If you have been arrested for a Pennsylvania DUI its time to talk to a Pennsylvania DUI lawyer. They can review your rights and help you decide whether to plead guilty or not guilty and fight your DUI charges.
Pennsylvania DUI Law Offense Categories
It is illegal in every state to operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher, but Pennsylvania has a tiered system for determining how they will assign penalties if you are convicted of a Pennsylvania DUI.
The first category includes drivers who had a BAC which could not be determined at the time of the arrest or whose levels were .08 percent to .099 percent. If your Pennsylvania DUI falls into this category you can expect the least penalties and fines.
If you are convicted as a Tier 1 offender you will be required to pay $300, attend an alcohol and safety course and may be allowed up to 6 months probation. A second tier 1 conviction will result in a 12 months license suspension, 5 to 6 months in prison, a $300 to $2,500 fine, alcohol and highway safety course attendance, and a mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for up to one year.
The second tier for a Pennsylvania DUI includes those whose blood alcohol levels range from .10 percent to .159 percent.
If you are considered a Tier II offender you will lose your driving license for 12 months, but may qualify for an Occupational Limited License after 60 days of the suspension, you will be sentenced to serve between 48 hours and 6 months in prison, forced to pay $500 to $5,000 in fines, and may be required to attend alcohol, highway and safety school.
The third tier for a Pennsylvania DUI includes those whose blood alcohol levels range from.16 percent and higher. If your DUI is a third tiered DUI you can expect the harshest penalties during the sentencing phase.
If you are considered a Tier III offender you will lose your license for 12 months, but may qualify for an Occupational Limited License after 60 days of the suspension. You will be required to spend between 72 hours and 6 months in prison, forced to pay $1,000 to $5,000 in fines and may be required to attend alcohol, highway and safety school.
What happens if I refuse the chemical test after a Pennsylvania DUI arrest?
If you have a valid drivers license you have given your implied consent to submit to a chemical test if you are arrested for a Pennsylvania DUI. Because drivers historically have refused the chemical test to avoid a DUI conviction, states have implemented what they call administrative penalties for refusing a chemical test. In some states a test refusal can carry as license suspension which is longer than if you were convicted for DUI.
In the state of Pennsylvania, if you are refuse to take the chemical test after a Pennsylvania DUI you can lose your license for up to one year through an administrative license suspension.
Pennsylvania DUI Expungement
Pennsylvania, unlike many states, does allow your Pennsylvania DUI to be expunged, which means it is removed from your criminal record. To expunge your DUI you must complete theAccelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program and you cannot be charged with any additional crimes in for at least five years. The fifth year after your DUI conviction you can apply for an expungement.
Because the expungement rules in the state of Pennsylvania can be complex, if you have questions a Pennsylvania DUI lawyer can help. If you successfully expunge your record your criminal record can be sealed and information may be withheld from specific entities.