In Pennsylvania, DUI is a very serious crime that come with very serious consequences. The crime has a set of mandatory penalties that a judge must impose if you are convicted, and these penalties get increasingly harsher as your blood alcohol content increases and depending on whether you have previous DUI convictions. In order to avoid the most serious potential penalties, you should contact an experienced Philadelphia DUI defense lawyer like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long as soon after your DUI arrest as possible. Below, we explain how bail is set for Philadelphia DUI cases and how our lawyers can help with your case at the bail hearing and beyond.
What Happens After a DUI Stop in Philadelphia?
After being pulled over for DUI, the officer will likely ask you to undertake a series of roadside tests. You are not required to comply with these tests or provide any information to the officer without a lawyer present. However, if the officer places you under arrest for DUI, when you are taken back to the station you will have to comply with a breathalyzer test as well as blood or urine tests if requested or you could be charged with the separate crime of DUI test refusal.
How Much Will I Have to Pay to Get Bailed Out for a Philadelphia DUI?
Usually within 48 hours, your bail hearing will be held. The bail hearing in a Philadelphia criminal case is typically conducted over videoconference, with you in your holding cell and the judge in a courtroom speaking over a monitor. You are not entitled to a lawyer for this hearing, but it is vital that you have an experienced Philadelphia bail hearing attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long arguing for you when the judge decides whether you can be released on bail or must remain in jail until your case is resolved. In some cases, it is a possibility that the judge will release you on your own recognizance, meaning with no bail, or with non-monetary conditions like mandatory drug counseling.
In many DUI cases, however, bail will be set and you must pay it to be released. The amount the judge sets will vary depending on the severity of the crime, whether there was injury or loss of life involved, the BAC measured, and whether the person refuses the breathalyzer. While it is rare for judges to hold someone charged with DUI without bail, they can in some cases, especially where someone was killed in the accident. Our experienced bail hearing attorneys at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long can craft the most persuasive arguments to get the judge to release you on little to no bail. If bail as set is unaffordable, we can help you secure the services of a bail bondsman to put up a surety or file a motion for the bail amount to be reconsidered.
What Happens After a Bail Hearing in A DUI Case?
After bail has been settled, we can work on requesting any remaining discovery and begin to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor for your charges to be downgraded or dismissed, if this is something that interests you. One of the possibilities we can explore with the prosecutor if you are a first-time DUI offender is getting you into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. If you successfully complete this program, which includes mandatory drug or alcohol treatment, your charges will be dropped and you will not have a criminal record. Other possible deals include the prosecutor downgrading the charges to something less serious like reckless driving or the prosecutor agreeing to recommend a more lenient sentence to the judge in exchange for you entering a guilty plea and saving the state the time and effort of putting on a trial. Of course, if you do not wish to take deal, our skilled Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers are ready and able to defend you at trial.
What are the Potential Penalties for a Philadelphia DUI Conviction?
The potential penalties you can face if you plead guilty or are convicted of DUI will depend mostly on the BAC that the breathalyzer showed and whether you have prior DUI convictions. If your BAC was between .08 and .099 percent, a first offense is punishable by up to six months of probation and a $300 fine. For a second DUI offense within 10 years, the penalty be at least 5 days in jail, fines between $300 and $2,500, and a mandatory 1-year license suspension. For a third or further DUI conviction in this BAC range within 10 years, you will face at least 10 days in jail, between $500 and $5,000 in fines, and a mandatory 1-year license suspension.
If your blood alcohol content is between .10- .159 percent, you will face a minimum of 1 year in jail, fines between $500-$5,000, and a mandatory 1-year license suspension for a first offense. For a second offense within 10 years, the penalty will be 30 days minimum in jail, between $750-$5,000 in fines, and a mandatory 1-year license suspension. If you have two previous convictions within ten years, you will face at least 90 days in jail, between $1,500 in $10,000 in fines, and a mandatory 18 month license suspension. If you have three or more previous convictions within 10 years and fall within this BAC range, you face the same fines and license suspension as for your third charge, but a minimum of 1 year in jail.
Finally, if your BAC is 0.16 or higher, a first offense will be penalized by a minimum of 3 days in jail, between $1,000-$1,500 in fines, and a 1-year license suspension. For a second offense, you face 90 days minimum in jail, a minimum $1,500 fine, and a mandatory 18-month license suspension. For a third or further offense within 10 years in this BAC range, you will face a minimum of 1 year in jail, a minimum $2,500 fine, and an 18 month license suspension.
If You Are Facing DUI Charges, Call Our Skilled Philadelphia Defense Lawyers Today
If you do not have an experienced Philadelphia bail hearing attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long by your side, your bail could be set quite high in a DUI case, or the judge could refuse to release you. We will fight to get you released on little to no bail and then begin working to bring your underlying charges to the best possible resolution. Call us today at (215) 302-0171 for a free consultation.