Do I need a DUI attorney or public defender if I am going to plead guilty to the DUI charge?
You have been charged with a second DUI in Pennsylvania. You have decided to plead guilty to a second DUI charge. The question you now have is, “Will I need a DUI attorney or public defender if I am going to plead guilty? Will it do any good to have an attorney?”
You may need to give some serious thought to not pleading guilty and being represented by a good DUI attorney. Here is why.
First of all, consider the penalties that you face in Pennsylvania for a second DUI if you plead guilty. They include:
Anywhere from 5 days to 6 months of jail time
Your Pennsylvania driver’s license being suspended for 1 year
Interlock ignition device (IID) is required during the time of your restricted driver’s license
Penalties and fines that range from $300 to $2,500.
In addition to these penalties, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was measured at between .10% and .159%, this puts you in tier 2. Tier 2 penalties for a second offense DUI in Pennsylvania include 30 days to 6 months of jail time, penalties and fines ranging from $750 to $5,000 and DUI school (highway, alcohol and safety program).
In addition to the above mentioned penalties, if your BAC was measured at .16% or more, this puts you in tier 3. In tier 3, for a second offense DUI in Pennsylvania, you may face 90 days to 5 years of jail time, a minimum fine of $1,500 and DUI school.
A second thing to consider before pleading guilty to a second offense DUI in Pennsylvania is the downside of pleading guilty. This includes:
The penalties that have just been mentioned (while these are possible if your defense is not successful, they are automatic if you plead guilty)
The possibility of increased punishment if you are arrested again for DUI
No chance of making any defense for the charges against you.
The third thing that you need to consider before pleading guilty to a second offense DUI in Pennsylvania is what a good DUI attorney may be able to do for you. Some of these things are:
Making sure that your rights are protected
Making sure that you are treated fairly
The good feeling of knowing that you are not alone, that someone is on your side fighting for you
Having someone who knows how to challenge a Pennsylvania DUI driver’s license suspension
Helping you to reduce or avoid fines
Helping you to reduce or avoid jail time
Helping you to reduce or avoid probation
Helping you to reduce or avoid ignition interlock devices.
The decision is yours, but before you decide to plead guilty to a second offense DUI in Pennsylvania, it may be a very smart move on your part to consult a good DUI attorney. A good DUI attorney will look over and evaluate your case. He or she will then be able to offer you the best advice on the way you should proceed that will be in your best interests.