Defending A DUI Charge In Philadelphia

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No matter the season, there is always plenty to do in the City of Brotherly Love.  From giving the Liberty Bell a ring to indulging your curiosity about which Philly eatery has the best cheesesteak, you can fill your days and nights with fun here.  But if you wash your gastronomical indulgences down with alcohol and then get behind the wheel, you won’t be feeling the love at all.

Drunk driving is a serious crime in the state of Pennsylvania.  This crime is constantly under the scrutiny of legislators throughout the country who are determined to reduce its occurrence.  To that end, law enforcement agencies have been steadily increasing patrols and checkpoints and the penalties associated with a DUI conviction are becoming more and more severe each year.

If you have been arrested for a drunk driving offense in the Philadelphia area, the worst thing you can do is doubt the gravity of the situation you are in. The process of defending yourself in a case like this is complicated and time-consuming.  The laws and procedures involved in a DUI case are guaranteed to leave a layperson confused and overwhelmed.  But there is help.

The first step to getting your life back in order is to contact an experienced DUI attorney.  You should select a legal professional who specializes in cases just like yours to ensure that they have the most up-to-date knowledge on the rapidly changing landscape of DUI law.

In the state of Pennsylvania, drunk driving crimes are referred to as “driving under the influence” (DUI) or “driving after imbibing” (DAI).  The legal limit for intoxication in Pennsylvania is a blood alcohol concentration of .08%.

At the time of your arrest, the officer requested that you complete a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) by providing a breath or blood sample.  If you refused to submit to this test, your license was automatically suspended for 12 months.  You may be able to appeal this suspension, but you will need to act quickly.

If you are convicted of the DUI charge, you may lose your license as well.  In this case, the suspension will last for a period of up to 18 months.  You will also face additional penalties.  These penalties will differ depending on the level of your BAC at the time of your arrest.  Your level of intoxication will be classified in one of three categories:  General Impairment for a BAC between .08 and .99%, High BAC for concentrations of between .10 and .159%, and Highest BAC for levels of .16% and greater.

Extenuating circumstances can also push you into a higher class of offense.  Examples of these conditions include being a minor driver, driving a commercial vehicle, and a BAC that includes a controlled substance.  Penalties range from fines to jail time.

All of the penalties associated with a DUI conviction will have a serious impact on your life and that of your family.  The risks in these cases are too great.  This is not a situation you want to handle alone.  Contact a qualified DUI lawyer today to walk you through this difficult time.

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