An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania is serious and can affect your life in many ways. You might face license suspension, hefty fines, or even jail time. At McCormick & Vilushis LLC, we have extensive experience in handling DUI cases and are committed to protecting your rights. While you may feel trapped and out of options, we will help explain your rights and the best way to move forward.
Like many other states, Pennsylvania has strict DUI laws. Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over 0.08% can lead to a variety of charges. However, a BAC reading alone doesn’t automatically mean you’re guilty. You have the right to defend yourself and challenge the evidence against you. How can you do this?
Know Your Rights When Arrested for DUI
It’s important to know your rights if you’re arrested for a DUI. From the point of arrest to an eventual court case, you want to keep in mind these three fundamental points:
- The Right to Remain Silent: You’re not required to answer any questions that could incriminate you.
- The Right to an Attorney: You can and should seek legal representation.
- The Right to Challenge Evidence: You have the opportunity to challenge the prosecution’s evidence, including the results of breathalyzer or blood tests.
Many accept and know of their right to remain silent and to an attorney but forget that a key part of their defense lies in their right to challenge any evidence brought against them. For example, you have a right to scrutinize the actions of law enforcement. Did the officer have a valid reason to stop your vehicle? Were you given the proper warnings before they requested your blood or breath test? Was the breathalyzer accurately calibrated? These are all questions that need to be addressed as part of your defense strategy.
Exploring Alternative Resolutions – A Unique Option for First-Time Offenders
There are some nontraditional solutions for those who are first-time DUI offenders. Pennsylvania offers a unique program called Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) for those with no or limited criminal records charged with minor, nonviolent offenses. The ARD program is designed to give first-time offenders a second chance. It encourages participation in a rehabilitative program, which, upon successful completion, can lead to a clean criminal record.
If you qualify, your case will be placed on hold. If you meet the program’s requirements, your case might be dismissed and expunged from your record. This can be an important alternative for those looking to avoid the long-term consequences of a DUI conviction.
How Soon Should I Speak to an Attorney After a DUI Arrest?
Time is of the essence in DUI cases. The sooner you seek legal help, the better your chances of a favorable outcome. An attorney can start immediately building your defense, answering your questions, and ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. A lawyer can help you:
- Understand your charges and potential consequences.
- Investigate the circumstances of your arrest.
- Challenge any procedural errors or questionable evidence.
- Explore all available legal options, including ARD.
Contact a Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer
A DUI arrest in Pennsylvania is a serious matter, but you have rights and options. Understanding these factors and taking immediate action can significantly affect the outcome of your case. With over 30 years of experience handling complex DUI cases and those related to driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), the attorneys at McCormick & Vilushis LLC understand how to navigate serious charges.
We are committed to providing aggressive and effective legal representation to protect your freedom and future. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, don’t wait to seek legal assistance. Contact us today to work towards the best possible resolution for your case.