If you are facing DUI charges, have a loved one or a friend who needs assistance with a DWI offense or DUI violation of any kind, the attorneys here at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates are prepared to help by providing decades of experience representing individuals charged with their first DUI/DWI offense, a second DUI/DWI offense, or even a 3rd DUI/DWI drunk driving offense.
DUI Laws in Pennsylvania
Drunk Driving laws (BAC .08 or higher) have changed immensely over the past several years. It is now more important than ever that you are represented by an experienced DUI attorney when you go before the judge with your DUI case. You need an attorney who is familiar with the rapidly changing case law related to your DUI in particular, as well as with the legal system in which you have been charged with committing a crime.
DUI Penalties in Lehigh County, PA
Driving while impaired (DWI) or under the influence (DUI) of alcohol can create very serious legal consequences for anyone considering the penalty for drunk driving under current state law. These legal consequences can also vary depending on the circumstances, but certainly all carry potentially life-altering ramifications if the charges involve more than drunk driving and involve DWI or DUI crimes related to an accident, death, or other drinking and driving law violations.
Drunk driving can result in a number of different consequences, including but not limited to:
- Mandatory Jail Time
- House Arrest
- Drug / Alcohol Counseling
- Highway Traffic School
- Community Service
- Large Fines
- License Suspension
- License Revocation
- Ignition Interlock
- Vehicle Confiscation
- Impoundment of Vehicle
- ARD – Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition
Felony Charges for Drunk Driving in Lehigh County, PA
A third conviction for drunk driving in which your BAC was .16% or higher is now a felony offense in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. Furthermore, if it is your fourth offense, it is a felony even if your BAC is at the lower .08% threshold. Felony convictions carry serious long-term consequences that can adversely affect many aspects of your life moving forward, including your employment opportunities and housing options.
Vehicular Homicide While Driving Under the Influence in Lehigh County
Vehicular homicide occurs when aggressive or reckless operation of a vehicle results in the death of another driver or pedestrian. When an individual is killed through vehicular homicide and drugs or alcohol were a contributing factor, a conviction will result in a minimum of three years in jail. Furthermore, if you have any previous DUI offenses, the sentence could be as long as seven years. If you were arrested for vehicular homicide and are accused of driving under the influence, you need the vigorous representation of our Lehigh County DUI defense lawyer.
Lehigh County Drivers Operating Vehicles with a Suspended License
The suspension of your driver’s license is an administrative penalty for DUI. Now, if you are convicted of DUI and driving with a suspended license, you could be facing $2,500 in fines and 90 days in jail.
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition in Lehigh County
Being arrested for DUI does not automatically mean you will be convicted. At Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, our Lehigh County DUI defense lawyers will present a strong defense and work to obtain a beneficial outcome. If this is your first offense, we will highly recommend Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). If you are unable to qualify for this program, we will work to enter into a plea agreement or prepare your case for trial.
ARD is an intervention program for individuals arrested for a non-violent offense with no prior convictions or a limited record. Its purpose is to avoid costly court proceedings, save time, and offer rehabilitative programs to the offender. ARD requires you to comply with several conditions, including:
- Paying adequate compensation for any damage you caused
- Enrolling in and completing a substance abuse treatment program
- Undergoing court-ordered supervision for up to two years
- Performing community service
One of the other benefits of ARD is that no additional fees or penalties are incurred. However, you may be required to pay court costs.
Defending Drunk Driving Charges in Lehigh County, PA
A drunk driving arrest requires you to have been operating your vehicle. Often, Lehigh County law enforcement will stop an individual with the suspected intent of driving drunk; for example, they might arrest you while walking from a bar and through a parking lot with your car keys in hand. Likewise, you could find yourself being arrested for sleeping in your car. In both of these examples, you were not operating your vehicle.
Lehigh County police always require “reasonable suspicion” to suspect you were driving under the influence. If you were not driving at an unreasonably slow speed or weaving between lanes, there might have been no evidence that you were driving drunk. Without “reasonable suspicion” that you were impaired, the stop might be unlawful.
One method Lehigh County police use to check for drunk driving is random stops at sobriety checkpoints. While roadblocks have been challenged in court, if they comply with specific conditions, they are legal.
- The police must not detain a driver for an extended period – the stop must be brief.
- The police are not allowed to search the vehicle, the driver, or any passengers.
- The police must provide reasonable notice of the roadblock.
- The police are required to place the checkpoint in a location that has a history of drunk driving arrests or accidents.
- The police must use a systematic method to stop vehicles – it cannot be random.
Once you have been stopped, a Lehigh County police officer must have “probable cause” to arrest you for DUI. Law enforcement has a number of methods to establish probable cause.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration developed field tests to determine if a driver was impaired by alcohol or drug use. These tests must be administered in a certain way to obtain an accurate result. Often, local police officers lack the appropriate training to conduct the tests correctly. Our experienced Lehigh County DUI defense attorneys are aware that these tests are flawed and that the results could be skewed by other factors, including tiredness, sickness, or nervousness.
The police might also employ various tests to determine a driver’s BAC. Timing is critical when administering a blood or chemical test because a person’s body will absorb alcohol for hours after any alcohol had been consumed. Therefore, the BAC might not be accurate and could reflect a falsely elevated level.
Our Lehigh County, PA, DUI defense lawyers will thoroughly examine the evidence related to your arrest, including police reports, video surveillance or onboard camera footage, eyewitness testimony, and the service history of your arresting officer, to prepare a strong defense or argue for a plea agreement.
Our Lehigh County, PA DUI Defense Attorneys Can Help
If you have been charged with a drunk driving offense, hiring the right lawyer can make all the difference. At Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, we are dedicated advocates working to defend and protect the rights of every client.
The attorneys at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates specialize in defending clients accused of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI/DWI). We have handled thousands of Driving Under the Influence cases and litigated over 5000 criminal cases with excellent results. Whether it is a first-time DUI charge or a vehicular manslaughter charge involving alcohol, the attorneys at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates have the experience necessary to defend your rights.
As former Deputy District Attorneys with over 30 years of experience, the Lehigh County, PA DUI defense lawyers at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates have extensive local experience handling DUI charges. We may employ former police detectives to aid in our investigations. We have experts and specialists available to examine all breath and blood alcohol results. Our dedication to our clients and superior investigatory skills enable us to provide the best possible defense. We leave no stone unturned.