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Philadelphia DUI Attorney
Any Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer will tell you that it is not illegal to drive after drinking in PA if you are 21-years-old or older; it is, however, illegal to drive after drinking enough alcohol to become impaired, essentially having a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher. Because the precise amount of alcohol required to result in impairment varies depending on the person and the situation it is probably safe to say that you should not drink and drive if you do not want to end up with DUI charges. It is also illegal in Pennsylvania to have any unprescribed controlled substances in your system while driving. The Pennsylvania law is unlike many other jurisdictions which require that a person be proven to be under the influence of controlled substances in order to be found guilty of DUI in Philadelphia. The following example will help you understand how strict the DUI law is in Pennsylvania. If you smoke a moderate amount of marijuana on Monday morning and get pulled over on Tuesday, you can be found guilty of DUI offenses if the police get a blood sample from you even though there is no way you could have been under the influence of marijuana at the time you were driving.
There are three basic levels of DUI cases in Pennsylvania:
- Tier I. General Impairment: .08 to less than .1
- Tier II High Rate: .1 to .16
- Tier III Highest Rate.16 or higher
Possible Punishments for DUI Offenses in Pennsylvania
The potential punishment for Pennsylvania DUIs goes up with each tier. If you are automatically charged as Tier III for drunk driving, you are charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance. You may be surprised to know that breath or blood testing (BAC test) is not required for a conviction. It is possible to be found guilty of a Tier I DUI based solely on the testimony of a police officer.
Driver’s License Suspension in PA
According to the laws in Pennsylvania, even if you are charged with a first-offense DUI, you can be severely punished. Penalties for first-offense DUI could include license suspension, days to six months of jail time, or alcohol highway safety school. Whereas, if you are charged with a second or third offense with prior DUIs, one may have much more harsh consequences such as the revocation of their driver’s license or years of jail time.
First Time Offender DUI Penalties
Drugged driving is also a serious offense in Philadelphia, PA. Drug charges can be handled very differently compared to a DUI arrest. The minimum fine for drug charges ranges from $1,000 to $5,000. A first offender may face imprisonment from anywhere from a few days to six months. A second offender is required to spend no less than three months in prison. If you have been caught for being under the influence of drugs more than once, it is crucial for you to seek help from a criminal defense lawyer.
Call Our Philadelphia DUI Lawyers Today
If you have been charged with DUI or a behind the wheel while underage drinking, you cannot afford to wait to hire a criminal defense lawyer. If you want to have a chance at winning you must start gathering evidence right away. Security footage and dash camera video is not preserved forever. If you are facing a DUI conviction, your defense is stronger the sooner you get a DUI attorney working on it to challenge why you were stopped and why you were made to take a sobriety test in the first place. Even if you think there is no chance of winning your case, good defense lawyers are crucial to a successful outcome. There are many rules and regulations regarding DUI testing which gives Derek Steenson options to help succeed for you.