The Pennsylvania DUI law stipulates that driving a car, truck, or motorcycle under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a controlled substance is unlawful. The penalties for drunk driving in Pennsylvania rank among the toughest in the country, causing thousands of drivers to lose their licenses.
Pleading guilty to a DUI charge in a rush to move on with your life is one of the worst decisions you can make. DUI charges stick on your permanent criminal record for life, making it difficult to perform tasks such as getting a job or securing a car loan.
Hiring an aggressive attorney from a credible criminal defense firm gives you an upper hand, granting you the possibility of evading the strong arm of the law. An experienced DUI defense lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA, can guide you through the process and help you get reasonable charges.
What Is the Pennsylvania DUI Process?
The process often begins with a traffic stop along the road. A police officer pulls you over with a reasonable suspicion implicating that you might be driving under the influence. They conduct field sobriety tests to assess the situation and may ask for your consent to conduct a chemical test.
Field sobriety tests involve tasks that evaluate and assess your physical and cognitive abilities, such as walking in a straight line or standing on one leg. Chemical tests could include a breath test using a well-calibrated breathalyzer or urine and blood tests at a hospital. You can choose the chemical test to take once you are suspected of DUI.
Although you have the freedom to choose whether or not to take a chemical test, refusal could lead to the suspension of your driver’s license for a year. A driver’s license in Pennsylvania automatically grants consent to chemical DUI testing when a police officer believes you are driving under the influence.
The implied consent laws require that all drivers on state roads and highways submit to a chemical test if suspected of drunk driving. The consequences of refusal could be harsher than the penalties imposed after failing the DUI test. It includes suspending your license for an additional year, separate from any suspension accompanying your DUI conviction. Criminal defense attorneys often fail in their attempts to overturn such a suspension.
Police officers can still prove guilt without a chemical test by identifying signs of general impairment through your overall appearance. Bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, odor on your breath, and other signs of intoxication can prove your inability to drive. You could also get convicted of drunk driving charges if the police officer observed you swerving or erratically driving along the road.
The criminal defense services in Pittsburgh can help you develop a strong defense strategy that can challenge the results of a chemical test. The Pittsburgh, PA, DUI attorney will ensure you avoid harsh penalties while protecting your rights in the DUI prosecution.
What Are the Misconceptions Surrounding DUI Cases?
Several notions surrounding DUI criminal charges could mislead you and result in a worst-case scenario. Differentiating facts from fiction can help you manage your criminal conviction and prevent matters from getting out of hand. The criminal defense lawyers in Pittsburgh can help you determine the facts about your case and develop tactics to help you get a not-guilty verdict. Some common misconceptions about DUI in Pennsylvania include:
Jail Sentences Are Mandatory for All DUI Cases
The Pennsylvania laws denote mandatory sentences for DUI offenders that do not necessarily involve going to jail. Alternative programs such as the Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP) or Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) allow for lesser sentences once convicted.
Other DUI penalties include fines, license suspension, probation, and possible jail time. The severity of your penalty depends on your blood alcohol levels and the number of convictions you have within ten years.
Taking Prescribed Medication Does Not Qualify As DUI
In Pennsylvania, driving under the influence refers to alcohol, illegal drugs, and other substances impairing your driving abilities. Prescribed and over-the-counter medications such as painkillers and antihistamines can affect your ability to drive a vehicle.
The therapeutic range is the standard for proving intoxication when taking prescribed medication, indicating the normal drug levels in your system. It looks at how the amount of medication taken can affect you regardless of how long you take it. If the drug levels in your system surpass the therapeutic range, you are susceptible to a DUI conviction.
You Cannot Get A DUI Charge While Parked
In Pennsylvania, the DUI prosecutor must prove that you were in actual physical control of your vehicle to establish a case. Being in control means that you were seated behind the wheel with the engine running and could be incriminating even if you parked on the roadside and slept. The officer will consider that you moved your vehicle from one point to another while intoxicated.
The Officer Did Not Read the Miranda Warnings, So the Case Is Invalid
The officer does not have to read out your rights, also known as Miranda warnings, before a DUI arrest. They must warn you of the consequences that follow a refusal to submit to chemical testing. Exercising your right to remain silent will be considered a refusal and result in suspending your privileges.
Breathalyzers Are Always Accurate and Reliable
The breathalyzer is an accurate and credible gadget that detects blood alcohol levels in your body. The device requires proper operation and maintenance to ensure that it yields accurate results after use.
The court is aware that such devices are susceptible to errors and mismanagement, so they might not be reliable during the legal process. The officer administering the test should follow state guidelines when preparing the device, failure to which the court will find the results faulty and inadmissible.
The Pittsburgh DUI lawyers will help you understand the Pennsylvania law while outlining how your case might go in the court of law.
Professional DUI Attorneys in Pittsburgh, PA
A DUI arrest does not necessarily mean that you will get convicted. The Pennsylvania criminal justice system presumes you are innocent unless you plead guilty or the judge or jury finds you guilty. When you are arrested, you can fight and win your DUI charge in court regardless of your blood alcohol content.
A professional criminal defense lawyer can help you reduce your sentence and fines or drop your charges altogether. They will help you with every aspect of your DUI case and fight to protect your constitutional rights. Pennsylvania DUI lawyers are familiar with the laws and procedures associated with DUI cases.
Are You Looking for The Best Dui Lawyers in Pittsburgh?
The Pittsburgh, PA, DUI lawyer offers you the best shot at facing your case and putting your mind at ease. We know how easy it is to get yourself in a serious charge with strict laws. Our legal team, led by a former DUI prosecutor, has the most experienced DUI attorneys, criminal law experts, and criminal defendants.
Our unmatched experience, top-notch dedication, and excellent track record make us the preferred option for DUI clients in Western Pennsylvania. We will work tirelessly to ensure you get the best possible result that maintains your reputation. Contact our law firm at (412) 710-0013 or visit our law office in Pittsburgh, PA 15219, for a free consultation.