DUI CHARGE A FELONY CHARGE?
DUI is a felony in this state when an intoxicated driver causes an injury or fatality. When that happens, that driver may face one of Pennsylvania’s three felony DUI charges:
- Homicide While Under the Influence: This is a second-degree felony, the most severe DUI charge that a motorist may face in this state. A conviction may be penalized with a five-to-ten-year prison term and a fine of up to $25,000.
- Aggravated Assault While Under the Influence: This is also a second-degree felony charge that may be brought when an intoxicated motorist seriously or permanently injures someone.
- Felony DUI with Injury: Typically, this is the charge when an intoxicated motorist injures someone. A good DUI lawyer might be able to have the charge lowered to a misdemeanor DUI.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A DUI ATTORNEY?
Don’t try to be your own lawyer if you’re charged with driving under the influence. DUI science and DUI law are both difficult, your future and freedom will be in the balance, and whatever you say may be used in court against you. Instead, seek a good lawyer’s help immediately.
You must be represented by an attorney who has considerable DUI experience if you are facing a DUI charge in Lemoyne, Harrisburg, or anywhere in Dauphin or Cumberland County.
Lemoyne DUI lawyer R. Davis Younts has been practicing law in the state of Pennsylvania since 2002. He’s been a prosecutor, JAG (Judge Advocate General), and a number one-ranked Senior Defense Counsel in the United States Air Force.
Attorney R. Davis Younts now dedicates his practice to defending the accused in military, federal, and Pennsylvania state courts.
HOW WILL YOUR DUI CASE BE HANDLED?
The right lawyer can sometimes have a DUI charge reduced to a “wet reckless” charge, especially if the motorist has no prior DUI convictions and no one was injured.
But if you are innocent, and if a DUI charge can’t be dismissed, your lawyer may recommend taking your case to trial and asking the jurors to return an acquittal. Always let an experienced lawyer handle a DUI case, and adhere to that lawyer’s recommendations.
Attorney R. Davis Younts can examine the state’s evidence, cast doubt on that evidence, and fight for the justice you deserve in a DUI case. If the police had no probable cause for pulling you over in traffic, attorney R. Davis Younts will fight to have the charge dropped or dismissed.
In other cases, he may challenge the blood or breathalyzer test results. Breathalyzers may return inaccurate measurements for a number of reasons. Your attorney may also challenge the qualifications of the person who conducted a blood or breathalyzer test.
HOW CAN YOU CONTACT LEMOYNE ATTORNEY R. DAVIS YOUNTS?
Lemoyne criminal defense lawyer R. Davis Younts may be reached at (833) 739-5291 or (717) 612-4840. His law offices are located at 26 North Ninth Street in Lemoyne. If you’re facing any DUI or alcohol-related criminal charge, it’s imperative to seek good legal help at once. That is your right.