Being pulled over and arrested for DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is a serious matter. Drivers face significant penalties if convicted, and even first offenders are treated harshly. If you have past violations, the penalties are much more severe.
Our Abington, PA DUI defense lawyers have years of representing drivers arrested for DUI in Abington. If you or a loved one was arrested for an alleged DUI in Abington, contact Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 372-8667 immediately to arrange for a free, confidential legal consultation.
Penalties for DUI Charges in Abington
The penalties imposed for DUI in Abington are severe. If you were driving with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08% or higher, you will be charged with DUI. This percentage is lower for underage drivers. The consequences of a DUI conviction depend on multiple factors including, previous DUI violations, your BAC level, and whether you caused any damage or injured anyone. DUI charges could result in various penalties with long-lasting effects:
- Up to $10,000 in fines and penalties
- Mandatory time in jail
- Required participation in an alcohol treatment program
- Having an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle
Defending Against Drunk Driving Charges in Abington, Pennsylvania
You should seek representation from our experienced Abington, PA DUI defense lawyer if you are facing a DUI charge. At Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, our attorneys have the resources and depth of skill to present a strong defense on your behalf, negotiate a plea agreement, or recommend ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) if you qualify.
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD)
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania offers a pre-trial intervention program to non-violent offenders with no prior offenses or a minimal record. This program is called ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition). ARD’s purpose is to both rehabilitate the offender and eliminate the need for a costly trial or other court proceedings.
If someone charged with DUI is accepted into the ARD program, they will have to agree to several various conditions, including:
- Paying restitution for any damage caused
- Completing a mandatory drug or alcohol treatment program
- Up to two years of supervision
- Community service
Additionally, no fines will be imposed, but court costs could be assessed, and ARD usually has a participation fee.
Challenging “Actual Operation”
To be arrested for DUI, you must have been driving or in physical control of a car. Often, an Abington police officer will arrest someone walking to their car with their keys in their hands. Under these circumstances, there is no evidence of actual driving.
Challenging the Traffic Stop
An arresting officer must also have “reasonable suspicion” for pulling you over. If you were not driving erratically or violating other traffic laws, there might be no evidence to justify stopping your vehicle. Additionally, stops conducted at sobriety checkpoints must meet the following requirements to be legal:
- The police must ensure that the stop is brief
- The police may not search your vehicle, you, or any passengers in your vehicle without independent probable cause
- Proper notice of the checkpoint must be posted, including signs and media reports
- The checkpoint must be placed in an area that has a history of drunk driving
- The police must stop vehicles according to a set standard – the stops must not be completely random or based on a subjective standard
Field Sobriety Tests
Along with “reasonable suspicion” to stop your vehicle, an Abington police officer needs “probable cause” to arrest you for DUI. Law enforcement officers will conduct field sobriety tests to establish you were driving under the influence.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration developed three tests to help law enforcement determine if an individual is physically or mentally impaired due to alcohol or drug use. These tests are standardized and must be administered in a specific way. Often, Abington police officers are not adequately trained in conducting the tests. Additionally, your ability to perform the tests could be compromised by fatigue, injury, or anxiety.
Blood and Breath Tests
Blood and breath tests are used to measure a drivers’ BAC. Our experienced DUI defense attorneys can challenge both tests in a variety of ways. First, timing is a critical element when administering either test. Your body continues to absorb alcohol after you stopped drinking. Therefore, if the tests were conducted well after you were stopped, the BAC will be elevated and will not reflect the BAC you had while you were driving.
Police officers are not always adequately trained in administering the tests, and any deviation from the required methods will tarnish the results. Additionally, the device used during the breath test is sensitive, requiring routine maintenance and correct calibration. We will demand the device’s service logs and the manufacturer’s specifications to challenge the results.
Our Abington, PA DUI defense lawyers will collect all the relevant evidence to fight your conviction. We will request police reports, video recordings, transcripts of any communications, and the service and training history of your arresting officer to prepare the most aggressive and complete defense possible. We will also fight to suppress any evidence that is not relevant or admissible.
Call Our Abington, PA DUI Lawyers for a Free Consultation
A DUI conviction can have devastating consequences and can adversely affect your life for years. Your ability to drive could be restricted, and future employment opportunities might be limited by a DUI conviction. If you or a loved one was charged with DUI, contact our Abington, PA DUI defense lawyer immediately. Call Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 372-8667 to arrange for a free, confidential consultation.