Bucks County DUI Defense Lawyer
Despite their unfortunate commonality, driving under the influence is a serious matter and can carry serious consequences. It is undoubtedly in the public interest for local police and state troopers to keep dangerous drivers off the road. However, in some circumstances, police can be overzealous in this goal and end up doing more harm than good.
By arresting drivers in borderline cases, they are occupied and unable to patrol the roads for seriously impaired or dangerous drivers. Additionally, the harsh penalties for DUI can seriously impact an individual’s ability to get to work, handle day-to-day tasks, and be a productive member of society. Finally, in some instances, the officer may incorrectly perceive behavior or be lead astray by a compromised breathalyzer or another chemical test. Thus, the officer will needlessly inflict severe harm to the life of an innocent driver.
If you or a family member was charged with a DUI, you should consult with an experienced Bucks and Delaware County DUI defense lawyer. The attorneys of Young, Marr & Associates have represented thousands of Bucks and Delaware County drivers charged with DUI. We will work to protect your driver’s license, keep you out of jail, and reduce or eliminate other penalties. To schedule a free consultation for your DUI case, call us at (215) 372-8667 or reach us online.
When Can a Driver Be Charged With DUI?
In Pennsylvania, a driver can be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or greater. BAC refers to the amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream used to determine whether a person is legally intoxicated. Several factors can affect your BAC:
- Body type
- Drink strength
- Rate of consumption
You may believe that you did not consume enough drinks to be over the legal limit, but depending on your circumstances, it is possible you miscalculated your BAC. Additionally, you can be charged with a DUI if your BAC is less than .08 if an officer perceives that you are impaired or driving unsafely. For drivers under age 21, lower DUI thresholds apply. In Pennsylvania, if you are under 21 and are driving with a BAC of .02, you can be charged with a DUI.
Pennsylvania also has an implied consent law. This law requires you to consent to a breathalyzer or chemical testing if you are arrested for a DUI. The idea behind the law is by driving on Pennsylvania roadways; you impliedly consented to chemical testing to determine your BAC if you are arrested for DUI.
DUI charges also apply to individuals who operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of controlled substances or street drugs. For more information on how BAC rules work, you should speak with an experienced Delaware County DUI defense lawyer.
DUI Penalties in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania categorizes DUI penalties by the level of an offender’s BAC. In Pennsylvania, a first-time DUI offense when BAC is less than .10 typically does not result in a license suspension nor is jail time required. This is because Pennsylvania has an interest in treating first-time offenders they believe are unlikely to commit a DUI again.
The possible penalties for a first-time DUI offense are:
- Up to six months probation
- $300 fine
- Alcohol highway safety school
- Treatment when ordered
Individuals who have repeatedly committed DUIs are subject to harsher penalties. For example, if you are a repeat offender and are caught with a BAC of .10 or greater, you can receive a 1st-degree misdemeanor. A 1st-degree misdemeanor carries penalties like an 18-month licenses suspension, up to five years in prison, and a possible $10,000 fine.
Repeat offenders with a BAC of .16 and higher face similar penalties to repeat offenders with a BAC of .10 or higher.
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) in Pennsylvania
The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Guidance (ARD) program is unique to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. ARD is designed to spare first-time offenders who are unlikely to repeat their offense, the time and expense typically associated with a criminal proceeding.
Further, successful completion of your ARD program will result in the dismissal of your charges and provide you with a clean criminal history. However, the district attorney has the final say in whether you can participate in an ARD program. Generally, you must not have had any prior criminal history, and any previous ARD participation must have been more than 10 years ago.
Additionally, to qualify for the ARD program, a minor under the age of 14 cannot have been a passenger nor can a third party have suffered injury or death related to the DUI offense.
Despite ARD’s benefits, you should consult with an experienced attorney before agreeing to the program. In some instances, the facts themselves may dictate that you should fight the charges.
Our Bucks County DUI Defense Attorneys Will Fight Your DUI Case
If you or a family member is facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania, you should contact an experienced Bucks and Delaware County criminal defense attorney. Young, Marr & Associates understand the stress of dealing with criminal procedures in Bucks and Delaware County, and we are here to guide you. Our group of diligent attorneys will fight to get you the legal outcome that you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, contact us at (215) 372-8667. We answer our phones 24 hours a day.
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.