According to 2017 statistics, someone in the United States dies in drunk-driving accidents every 48 minutes. Although Pennsylvania alcohol-related fatalities decreased from 297 to 293, alcohol-related crashes increased in 2017. In Pennsylvania, drinking and driving is an important safety issue and is taken very seriously by courts and legislators.
Being charged with driving under the influence, or DUI, is an unnerving experience. You may be concerned about losing your driver’s license, your freedom, and costs and fines. Having a DUI on your record may have a long-term impact on your employment and your future. It is essential to retain the services of an experienced Pennsylvania DUI defense attorney. Asking your prospective attorney questions about your case should happen as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to ask questions. Remember, the attorney will be defending you. Naturally, you will be under a great deal of stress, so when meeting with a DUI attorney, it is a good idea to bring a list of any questions you want to ask. Here are some questions you should ask.
Pennsylvania’s new, stricter DUI laws came into effect in October 2018. The new law contains stiffer penalties for drunk driving convictions and creates a new felony category for some DUI offenses.
The Pennsylvania laws regarding driving under the influence are very complex. There are a variety of options, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. A first time DUI offender may be eligible for the “ARD” or Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program. There are certain requirements to be admitted into the ARD Program, however.
The prosecuting attorney from the county in which you are charged must first make a recommendation. However, defendants still usually face a number of hurdles. The District Attorney considers whether or not there were any serious to people involved in the accident or other major damage arising from the incident which led to your DUI driving arrest, and extenuating factors such as whether there were any passengers under the age of 14 in your vehicle at the time of the DUI. Other factors pertaining to your criminal background record may exclude you from participation in the program. In some cases, the ARD program may not be the best option for you. It’s important to ask your attorney:
The law pertaining to DUI is the same throughout Pennsylvania. However, the administrative practices of the courts and the department of motor vehicle offices may differ according to their location. Different counties may have specific programs, such as work release or house arrest. Therefore, it is important to know about the attorney’s familiarity with the local courts and law enforcement. You may ask a prospective lawyer:
By the end of the consultation, you and the attorney should have discussed all the facts. It is important to provide complete and truthful facts, in order for the attorney to give you a fair and reasonable outlook. Once you have hired an attorney, he or she should be able to review police reports, dash cam videos, and other available information. Only then will he or she be able to form the most effective strategy to argue your case and give you a good idea of what to expect.
It helps to know who you will be working with as your case progresses:
People tend to have different expectations of attorney-client communications. Some clients want frequent updates; others only want to be notified of significant developments. It helps to have an understanding about communications from the beginning, to avoid misunderstandings later:
There are a great many variables involved in the cost of a DUI case. There may be other expenses in addition to attorney’s fees. You probably will not get an exact price, but there may be a reasonable estimate:
Michael J. Skinner and the attorneys at the Skinner Law Firm handle DUI cases in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas. We can fight to protect your rights and seek the best possible outcome for your case. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call Skinner Law Firm at (610) 436-1410 or contact Skinner Law online. We are here to help you.
By Michael Skinner |
14 Feb, 2020