The Importance Of Hiring A DUI Lawyer

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Driving under influence of alcohol or a controlled substance is a serious traffic offense that millions of Americans commit every year. That is why the severity of penalties for the offense has increased over the years. People who have a track record of driving under influence can expect to spend some time in jail and have their driver’s license suspended temporarily or permanently, depending on the severity of the charge. Alcohol treatment is also offered as part of the penalty package for drivers who record a blood alcohol level of 0.08% and above. The penalties depend on whether the defendant has committed a first, second or third offense as well as the level of alcohol in their blood during the time of their arrest. To avoid or reduce penalties, you may want to hire a competent Philadelphia DUI lawyer.

 

Why Hire a  DUI Lawyer

DUI charges come with serious penalties, including hefty fines, suspension of driver’s license, probation and jail time. The DUI charge will also be entered into your driving record, which means getting an auto insurance policy will either be too costly or impossible since insurers do not want to take up unnecessary risks. If your current auto insurance policy is about to expire, your insurer can refuse to renew the policy. Since you cannot drive without auto insurance in Philadelphia, or anywhere else in the country, you may not be able to drive until you find an insurance company that is willing to offer an auto insurance policy to you irrespective of your driving history. Potential employers may also know about your drunk driving history when they run a background check on you, and this may reduce your chances of getting certain jobs.

 DUI Penalties

drug-testing

As mentioned earlier, DUI penalties depend on two things; the blood alcohol content at the time of the arrest and the number of DUIs you’ve been charged with previously. The following are the standard penalties for DUI charges:

1. Blood Alcohol Content 0.08% to 0.099%

a) 1st Offense

– $300 fine
– 6 months probation
– Mandatory alcohol highway safety school
– Alcohol and drug treatment

b) 2nd Offense

– 1 year suspension of drivers license
– $300 to $2,500 fine
– Alcohol and drug treatment
– 5 days to six months in jail
– Mandatory alcohol highway safety school
– Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for 1 year

c) 3rd Offense

– Second degree misdemeanor charge
– Suspension of drivers license for 1 year
– Alcohol and drug treatment
– $500 to $5,000 fine
– 10 days to two years in prison
– IID system for 1 year

2. Blood Alcohol Content 0.10% to 0.159%

a) 1st Offense

– Suspension of drivers license for 1 year
– 48hrs to 6 months in prison
– Alcohol and drug treatment
– Mandatory alcohol highway safety school
– $500 to $5,000 fine

b) 2nd Offense

– 30 days to 6 months in prison
– Automatic suspension of drivers license for 1 year
– $750 to $5,000 fine
– Alcohol and drug treatment
– IID for 1 year
– Mandatory alcohol highway safety school

c) 3rd Offense

– 1st degree misdemeanor charge
– 90 days to 5 years in prison
– Automatic suspension of drivers license for one and a half years
– Alcohol and drug treatment
– $1,500 to $10,000 fine
– IID for 1 year

d) 4th and Subsequent Offense

– 1st degree misdemeanor charge
– IID for 1 year
– Alcohol and drug treatment
– $1,500 to $10,000 fine
– 1 to 5 years in prison
– Automatic drivers license suspension for 18 months

3. Blood Alcohol Content Higher Than 0.16 or Controlled Substance

– License suspension for up to 18 months (1 year for 1st offense)
– Up to 5 years in prison
– Alcohol and drug treatment
– IID for 1 year
– Pay fine ranging from $1,000 to $10,000
– 1st degree misdemeanor charge (except for 1st offense)

The state of Pennsylvania has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking. Anyone who is under 21 years old and charged with DUI can expect severe penalties, including drivers license suspension for a period ranging from 90 days to 2 years, fines exceeding $500, and between 2 days to 6 months in jail.

Fighting a DUI Charge

Many people think they can save time and money as well as get the charges or penalties reduced when they plead guilty to the charge. Some people even think they do not need to hire a drunk driving attorney Austin  to help them out. The truth, however, is that pleading guilty can actually be more costly than hiring a lawyer to help you fight the charges. An experienced DUI lawyer can come up with a strong defense and discredit every piece of evidence produced by the state to ensure you get a non-guilty verdict. In many cases, the state is always willing to negotiate a plea deal instead of wasting their time and resources trying to prosecute a case they might lose. In such cases, your DUI lawyer will negotiate a deal that will ensure you do not lose your drivers license or spend time in prison. The fine you pay may also be the minimum accepted by law, as opposed to the maximum allowed.

A competent lawyer knows when to negotiate and when to push on with the case. Among the strategies the lawyer may use to fight the charge include; discrediting the competence of the arresting officer, punching holes in the method used to test your blood alcohol content and challenging the reason why the officer stopped you in the first place. Since every patrol car has a dash cam nowadays, the lawyer will go through the footage to check if any of your rights were violated. In many cases, an infringement of the defendant’s rights, no matter how small it may be, can be enough to have the case thrown out of court. When charged with DUI, therefore, be sure to hire a reputable DUI lawyer to help you out.

There are situations where you are the passenger and you might need to get your own attorney.

Here are some very good firms to contact to represent the passenger in that situation. If you are located in Miami, then you need a  passenger car accident attorney Miami,. Like wise find a Boston passenger car accident attorney if your in the Boston Metro Area.  If your in the New York area, a passenger car accident attorney Manhattan would be the best solution.  A Sacramento passenger car accident attorney has all the knowledge of state laws in that area.  If your in the state of Utah, a local Utah passenger car accident attorney  would be of great assistance.  The city of San Francisco has options for lawyers. Finding the a San Francisco passenger car accident attorney who is familiar with the city would be a great help.

If your in one of metro areas of Texas, a Houston passenger car accident attorney  or Austin interstate passenger car accident attorney would be the best choice for you.   If you received a personal injury in near the area of Brooklyn, then find local Brooklyn personal injury attorney.

If you own a motorcycle and live in San Francisco, here is an excellent firm to contact- San Francisco Motorcycle Accident law  firm. And after your case is settled and points added to your license, you can always research the question, How Do I Reduce Points on My License in New Jersey?.