Chester County DUI Lawyers | Skinner Law Firm
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Law enforcement officers in Chester County and across Pennsylvania arrest drunk drivers to protect the public and the drivers themselves. Each year approximately 10,000 alcohol-related crashes cause death and injury to motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists in the Commonwealth. A conviction for driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol can carry severe penalties, especially if you have one or more previous convictions. Additionally, a conviction can also wreak havoc on your personal life by causing relationship issues or causing your employer to let you go.

Whether you are still in lock-up, released on bail, or seeking counsel for a friend or family member, contact the skilled DUI defense attorneys at Skinner Law at (610) 436-1410 for a free consultation if you have been charged with a DUI in Chester County. Our skilled legal team will evaluate the circumstances surrounding your arrest, review your charges, and devise a defense strategy tailored to your circumstances.

Skinner Law’s Results Defending DUI Charges

The DUI defense attorneys at Skinner Law have years of experience defending clients who have been charged with DUIs and DUI-related offenses. Their skilled legal team is dedicated to advocating for clients to help them get charges dismissed or reduced, and to reduce penalties. Whether you are a first time offender, or you have a previous conviction, federal and Pennsylvania law guarantee you due process. The lawyers at Skinner Law cannot guarantee outcomes in a particular case, but they can guarantee to advocate for you and protect your rights as you go through the legal process, while seeking the best results possible for your situation.

What Is the Legal Definition of a DUI in Pennsylvania?

Under Pennsylvania law “an individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle” after drinking enough alcohol, consuming enough drugs, or using enough solvent or noxious agents, which render the individual “incapable of safely driving, operating or being in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle.” Yet, in terms of charges and severity of penalties, Pennsylvania further divides alcohol DUIs into three categories based on blood alcohol content (BAC):

  • General Impairment DUI (0.08 to 0.099 percent BAC)
  • High BAC DUI (0.10 to 0.159 percent BAC)
  • Highest BAC DUI (0.16 and higher BAC)

Pennsylvania holds minors and commercial vehicle drivers to stricter standards for alcohol use. Minors with a blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of 0.02 or higher within two hours of driving face a minor DUI. Commercial drivers might be charged with a DUI under the following circumstances:

  • Blood or breath alcohol level is 0.04 or greater within two hours of driving
  • Blood or breath alcohol level is 0.02 or greater within two hours of those driving a school bus or other school vehicle
  • Law enforcement deems the driver has had enough alcohol making them incapable of driving safely

Penalties for Pennsylvania DUI Convictions

If you are convicted of a DUI in Pennsylvania, you face penalties that vary according to your DUI history and your blood or breath alcohol level. Repeat offenders face a minimum one year in prison and $2,500 fine. Fines and jail time for a first offense of each grade of DUI are:

  • General Impairment. Getting convicted of a general impairment DUI does not require jail time. Instead, offenders face mandatory six months probation and a $300 fine.
  • High BAC. A first time High BAC DUI conviction carries 48 hours of mandatory jail time and a minimum $500 fine. The court can order up to six months in prison and $5,000 depending on the circumstances of the arrest. Having minor passengers or damaging property often results in increased penalties.
  • Highest BAC. When convicted of the highest grade DUI, offenders must spend a minimum of 72 hours in jail and pay a minimum $1,000 fine, but the court might order more jail time and up to a $5,000 fine based on circumstances.

Other Penalties for DUI Convictions in Pennsylvania

Many associate fines and jail time with a DUI conviction, and forget about the other penalties they might face. Pennsylvania courts might impose a variety of other penalties or conditions after a DUI conviction, which include:

  • License suspension. A DUI conviction in Pennsylvania with a BAC of more than 0.10 will result in a one year suspension. Those convicted of high and highest grade DUIs face a suspension of 18 months or more.
  • Community service. The sentencing judge can order up to 150 hours of community service with a DUI conviction.
  • Victim impact panel attendance. Upon conviction of a DUI, the court might also force an individual to attend a victim impact panel. Pennsylvania victim impact panels are administered by the local probation office in Chester County, and are operated in conjunction with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Its purpose is to curb irresponsible behavior with alcohol by allowing the offender to learn about the pain, injury, and loss drunk drivers have caused victims, their family members, and their friends.
  • Alcohol evaluation, education, and treatment. If convicted of a DUI, it’s likely an offender will have to undergo a court-mandated psychiatric alcohol evaluation, and attend educational classes about responsible alcohol use. In situations where the offender has an addiction to alcohol or some other chemical substance, the court might order a mandatory substance abuse program.

Contact a Chester County DUI Defense Attorney to Get the Help You Need

A DUI conviction is a serious event which can send ripples through your life. In addition to formal penalties, you might lose your job. Even if your employer lets your conviction slide, you might find it difficult to get to work, unless you can qualify for a hardship license. Invest in your future and hire an experienced Chester County DUI defense lawyer to protect your relationships, reputation, and your job. If you were charged with a DUI in Chester County, or are seeking an attorney for a loved one, contact Skinner Law today at (610) 436-1410 or online for a free case evaluation.

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