Frequently Asked Questions About DUI Charges
DUI and other alcohol-related charges have the potential for changing a moment of celebrating good times into a lasting legal scar on your record. Our firm has compiled a DUI FAQ page that answers some of the most common questions he hears in our offices about intoxicated driving and other crimes involving alcohol.
What Are The Standards Used To Determine Intoxicated Driving in Pennsylvania?
The state tests a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) to determine if they are driving drunk. There are three levels of BAC that are the focus of most DUI cases:
- The “per se” BAC limit for adults over age 21 of .08 percent
- The “zero tolerance” BAC limit for drivers under age 21 of .02 percent
- The enhanced penalty/aggravated DUI limits, which include one tier from .10 to .159 percent and a second tier of .16 percent
Your measured BAC will be a critical part of the state’s case against you.
Why Should I Try To Challenge A DUI Charge?
Even if you are facing a first-time DUI, the conviction goes on your permanent record and may interfere with getting a job (particularly as a commercial driver) or renting an apartment. Beyond that, few DUI cases pressed by the state are airtight. Our firm will search for gaps or mistakes in the prosecution’s case, such as no probable cause for the DUI stop, errors in conducting field sobriety tests or mistakes in how the BAC tests were administered.
Even if the evidence against you is compelling, having a dedicated defense attorney at your side can result in negotiations that could lead to a reduced sentence or a reduced charge. Do not pass up the chance to assert your due process rights.
This Is My Second DUI Arrest In 10 Years. Will I Go To Jail?
Not necessarily. Even though Pennsylvania increased its penalties for repeat DUI defendants in late 2018, the courts recognize that each DUI case involves a unique set of factors, including the recorded BAC level, additional driving hazards observed by law enforcement and a host of other factors. Judges dealing with second-time DUI drivers can impose penalties ranging from five days to five years (depending on your BAC tier) in jail/prison, community service hours, suspension of your driver’s license, attendance at Alcohol Highway Safety School or mandatory alcohol/drug treatment.
But just as is the case for a first-time DUI, a skilled defense lawyer can review your case and see if any of the drunk driving defenses listed in the previous question apply to your case. These could result in a greatly reduced charge and diminished punishments.
I Am A College Student Facing My First DUI Arrest. What Consequences Could A Conviction Have For My Education?
College students put their entire educational experience at risk with a DUI arrest. Some consequences, depending on the institution, may include:
- Disciplinary actions for violating your institution’s code of conduct
- Parental notification about the DUI
- Loss of scholarships or other sources of funding
- Eviction from on-campus housing
- Restriction from participating in campus activities such as attending athletic events
- Suspension from classes or being expelled from the school
Consulting with an attorney experienced with underage and college DUI cases can help you deal with both the criminal and academic consequences of your charge.
Trust Your DUI Case To A Trial-Tested DUI Attorney
Miele & Rymsza, P.C., works with clients throughout northeast and central Pennsylvania. Our lawyer knows how to find practical solutions to difficult cases. Call us in Williamsport at 570-279-4191 to schedule a free consultation today or email our firm.