Philadelphia DUI Lawyer

In Philadelphia, a charge of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is known as a DUI. These charges can be based on a high blood alcohol concentration or even merely driving with a controlled substance in your system.

If you face charges of driving under the influence in Philadelphia, it may be in your best interest to contact an experienced Philadelphia DUI lawyer. Let a dedicated criminal attorney fight for you and help you reach a favorable outcome to your case.

Possible Penalties for a DUI Conviction

According to the Pennsylvania DUI statute 75 Pa. C.S.A. §6308, there are two factors that will affect the sentence in a DUI case: the number of prior DUI convictions and the level of impairment by the defendant.

A driver will face stiffer penalties for every prior DUI conviction they have. But those penalties can also be enhanced depending on the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of the driver. There are three tiers of intoxication, with each level carrying a stiffer penalty. The levels are:

  • Lowest Penalty: BAC between .08 and .99
  • Higher Penalty: BAC between .10 and .159
  • Highest Penalty: BAC of .16 or more

The combination of a high BAC and multiple prior DUI convictions can lead to a severe sentence. In addition to a possible sentence of jail time or fines, a conviction will also require attending mandatory Alcohol Highway Safety School. Discussing the options with a Philadelphia DUI lawyer may help.

First-Offense DUI

Even for a first-time offense, there are severe penalties involved in a DUI conviction. A first-offense DUI with the lowest BAC result still carries a sentence of six months of probation and a $300 fine.

However, if the driver’s BAC is in the higher range, the driver will face a mandatory jail sentence between two days and up to six months. It also carries a maximum fine of $5,000 and a 12-month driver’s license suspension. At the highest BAC level, a conviction requires a minimum 30-day in jail in addition to the other penalties described above.

Second-Offense DUI

For a second DUI offense at the lowest BAC level, a conviction requires between five days and six months in jail. Additionally, the court can assess a fine between $300 and $2,500, a driver’s license suspension of 12 months and additional requirements for an ignition interlock device.

With a higher BAC, a second offense requires a jail sentence of between 30 days and six months as well as a maximum fine of $2,500. And if a second-offense DUI involves the highest level of BAC, the sentencing range goes up to a maximum of five years imprisonment.

Third-Offense DUI

For a third or subsequent DUI conviction, the penalty for the lowest BAC level is between ten days and two years as well as a maximum fine of $5,000. At the higher BAC level, a conviction carries a sentence between 90 days and five years behind bars. If a driver’s BAC registers at the highest level, they will face between one and five years behind bars and a fine of up to $10,000. An individual facing DUI penalties should contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition

Some first-time DUI offenders in Philadelphia may be able to take advantage of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, or ARD. ARD is designed to grant those first-time offenders’ leniency in some instances.

Upon acceptance into the program, a driver will have the opportunity to avoid a DUI conviction on their record entirely as long as they meet certain conditions. A Philadelphia DUI attorney could provide more information on who qualifies for ARD and who does not.

Talk to a  Philadelphia DUI Attorney Today

The penalties for a DUI conviction in Philadelphia may be distressing, but thankfully you will not have to face those charges alone. A Philadelphia DUI lawyer may be able to help you fight the charges against you and avoid a conviction.