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DUI Defense Archives

What are the levels of DUI in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, there is a tiered approach to driving under the influence charges. Thus, the types of penalties you may face if convicted of drunk driving in the state vary based on numerous factors. These include your blood alcohol content level and your prior record. In order to ensure that your rights are protected, it is important for you to understand the levels of DUI, and the potential consequences.

Pennsylvania sentenced after pleading guilty in 6th DUI case

Driving under the influence of alcohol is considered a serious offense in Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. Consequently, those who are convicted of this offense often face severe penalties. These may include hefty fines, and jail or prison sentences. People may also lose their driving privileges for a specified period of time, or indefinitely, as well as be required to use ignition interlock devices.

How much does a DUI cost in the state of Pennsylvania?

After a drunk driving arrest in Philadelphia, or elsewhere, it is likely that your primary focus is the potential of jail time or having your driver’s license suspended. While these are common penalties for those charged with DUI, there are numerous other costs associated with a conviction for this offense. You, like others who have been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, may not be aware of the financial aspects of driving under the influence arrests in Pennsylvania.

Man charged with drunk driving and homicide

It is easier than many people may realize for life to take a sudden turn in the blink of an eye. Many a Philadelphia resident has experienced a situation which has left them facing a drunk driving charge. These charges can lead to very serious penalties such as a jail sentence, fines and more. If an accident has happened that resulted in injuries or a fatality, the driver charged with a crime can face even worse consequences.

A look at Pennsylvania’s drunk driving penalties

Anyone in Pennsylvania who drives is aware that the state takes a strong stance against drunk driving. Being arrested for impaired driving can happen to most anyone. Even having a couple of casual drinks with co-workers at the end of a work week can be enough to make a driver’s blood alcohol level surpass the legal limit. For this reason, it is important for all people in Pennsylvania to understand what potential consequences can be faced if convicted of even DUI or DWI offenses.

Marijuana can make you a criminal for DUI and drugged driving in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is one of a number of states that criminalizes a driver for DUI who has any amount of marijuana in their system.  The "per se" law  is set forth in 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3802 (d)(1).  If you are stopped for any reason and subjected to a blood test which reveals even trace amounts of marijuana, you could be charged with DUI or "drugged" driving, subjecting you to a loss of your license and even jail time.  You don't have to be impaired at the time you are stopped, or even driving poorly.  For instance, you could be stopped at a red light and rear ended.  If the police decide to test for drunk or drugged driving, even though you were without fault, if you have any amount of marijuana in your blood, you can be charged.  You may have not even smoked the marijuana, but in a room where others have and you ingested the second hand smoke.  Marijuana stays in your system for as long as thirty days.  A person legally using marijuana for medicinal purposes is still subject to this law.  So marijuana users, beware.  I believe this law may untimately be challenged and overturned, but until then you are at risk of being arrested, tried and convicted.

What are your rights at Pennsylvania DUI checkpoints?

Each year, a number of people are arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Pennsylvania, and throughout the U.S. The state’s Department of Transportation reports that more than 52,600 people were arrested on DUI charges in 2014 alone. For some, these arrests came after being stopped at DUI checkpoints. In order to ensure you are protected from an undeserved arrest, it behooves you to understand your rights when you are stopped at such checkpoints.

Uniontown woman acquitted of DUI charges, claims false arrest

Many people in Pennsylvania do not realize that even just being charged with a DUI can have serious ramifications on a person’s future. These potential consequences go beyond the penalties a person may face if convicted. In some cases, a drunk driving charge may negatively impact a person’s livelihood, employment opportunities and personal relationships.

How can you get to work with a license suspension?

Any driver with a DUI charge may find themselves facing license suspension. This can be catastrophic if the driver relies on their car in order to get to their place of employment. However, there are measures in place to ensure the continued livelihood of drivers with suspended licenses.

Gregory R. Gifford
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