Philadelphia DUI Defense Lawyer

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a  serious criminal offense. A conviction on DUI charges 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 individuals charged with DUI with tremendous success in either pleading their cases to a lesser offense or getting a not guilty finding from the jury. We are intimately familiar with the DUI laws, the types of tests that police use and their procedures generally. 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 where we can discuss your case.  One conversation and you will see that our experience in DUI law is unparalleled.

What DUI Am I Charged With?

There are several types of DUI’s broken into tiers. Each tier has it’s own mandatory penalties and “look back” provisions. This means your charge can depend on how many DUI’s you’ve had in the past as well as the blood alcohol level of your current DUI. At the first tier PA statute provides:

  •  3802.  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?

Again, it depends on various factors such as the tier and whether or not this is a first offense, but the penalties are:

  •  3804.  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 require an in-depth analysis of how to best defend the charges.  Several common defenses are challenging:

  • 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.

Philadelphia DUI Defense Lawyer To Win Your Case

Philadelphia DUI Criminal Defense lawyer

DUI’s are one of the most common criminal offenses in Pennsylvania and they are constantly changing. Just recently the State legislature amended the DUI code to provide for a felony DUI. It is important 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, you need the help of a 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.