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If you or someone you love has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Southeastern PA, you could face a gamut of potential punishments, including driver’s license suspension, jail time, court costs and fines, mandatory alcohol school, and strict probation terms. Moreover, you could face secondary and tertiary problems, such as difficulty keeping your job and loss of prestige and respect within your community. A trained Delaware County DUI lawyer can analyze your arrest and help you develop the most appropriate response to your charges.
Relevance of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Level
According to Pennsylvania Criminal Statutes, different DUI convicts face different penalties. If you are tagged with violating the “BAC per se” PA statute, you can face charges such as driver’s license suspension of two months, fines of $300, some jail time, and other penalties. If your BAC is higher, your penalties could go up: you could face two full days in jail, fines up to $5,000, and a one year PA license suspension. And if you are pulled over and convicted for the highest kind of BAC violation, your penalties shoot up even further – you can face a minimum of 72 hours behind bars, for instance.
As your Delaware County DUI lawyer can explain, Pennsylvania has a zero tolerance law that can apply to certain individuals in certain situations. This means that if your BAC is just 0.02% – significantly under most states’ legal limits of 0.08% – you can be arrested for DUI and hit with many of the penalties discussed above.
Building a Case with the Help of a Delaware County DUI Lawyer
Although a DUI charge can be tough to fight, defendants may have ample and even sometimes surprising resources at their disposal. For instance, a Delaware County DUI lawyer may try to challenge the results of a breathalyzer or blood test by questioning police methods, debunking the reliability of the technology, and even the examining the logistics associated with the chain of custody of your test. A good attorney will look into opportunities to plea bargain down charges – in other words, make arrangements with prosecutors to get you a reduced sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. If your Delaware County attorney can plea bargain your charge down from a felony to a misdemeanor, for instance, your sentencing could be drastically reduced and you could avoid some of the worst punishments – such as the permanent loss of your right to vote in elections and serious jail time.
When you develop your relationship with your Delaware County DUI lawyer, be sure to be upfront and honest about what transpired. Get all of your concerns and questions out on the table. Your relationship with your attorney is confidential, and if you hide information or dissemble to your attorney, you only worsen your chances for getting a positive result.
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