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Crichton Law

Philadelphia DUI Defense Lawyer

DUI Defense

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a serious criminal offense. A DUI conviction may result in fines, loss of employment, the revocation or suspension of your driver’s license, and possible jail time. In addition, your insurance company may increase your rates to an unmanageable level.

Throughout years of practice, we have defended countless DUI cases with tremendous success in either pleading to a lesser offense or getting a not guilty finding from the jury. We are intimately familiar with the DUI laws, as well as the types of tests and procedures used by the police. We can tell you if you have a legal challenge or if the police have violated your rights. Call (267) 225-3317 for a free consultation. After just one conversation, you will see that our experience in DUI law is unparalleled.

How Does Pennsylvania Define The Charge Of DUI?

DUI is an abbreviation for Driving Under the Influence. Typically, it refers to the influence of alcohol, but there are DUI charges for controlled substances such as marijuana, illegal drugs, and prescription drugs. Just because you can legally obtain a drug does not mean that you can drive while under its influence…Read More

What Are The Roadside Breath Tests And Standardized Field Sobriety Tests In A DUI?

If a person refuses to submit to a blood or alcohol breath test in Pennsylvania, then they will automatically be subject to a higher tier of punishment and lose their license for one year. This is a civil penalty that has nothing to do with the criminal case. Currently, there is a lot of litigation about whether or not an individual should be subject to this higher tier of punishment. This litigation has revolved primarily around the Birchfield v. North Dakota case.

Roadside breath tests and sobriety tests are not admissible in court as evidence of intoxication, but they are admissible in court for the purposes of showing whether or not the police had probable cause to conduct the arrest. If a case goes to trial, the sole question will be whether or not the defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol, and the roadside breath test is unreliable for this purpose. However, the breath test that is done at the station using a properly calibrated machine or blood draw is admissible for the purposes of showing intoxication…Read More

Which Type Of DUI Am I Charged With?

There are several types of DUI charges broken into tiers, and each tier has its own mandatory penalties and lookback provisions. This means that your charge can depend on how many DUIs you’ve had in the past, as well as the blood alcohol level of your current DUI. At the first tier, PA statute provides the following:

  1. Driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance.

(a) General impairment:

(1) An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the individual is rendered incapable of safely driving, operating or being in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.

(2) An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the individual’s blood or breath is at least 0.08% but less than 0.10% within two hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.

(b) High rate of alcohol:

An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the individual’s blood or breath is at least 0.10% but less than 0.16% within two hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.

(c) Highest rate of alcohol:

An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the individual’s blood or breath is 0.16% or higher within two hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.

(d) Controlled substances:

An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle under any of the following circumstances:

(1) There is in the individual’s blood any amount of a:

(i) Schedule I controlled substance, as defined in the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act;

(ii) Schedule II or Schedule III controlled substance, as defined in The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, which has not been medically prescribed for the individual; or

(iii) metabolite of a substance under subparagraph (i) or (ii).

(2) The individual is under the influence of a drug or combination of drugs to a degree which impairs the individual’s ability to safely drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.

(3) The individual is under the combined influence of alcohol and a drug or combination of drugs to a degree which impairs the individual’s ability to safely drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.

(4) The individual is under the influence of a solvent or noxious substance in violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 7303 (relating to sale or illegal use of certain solvents and noxious substances).

(e) Minors:

A minor may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the minor’s blood or breath is 0.02% or higher within two hours after the minor has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.

What Is The Penalty For DUI?

Crichton Law

The penalty for DUI depends on various factors such as the tier and whether or not it is a first offense. PA statute provides the following with regard to DUI penalties:

  1. Penalties.

(a) General impairment:

Except as set forth in subsection (b) or (c), an individual who violates section 3802(a) (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance) shall be sentenced as follows:

(1) For a first offense, to:

(i) undergo a mandatory minimum term of six months’ probation;

(ii) pay a fine of $300;

(iii) attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and

(iv) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 (relating to drug and alcohol assessments) and 3815 (relating to mandatory sentencing).

(2) For a second offense, to:

(i) undergo imprisonment for not less than five days;

(ii) pay a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $2,500;

(iii) attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and

(iv) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.

(3) For a third or subsequent offense, to:

(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than ten days;

(ii) pay a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000; and

(iii) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.

(b) High rate of blood alcohol; minors; commercial vehicles and school buses and school vehicles; accidents:

Except as set forth in subsection (c), an individual who violates section 3802(a)(1) where there was an accident resulting in bodily injury, serious bodily injury or death of any person or damage to a vehicle or other property or who violates section 3802(b), (e) or (f) shall be sentenced as follows:

(1) For a first offense, to:

(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than 48 consecutive hours;

(ii) pay a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000;

(iii) attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and

(iv) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.

(2) For a second offense, to:

(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than 30 days;

(ii) pay a fine of not less than $750 nor more than $5,000;

(iii) attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and

(iv) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.

(3) For a third offense, to:

(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than 90 days;

(ii) pay a fine of not less than $1,500 nor more than $10,000; and

(iii) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.

(4) For a fourth or subsequent offense, to:

(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than one year;

(ii) pay a fine of not less than $1,500 nor more than $10,000; and

(iii) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.

(c) Incapacity; highest blood alcohol; controlled substances:

An individual who violates section 3802(a)(1) and refused testing of breath under section 1547 (relating to chemical testing to determine amount of alcohol or controlled substance) or testing of blood pursuant to a valid search warrant or an individual who violates section 3802(c) or (d) shall be sentenced as follows:

(1) For a first offense, to:

(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than 72 consecutive hours;

(ii) pay a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000;

(iii) attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and

(iv) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.

(2) For a second offense, to:

(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than 90 days;

(ii) pay a fine of not less than $1,500;

(iii) attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and

(iv) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.

(3) For a third or subsequent offense, to:

(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than one year;

(ii) pay a fine of not less than $2,500; and

(iii) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.

How Can I Win My DUI Case?

DEFENSES

There are numerous defenses to DUI charges. Everyone’s situation is different and each will require an in-depth analysis of how to best defend the charges. Common defenses involve challenging the following:

  • The evidence as unconstitutionally obtained
  • The police officer’s observations
  • The legality of the traffic stop or sobriety checkpoint
  • The accuracy of the blood test and/or breathalyzer
  • The constitutionality and admissibility of a blood test
  • Whether or not the vehicle was in operation
  • The identification of the driver

Hire A Philadelphia DUI Defense Lawyer To Win Your Case

DUIs are one of the most common criminal offenses in Pennsylvania and DUI law is constantly changing. Just recently, the State legislature amended the DUI code to provide for a felony DUI. It is important that you retain an experienced DUI lawyer who knows the law. If you or someone you care about has been charged with any type of drinking and driving crime in Pennsylvania, then you need the help of Troy R. Crichton, Esq, a Philadelphia DUI defense lawyer. Call (267) 225-3317 to discuss your defense today. All consultations are free and 100% confidential.

If you want to know more about DUI Defense, read the informational blogs here.

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