DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, is one of the most common criminal charges in Berks County and throughout Pennsylvania. However, that doesn’t mean the consequences are minor. On the contrary, Pennsylvania imposes harsh penalties, and a DUI conviction can have serious negative repercussions. Depending on details like your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) at the time of the incident and whether or not anyone was injured, you could be facing thousands of dollars in fines, months behind bars, and a long period of license suspension.
In addition to these major penalties, you could also be forced to perform community service, receive substance abuse counseling, or install an ignition interlock device in your car. Not only do you face all of these immediate consequences — having a DUI on your record could cause employment problems in the future as well. A conviction of drunk or drugged driving can damage your career, your professional reputation, your financial stability, your mobility, and can even take away your personal freedom.
The bottom line is that you’re facing serious charges: you need the support of an aggressive and experienced defense attorney in your corner. To schedule a completely free and confidential legal consultation with a Berks County DUI lawyer, call the law offices of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania today. Let’s start exploring your options together.
Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates: Berks County DUI Attorneys
Being charged with a crime can be an immensely isolating, anxiety-inducing, and overwhelming experience. You probably have many questions and concerns about what to expect in the days to come. But you don’t have to go through this difficult time alone. The dedicated attorneys of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates are here to guide, support, and represent you.
At Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, we are veteran attorneys equipped with three decades of experience serving thousands of clients. Our skilled legal team includes former prosecutors, and a former senior deputy District Attorney. Not only are we experienced: we have a history of excellence in the courtroom. Over 98% of our first-time DUI clients receive no jail time, and no criminal record.
When Can You Be Charged with DUI?
If you are driving with a BAC of 0.08% or greater, you can be considered an intoxicated driver, regardless of how sober you feel.
It should be noted that commercial drivers can be charged with DUI at half the standard BAC: just 0.04%.
Bus drivers in particular are bound to an ever lower cut-off: 0.02%.
Refusing a Breathalyzer Test
Many people mistakenly think that if they can simply avoid a breathalyzer test, they can avoid being charged with DUI altogether. This is an unfortunate misconception. Pennsylvania lawmakers have already anticipated this thought process, resulting in what’s called “implied consent.”
Under Pennsylvania’s implied consent law, all motorists “imply” that they give their “consent” to breathalyzer testing by accepting their driver’s license. Therefore, while breathalyzer refusal is technically within your legal rights, it can still result in fines and license suspension. Furthermore, it can actually hurt your DUI case, because it can be argued that you were trying to hide your BAC because it was over the limit.
DUI Penalties in Pennsylvania
It should be noted that Pennsylvania divides intoxicated driving offenses by tier based on BAC:
- Tier 1 (General Impairment): 0.08% to 0.099%
- Tier 2 (High BAC): 0.10% to 0.159%
- Tier 3 (Highest BAC): 0.16% and greater
As BAC tiers climb, so do the legal consequences. The penalties cited below are those associated with Tier 1.
- First DUI sentence: None, but up to 6 months of probation
- Fine: $300
- License Suspension: None
Keep in mind that you will also be assigned mandatory substance counseling, and mandatory driving safety courses.
- Second DUI sentence: Up to 6 months
- Fine: Up to $2,500
- License Suspension: Up to 1 year
- Third DUI sentence: Up to 2 years
- Fine: Up to $5,000
- License Suspension: Up to 1 year
Pennsylvania’s ARD Program
If you are a first-time offender with a clean criminal history, you may qualify to participate in Pennsylvania’s ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) program. The benefits of this program are truly tremendous. You will not have to plead guilty, you will not receive a conviction, and the charges against you will be dismissed. Acceptance into the program is at the discretion of the District Attorney. However, even if you are initially denied, your attorney can request a reconsideration on your behalf.
DUI charges are serious, but an experienced attorney can help you fight them. To schedule your free and private case evaluation, call the law offices of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates right away at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania, or contact us online.