With more than three decades of experience and thousands of DUI/DUID cases under its belt, Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates is the right choice for aggressive DUI defense.
If you’ve been arrested for Driving Under the Influence or Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, you probably feel overwhelmed and worried about all the possible outcomes. You may not even know your rights or whether or not they’ve been violated.
It’s important you have an experienced attorney on your side. One who will stand by you, explain the charges against you in a way that you can understand, and fight to get you the best possible outcome! Let our Quakertown DUI defense attorneys help you determine the best course of action for your case.
DUI Laws in Quakertown, Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, a person can be charged with DUI for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance or street drug. For drivers under the age of 21, lower DUI thresholds apply. For instance, a BAC of .02 results in a DUI charge.
A DUI or DUID charge can result in:
- up to 30 days in jail
- 3-month license suspension
- at least 12 hours in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
- a $1000 insurance surcharge for 3 years
- a $250 – $500 fine
- a $100 Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund surcharge
- a $100 Motor Vehicle Commission restoration fee
- a $100 Intoxicated Driving Program fee
- a Safe and Secure Community Program fee of $75
- a Violent Crimes Compensation Fund fee of $50
While jail time and license suspension aren’t usually an issue for first-time offenders in Pennsylvania for those with a BAC less than .10%, offenders can expect a $300 fine, up to 6 months of probation, attending alcohol safety school, and other treatments or penalties may be imposed.
Aggressive Defenses to a DUI in Quakertown, Pennsylvania
A DUI is a serious charge that requires a vigorous defense from an experienced attorney. At Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, our lawyers will aggressively fight for the best possible outcome given the facts and circumstances surrounding your case. DUI cases can be complicated and, in many situations, the evidence might not be in your favor, so our office cannot guarantee success. However, we will take your case all the way to trial if necessary.
If you do not have any previous violations, our office might be able to negotiate your charge down through a plea agreement. In some cases, you could be if eligible for ARD. Below, we discuss ARD in more detail. No matter the situation, we will thoroughly review all possible outcomes so you understand what you are facing. While our seasoned attorneys will offer their advice and counsel, the ultimate decision on how to proceed with your case rests upon your decisions.
One way to defend or mitigate a DUI charge is to challenge the evidence or the procedures law enforcement followed. Below are some of the ways the police gather evidence and some available defenses.
Field Sobriety Testing of Alleged Drunk Drivers
If you are stopped and arrested for a DUI, law enforcement must establish that you were intoxicated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has provided guidance to police through three standardized field tests.
These three tests include the one-leg stand test, the walk and turn test, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, and the walk and turn test. Because these tests are standardized, they provide law enforcement a uniform way of judging intoxication. However, they still must be performed correctly.
Quakertown, PA police often employ these tests if they have reason to suspect a driver is intoxicated. If a driver deviates from the police’s instructions, then this will serve as evidence that the driver is suffering from the effects of either drugs or alcohol.
However, these tests are flawed. An alleged drunk driver could be experiencing a number of other symptoms that impair their capacity to either understand instructions or perform the tasks assigned. For example, a person could be tired, nervous, or sick. Our experienced Quakertown DUI lawyer will aggressively work to show that the test results were inaccurate or reflected another condition.
Requiring a Driver to Take a Blood Test
One way law enforcement tests for alcohol consumption is a blood test. Through a blood test, Quakertown police will try to determine if your BAC is above the legal limit. Many errors could occur when administering the test, allowing our defense attorneys to question the results. If an officer performs the test incorrectly or if the instruments are contaminated, then the results could be challenged.
The timing of the test is also important in obtaining an accurate reading. A blood test will give the administrator the BAC level at the time the test is given. The problem with the test’s timing is that your body could continue to absorb alcohol long after your last drink. Therefore, it is possible, if a blood test is administered hours after the stop, that your recorded BAC is higher than it was when you were driving.
If you watch television or movies, you should be aware of the breath test to determine if a driver has been drinking. A breath test is actually one of the most common tests used by law enforcement. However, like a blood test, the timing is critical. Because your body continues to absorb alcohol, the test’s results will only reflect your BAC at the time it is administered. The timing is also of vital importance because if an alleged drunk driver is given the test more than two hours after they are stopped, the results are not admissible as evidence.
Our Quakertown DUI attorney will examine every aspect of your stop to ensure a breath test was administered correctly. Police are required to follow stringent protocols when giving the test to a suspect. If there is any deviation or failure to follow the necessary steps, the results could be challenged.
Additionally, the machine itself could be questioned. If the device is not accurately calibrated or maintained, the results could be wrong. Our office will request all documentation surrounding the care and maintenance of the device. We will also ensure that the law enforcement officer that administered the test was adequately trained.
Quakertown DUI Stops and Sobriety Roadblocks
Another tactic employed by law enforcement in Quakertown and throughout Pennsylvania are sobriety checks at roadblocks sites on local roads highways. While they might seem constitutionally questionable, Pennsylvania courts have held that sobriety roadblocks do not violate drivers’ rights. However, to be constitutional, roadblocks must adhere to specific guidelines. If an alleged drunk driver is stopped and arrested at a roadblock, our Quakertown DUI attorney can challenge the charge if the sobriety check failed to comply with constitutional safeguards prescribed by Pennsylvania case law.
First, the method law enforcement uses to identify and stop drivers must not be arbitrary, capricious, or based solely on the driver’s appearance. Quakertown police must use a systematic method that is not subjective, for instance, stopping every tenth vehicle.
Law enforcement must also provide sufficient warning of the sobriety checkpoint. What is legally sufficient is open to some interpretation, but the information must be readily available to drivers. A flyer posted inside the police station would probably not be considered adequate notice.
Just as stops cannot be arbitrary, the location of the roadblock cannot be random. For a sobriety check to be constitutionally viable, the site must be an area or stretch of highway that has experienced a sufficient level of drunk driving stops and arrests.
Drivers who are stopped are also afforded several rights. The stop must be brief and not abnormally long. Additionally, law enforcement is not permitted to conduct a physical search of the vehicle. Understanding what constitutes a legal stop will help our Quakertown DUI defense attorneys provide you vigorous defense.
ARD: Pennsylvania First Offense DUI Program
Also, in Pennsylvania is ARD, a program unique to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and designed to spare first-time offenders, who are unlikely to repeat their offense.
Completion of the ARD program results in the dismissal of charges and provides you with a clean criminal history. The District Attorney has final say in who can participate in an ARD program, but generally you must have a clean record and no previous ARD participation within the last 10 years. Further, a minor under the age of 14 cannot have been a passenger nor can a third party have suffered injury or death.
You should consult with one of our experienced attorneys before agreeing to any program if you are charged with a DUI in Quakertown, despite its benefits. In some instances, the facts may dictate that you should fight the charges against you.
Our Quakertown, PA DUI Lawyers Can Help You
With Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates on your side, you can rest assured you have the best criminal defense team working to reduce or entirely dismiss the charges against you.
If you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI or DUID, pick up the phone and call us immediately. Do not speak with the police about the charge or charges against you! We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we make emergency jail or holding center visits. Free consultations are available. You can reach one of our experienced Quakertown, PA DUI lawyers by filling out the available form or by calling (215) 701-6519.