Philadelphia Drunk Driving Accident Defense Lawyer
Driving under the influence in Philadelphia is a serious offense, especially if you are involved in a car accident. Not only will you have to deal with an offense for DUI, but you may also face additional charges if you injure another person during an accident. If you or a family member was arrested for drunk driving, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia drunk driving defense lawyer.
The Law Offices of Lloyd Long is prepared to offer you the aggressive legal representation that you need to handle a DUI case. Criminal defense lawyer Lloyd Long possesses a wealth of experience handling criminal cases on both sides of the law. Our firm understands that everyone is prone to make a mistake and we are here to help you work through it. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case, call the Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171, or contact us online.
Pennsylvania Drunk Driving Laws
In Pennsylvania, drunk driving offenses are categorized by the driver’s level of impairment. The levels of impairment are categorized into three separate levels that are linked to the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). These levels will also be used to determine the penalties that the defendant may face if they are convicted.
The legal limit of alcohol in Pennsylvania is .08%. General impairment means the defendant was driving with a BAC of .08 to .099%. It could also mean that the defendant consumed alcohol before driving, but their BAC was not easily determined.
If you are a first time offender that was arrested within the general impairment range, you will be charged with an ungraded misdemeanor. This means, if convicted, you may be sentenced to six months of probation and a $300 criminal fine. You also may be ordered to seek treatment or attend an alcohol safety school.
If you are arrested multiple times for a general impairment DUI, the penalties will increase with every subsequent conviction. For example, if you have one prior DUI and you are convicted of another, you may serve up to six months in jail. You also can have your license suspended for a year.
A high BAC means that your BAC was between .10% and .159%. A defendant is typically charged with this level of impairment if they cause an accident while driving drunk and injure a person or damage property. The first time penalties for high BAC offense include up to six months in prison, the suspension of your license, and a possible criminal fine of $5,000.
You may also need to install an ignition interlock on your vehicle for at least a year. An ignition interlock device checks the driver’s BAC level before they can turn on their car. It is important to note that attempts to circumvent the device can result in additional criminal charges.
If you commit two DUIs with a high BAC, the penalties can jump from six months in prison to five years in prison.
If you are arrested with a BAC of .16% or higher, you will be subject to the stiffest DUI penalties in Pennsylvania. For example, if you are convicted for having a BAC of .16% and you are a first-time offender, you can serve a minimum of 72 hours in prison. Two high BAC offenses will increase the maximum prison time from six months to five years.
Other penalties like a license suspension or a criminal fine will also be increased. For example, you could owe up to $10,000 in criminal penalties for a second .16% BAC offense.
It is also important to note that Pennsylvania has an interest in rehabilitating defendants who commit a drunk driving offense. For example, if you qualify for Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, the penalties for a drunk driving offense can be decreased or eliminated.
You also could be eligible for an exemption from some penalties under certain circumstances. For example, if you must operate a company vehicle for your job, the court may allow you to drive the vehicle without an interlock device. However, you will likely have to inform your employer of your ignition interlock restriction.
Philadelphia DUI Accident Defense Attorneys You Can Trust to Fight for You
You do not have to handle a drunk driving offense on your own because the Law Offices of Lloyd Long is ready to fight for you. Our legal team will help you pursue the most desirable outcome for your case. Additionally, we will help you determine whether you are eligible to partake in Pennsylvania’s rehabilitation program. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your drunk driving case, call the Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.