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Philadelphia DUI Criminal Defense – Frequently Asked Questions

  • Published: April 2, 2019
Philadelphia DUI Criminal Defense – Frequently Asked Questions

How can a DUI attorney help?

An experienced attorney can do many things to challenge and disprove the evidence of the accused. This includes reviewing the calibration and maintenance records of the machine used to test blood alcohol level. It is falsely believed that these machines are infallible. To believe that they always work is like believing your car will never break down. Machines do not always work properly.

An experienced attorney will always file pretrial motions to suppress the evidence. These motions, when argued successfully, may result in the DUI case being dismissed. It is very important to effectively cross-examine the officer to expose mistakes and inaccuracies in the gathering of evidence.

An experienced attorney will always challenge the Commonwealth’s blood or breath results. Whether through timing, biology, or the Commonwealth’s own expert witness, it may be possible to show the results are outside the standard deviation or that the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was inaccurate and cannot be relied on beyond a reasonable doubt.

What are the penalties for DUI?

The penalties for DUI are separated into tiers and are highly complex and specific. The entire table for of DUI penalties can be viewed here. Please note that the penalties for DUI range from 6 months of probation to three days in jail for a marijuana or drug DUI. Also be aware that the penalties for DUI escalate which each subsequent charge, hence even if you are charged with a DUI first offense, it is very important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney just incase you get a DUI in the future.

Am I going to lose my license for DUI?

Maybe. Some lower tier DUIs will allow you to keep your license, but most DUI penalties include a period of license suspension. Also if you refuse a blood or breathalyzer test your license will automatically be suspended under Pennsylvania’s implied consent law, regardless of whether or not you are eventually convicted of DUI. However, there are many instances where having an experienced DUI lawyer can help you keep your license. It is possible to enter into plea deals with the Commonwealth and bargain to keep you license. It is also possible to received or negotiate a “tier drop”, which may allow you to keep your license.

Does the car have to be moving to prove DUI?

No, the car does not have to be moving to prove DUI. It merely has to be in “operation.” The Courts have defined operation to generally mean having the key in the ignition. There are many situations where there are excellent operation defenses: someone who is intoxicated and falls asleep in the car in the parking lot and has the vehicle on to keep warm. However, that situation is quite different than someone who falls asleep in their vehicle and the vehicle is somewhere that clearly implies operation, i.e. at a red light.

What happens if I refuse the breath, urine or blood test?

If you refuse any of the above tests you will automatically have your license suspended under Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent Law. This suspension is a civil penalty and not a criminal penalty. It operates independently of the criminal prosecution and will still affect your driving privilege even if you are found not guilty of the underlying case. Implied Consent refers to the idea that every driver in Pennsylvania “consents” to a blood, breathe or urine test by virtue of applying for and receiving their driver’s license.

Philadelphia DUI Lawyer

Although very common, DUI charges can be very difficult for the Commonwealth to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. If you or someone you care about has been charged with any type of drinking and driving crime in Pennsylvania, you need the help of a Troy R. Crichton, Esq, a Philadelphia lawyer that concentrates on DUI defense. Call (267) 225-3317 to discuss your defense today.

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