Unexpected Consequences of a DUI Conviction
Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania can have severe consequences—both in the short and long-term. Once you understand what those consequences can be, you will know why you need to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney as soon as possible after you have been charged with DUI.
What Is a DUI?
In Pennsylvania, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at the time of your arrest often determines whether you will be charged with DUI—and how serious a charge you will face. The three basic DUI levels in Pennsylvania are as follows:
- Lowest-Level Tier: .08 to .099
- Mid-Level Tier: .10 to .159
- Highest-Level Tier: .16 and higher
Many factors can affect an individual’s BAC level, such as age, body type, drink strength, gender, hydration, metabolism, overall health, the rate of consumption, etc. Even though “conventional wisdom” indicates that you will stay under a BAC level of .08 if you have no more than one “standard drink” per hour, there is no way to be sure that will be the case for you (Note: A “standard drink” is one-half ounce of alcohol: i.e., one 12-ounce beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or one 1.5-ounce of distilled spirits).
Other Factors Affecting the Charges You Will Face
Several other factors can affect the level of charges that are brought against you—and the penalties that may be imposed on you. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Do you have any prior DUI convictions?
- Were you driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications?
- Were you driving a commercial vehicle?
- Were you underage at the time of your arrest?
- Were you involved in an accident?
Even a first-time DUI conviction for the lowest-level DUI tier has serious consequences, including:
- A misdemeanor record
- Six months or more of probation
- A $300 fine
- Mandatory attendance at Alcohol Highway Safety School
- Mandatory enrollment in an alcohol or drug treatment program
- Quite likely, a major increase in your insurance premium
A knowledgeable and experienced lawyer will review every aspect of your case to ensure that your DUI arrest did not violate any of your rights. Thereafter, the lawyer may seek to have the charges against you—and the penalties that are imposed on you—appropriately reduced or dropped for a variety of reasons.
Call a Local West Chester, Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, call the Skinner Law Firm today at 610-436-1410 for a free consultation or send us an email through our online contact form. Let our West Chester DUI attorney help you resolve this matter—and minimize its impact on you and your family.