Montgomery County, PA DUI Defense Lawyer
A fun night out on the town can turn into a legal nightmare if you are stopped by the police while driving after consuming alcohol. The Commonwealth takes drunk driving extremely seriously and, if convicted, you can face penalties that affect your finances, your ability to drive, and your liberty. At Young Marr & Associates, our team of seasoned Montgomery County, PA DUI defense lawyers knows how to mount a successful defense against a DUI charge. If you or a loved one has been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Montgomery County, PA, contact our firm at (866) 781-4058 so that one of our lawyers can get to work on your case right away.
DUI Arrest Procedure in Montgomery County
Sometimes, the police will set up a DUI checkpoint where they check every vehicle that passes to ensure that no one is driving drunk. This type of checkpoint usually occurs at a time when many people historically have driven drunk, like a holiday weekend or after a big concert or event. Typically, however, a motorist is pulled over on suspicion of DUI after an officer notices them driving irregularly or committing some sort of traffic offense, such as speeding or making an illegal turn.
After you are pulled over, the officer may make observations such as that you are slurring your speech or if your breath or the vehicle smell like alcohol or drugs. They may ask you questions about whether you consumed alcohol or did drugs prior to driving. If they feel further investigation is merited, they will conduct a series of roadside tests which may include the following:
- Portable Breathalyzer test (PBT)
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test
- Walk and Turn Test
- One Leg Stand Test
If the officer feels based on his observations and the results of these tests that there is probable cause to believe that you have committed DUI, they will arrest you and transport you to the police station for further tests and booking.
Types of DUI Charges and Penalties in Montgomery County, PA
The charges and penalties you face when you are arrested for DUI will depend on how high your blood alcohol content (BAC) was when you were pulled over as well as whether you have been previously convicted of a DUI offense. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania separates DUI charges into three tiers depending on the severity of the incident.
Tier One: General Impairment DUI
A general impairment DUI is charged when you are found to have driven either with an undetermined BAC or a BAC between .08% and .099%. If you are charged with a general impairment DUI and this is your first DUI offense, the charge is an ungraded misdemeanor with penalties including up to 6 months on probation, fines up to $300, and mandatory alcohol safety school attendance. If it your second DUI offense, it is also charged as an ungraded misdemeanor, but penalties can include a 12-month license suspension, jail time between 5 days and 6 months, and fines up to $2,500.
Finally, if you have had 2 or more previous DUI convictions, the charge is a second-degree misdemeanor and penalties can include a 12-month license suspension, a prison sentence between 10 days and 2 years, and up to $5,000 in fines. Furthermore, you may be required to equip your car with an ignition interlock device for as long as one year.
Tier Two: High BAC DUI
You will be charged with a high BAC DUI if your blood alcohol content is between .10% to .159% when you are arrested. A first offense is an ungraded misdemeanor and penalties can include a 12-month license suspension, between 48 hours and 6 months in prison, and up to $5,000 in fines. A second offense is also an ungraded misdemeanor punishable by a 12-month license suspension, between 30 days and 6 months in prison, and fines up to $5,000.
If your high BAC DUI is your third DUI conviction, it will be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor and you will face penalties including an 18-month license suspension, between 90 days and 5 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and 1 year with the ignition interlock device. If it is your fourth conviction or beyond, it is a first-degree misdemeanor and you will face an 18-month license suspension, between 1 to 5 years in prison, fines up to $10,000, and 1 year with the ignition interlock device.
Tier Three: Highest BAC DUI
Highest BAC DUI is charged when your blood alcohol content when pulled over was .16% or higher. For a first offense, this charge is an ungraded misdemeanor and penalties can include a 12-month license suspension, 72 hours to 6 months in prison, and fines up to $5,000. If this is your second DUI offense, it will be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor and you will face an 18-month license suspension, 90 days to 5 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and one year with the ignition interlock device.
Finally, if you have been convicted of two or more previous DUIs, the charge will be a first-degree misdemeanor and you will face an 18-month license suspension, between 1 and 5 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and 1 year with the ignition interlock device.
Note that all drug related DUIs are charged as a highest BAC DUI, no matter the amount of drugs found in your system.
Refusal as a Separate Offense
After being arrested for DUI, you will be transported to the local police station. There, you will be required to submit to a Breathalyzer test. Depending on the nature of your charges, you may also be required to submit to blood or urine tests.
If you refuse to submit to these tests, you will be charged with the separate crime of refusal. This crime can result in severe penalties including driver’s license suspension, mandatory jail time, and large fines. If this is not your first refusal offense, the penalties can be even more steep.
Contact our Experienced Montgomery County, PA DUI Lawyers Today
DUI convictions can result in serious penalties that can seriously disrupt your life. If you or a family member has been charged with DUI, a Montgomery County, PA DUI defense lawyer like the ones at Young Marr & Associates can help protect your rights and fight bring your case to a speedy and positive resolution. Call us today at (866) 781-4058 for a free consultation.
NO JAIL TIME
Commonwealth v. "H" (DUI case)
Client was charged with three separate DUI cases calling for mandatory minimum imprisonment of 90 days on each case. Client was advised to seek immediate intensive alcohol counseling. Client was sentenced to 1 year of house arrest after serving 3 days in the county prison.
Commonwealth v. "C" (Felony drug/Firearms case)
Client was charged with felony Delivery of drugs and illegal gun possession and was facing a mandatory 3-6 year prison sentence in the State prison system. Client was sentenced to one year of house arrest.
Commonwealth v. "S"
Client was charged with simple assault, domestic. After a hearing where evidence and testimony was presented, the entire case was dismissed by Judge Leonard Brown.
State of New Jersey v. "H"
Charges for young man charged with second degree aggravated assault were downgraded to third degree and he was accepted into the County Pretrial Intervention program with charges to be dismissed and record expunged after one year of misconduct free behavior.
OUR CRIMINAL DEFENSE TEAM INCLUDES TWO FORMER DISTRICT ATTORNEYS
We have decades of experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors, and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Anyone facing charges involving a criminal offense can expect to experience a heightened degree of emotional turmoil, for themselves, as well as their family members. Our team of highly qualified criminal law attorneys and expert legal support staff are committed to providing each of our client’s with the compassion and understanding they deserve, as well as an aggressive plan for representation at an affordable price.
As former prosecutors, we have a balanced and in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system and how the prosecution prepares cases. In addition, we have long-standing experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
At Young, Marr and Associates, when we say “experience matters,” we mean it. Our lawyers, which include two former prosecutors and a former senior deputy district attorney bring more than three decades of criminal law experience, handling more than 10,000 criminal cases. It is precisely that experience that allows us to achieve outstanding results for our clients facing DUI, traffic, felony and misdemeanor charges in state, federal and juvenile courts.