Being arrested and convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) is serious. Levittown drivers face significant penalties and legal consequences for DUI offenses. Even if it is your first offense, you may need the services of our Levittown, PA DUI defense lawyers. If this was your second or third offense, call us immediately.
If you or a loved one was arrested for an alleged DUI, contact the DUI attorneys at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 372-8667 to arrange for a free, confidential legal consultation. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing the accused and fighting to keep people out of jail on DUI charges.
Penalties for DUI Charges in Levittown, PA
DUI convictions in Pennsylvania have always carried serious legal consequences. Now, with some recent alterations to the laws, the severity of penalties Levittown drivers face has increased. If you or a loved one was arrested with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08% or higher, contact our Levittown, PA DUI defense lawyer immediately to learn more about what penalties you could face.
Felony Drunk Driving
Drivers in Levittown felony charges for third-time DUI offenses if their BAC was .16% or higher. Additionally, a fourth or subsequent offense is a felony even if your BAC is .16%. While misdemeanor charges for first- and second-time offenses could have long-lasting effects, the adverse effects that accompany a felony conviction are much worse. You could find your employment and housing options limited for years.
Vehicular Homicide DUIs
Vehicular homicide happens when reckless or aggressive driving causes another person’s death. If you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a vehicular homicide conviction will result in a minimum of three years in jail. If there are prior DUI offenses, you could be facing seven years of imprisonment. A driver arrested for vehicular homicide while driving drunk needs an aggressive legal defense by our experienced Levittown DUI defense attorney.
Driving with a DUI-Suspended License
Often, a DUI conviction will result in a driver’s license suspension. If you are arrested and convicted of DUI while driving with a suspended license, the penalties could include $2,500 in fines and 90 days in prison.
ARD for Drunk Driving Charges in Levittown, PA
Just because you were arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted of a crime. At Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, our Levittown DUI defense lawyers experience handling DUI cases, and we know many ways you could avoid a conviction through alternative dispositions. Often, especially if it is your first offense, we will recommend ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition). This program is an alternative to a conviction and sentencing that usually lets you stay out of jail and avoid a record. However, if you do not qualify for ARD, we will try to negotiate a plea agreement to mitigate your charges, or we will fight your case at trial.
ARD is a pre-trial intervention program available to non-violent offenders with a limited record or no prior offenses. The purpose of ARD is to both rehabilitate the offender and avoid expensive, time-consuming court proceedings. If you qualify for the ARD program, you will have to comply with multiple conditions, including the following:
- You will have to pay compensation for any damage you caused
- You will have to complete a substance abuse treatment program
- You could be under supervision for up to two years
- You might be required to perform community service
A benefit of ARD is that no additional fines are imposed – though you could be ordered to pay court costs and fees.
Defending Drunk Driving Charges in Levittown, PA
There are many ways to defend against DUI charges in Levittown, PA. Our attorneys will examine each of the following issues to look for challenges to your charges.
To be arrested for driving under the influence, there must be evidence that you were actually driving. It is not uncommon for Levittown police to arrest someone walking to their car from a bar. If you were arrested but not in physical control of your car at the time, there might not be enough evidence to support a conviction.
Reasonable Suspicion for the Stop
Additionally, there must be “reasonable suspicion” for law enforcement to stop your car. Unless you were driving in a way that was obviously dangerous, the arresting officer might not have had reasonable suspicion to pull you over. By examining video evidence from a dash cam or body cam, we might be able to challenge the stop.
Law enforcement officers across the country, including in Levittown, use sobriety roadblocks to randomly stop and test drivers to determine if they were driving drunk. These tactics have been challenged in court and held constitutional if law enforcement adhered to specific requirements:
- The stop must be quick
- Neither the vehicle or its passengers can be searched without additional probable cause or permission
- Law enforcement must provide drivers adequate notice of the roadblock – for example, posted signs or media reports
- The area where the roadblock is placed must have a history of drunk driving incidents
- Vehicles must be stopped according to a standardized system – for example, stopping every fifth car
In addition to “reasonable suspicion” to pull you over, a Levittown police officer needs “probable cause” to arrest you for DUI. To establish that you were driving impaired, an arresting officer will administer field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests.
Levittown law enforcement officers will typically use three tests standardized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to determine if you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. For these tests to give usable results, they must be administered in a certain way. A Levittown police officer might lack the proper training to conduct the test, or the officer may rely on tests that have not been standardized. Our experienced DUI defense attorneys know that the tests are flawed and that the results could be tarnished by other factors including, illness, fatigue, or injury.
To establish a driver’s BAC, law enforcement will often use breath or blood tests. Many portable breath tests carried by police officers cannot be used as evidence in court. Instead, the officer will need to use a blood test or a chemical breath test.
Timing is crucial when giving either test. Your body will continue to absorb alcohol for hours after you had your last drink. That means the BAC the tests record could be elevated and might not accurately reflect your BAC at the time you were driving. Additionally, a breathalyzer is a delicate device that requires routine maintenance and must be calibrated correctly to provide accurate readings. Our Levittown DUI defense attorneys will request maintenance logs and the manufacturer’s specifications to challenge the results.
Call Our Levittown, PA DUI Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Our Levittown, PA DUI defense lawyers will gather all the evidence relevant to your arrest, including video and audio recordings, police reports, eyewitness testimony, and the service record of your arresting officer. After thoroughly examining the evidence and any testimony, we will offer you the best possible options to either fight your arrest or argue for a lesser charge. If you were arrested for DUI, it is vital that you take immediate steps to defend yourself. Call Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 372-8667 to arrange for a free, confidential consultation.