Have You Been Arrested For DUI In Pennsylvania? Here’s What You Should Know
If you’ve been arrested with a DUI in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you likely have a lot of questions, especially if it is your first DUI arrest. In our experience, the first question that many Pennsylvanians have after being arrested for a DUI for the first time is “What happens now?”
The DUI trial process in Pennsylvania can be long and frustrating, but the Wyland Law Group can help you through it. Here is what you should know if you have been arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania.
A DUI Conviction Can Affect Your Employment
One thing that you should know if you have been arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania is that being convicted of a DUI can cause you to lose your job (in addition to the penalties that the court imposes). Commercial truck drivers, for example, often lose their commercial license after just one DUI conviction.
Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, accountants, and teachers can also lose their professional licenses as a result of a DUI conviction. In these industries, the effects of a DUI conviction can be life-changing.
Even if you have a job that doesn’t require a professional license, a DUI arrest can cause your employer to terminate your employment. To make matters worse, a DUI conviction can also make it difficult to find a subsequent job.
A DUI Conviction Will Stay On Your Record
You should also know that, in Pennsylvania, a DUI conviction stays on your record. This is a black mark on your record that is difficult to erase. Fortunately, there may be some things you can do to prevent a DUI conviction from staying on your record. First-time offenders may have the option of enrolling in Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program.
This pre-trial program allows you to clear your record if you meet the terms of your probation and go through rehabilitation. Alternatively, you might be able to plead to a lesser charge, such as reckless driving. An experienced attorney at the Wyland Law Group can help you keep your record clean.
Pennsylvania Is An Implied Consent State
If you are arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania, it is very important that you know about the state’s Implied Consent Law. This law means that you must submit to blood alcohol testing if you are arrested under suspicion of drunk driving. Your refusal to submit to testing will result in a one-year license suspension.
You should also know that your arresting officer is required to inform you of the consequences of refusing to submit to blood alcohol testing. If your officer did not inform you about Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent Law, contact an attorney at the Wyland Group right away.
The Penalties For DUI In Pennsylvania Are Severe
You should also know that the DUI penalties in this state can be severe, even for first offenders. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your DUI, your conviction could result in a prison sentence. You could end up serving anywhere from a few days to a few years.
You should also know that a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania could result in hefty fines. In some cases, the court could order you to pay fines in addition to serving jail time. Add to these fines court costs and other expenses (which can be as high as the fines themselves) and a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania can become quite expensive.
You Should Know About Interlock Ignition Devices
A DUI conviction in Pennsylvania can also result in a license suspension (aside from the mandatory suspension for refusing a BAC test). There may be a way to still drive your vehicle, however. An interlock ignition device prevents you from starting your car until you pass a breathalyzer test.
You will need a special license to operate your vehicle with this device. The device and license can cost hundreds of dollars (which you have to pay), but most Pennsylvanians find this preferable to a total license suspension. Ask your attorney at Wyland Law Group if this option is available to you.
You Should Know How Sentencing Works
If you are arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania, you should also know how the state’s sentencing system works. Pennsylvania uses a tiered system when determining a DUI sentence. First-offenders typically get lighter sentences than second offenders. If you have three or more offenses on your record, the penalties increase dramatically.
Likewise, there are three penalty tiers that are based on your BAC. A first-offender with the lowest BAC at the time of their arrest will likely receive the lightest sentence, while a multiple-offender whose BAC was in the highest tier will likely receive the harshest sentence. No matter what tier you are in, it is worth hiring a DUI lawyer from the Wyland Law Group, to see if your sentence can be reduced.
You Are Entitled To Due Process
You should also know that, if you are arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania, you are entitled to due process. Certain rules and regulations govern how the traffic stop is handled, how the DUI checkpoint is set up, how evidence is processed and submitted, and how the police report is filled out. If it is determined that you were not given the due process that you were entitled to – or that there is not sufficient evidence that you were driving under the influence – your case may be dropped.
Help Is Available
One of the most important things that you should know if you have been arrested for DUI in the Pittsburgh area is that expert help is available. The Wyland Law Group can advise you on how your trial will commence. In some cases, an attorney from Wyland Law Group can have your DUI charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
The Wyland Law Group can also negotiate a lighter sentence and help you through the appeals process. We have helped hundreds of Pittsburgh residents who have been charged with DUI.