West Chester

First DUI Attorney

If you were charged with a first drunk driving offense, you need to contact an experienced DUI attorney to help you through each stage of the case. Many individuals charged with a first-time offense of driving under the influence (DUI) will qualify for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, or would benefit from the help of a lawyer fighting for them to have their charges reduced or dropped entirely. A lot is on the line when you’re faced with a criminal charge, and as such, you need the assistance of an experienced first DUI attorney.

Skinner Law Firm may be able to help you fight the charges and retain your driving privileges and other freedoms. It is important to consult with an attorney to discuss your options, including reviewing the criminal justice process and what penalties you might face if convicted. To schedule a free and confidential consultation of your case with attorney Michael J. Skinner, call (610) 436-1410 today, or reach out online.

Pennsylvania First-Time DUI Charges

A first DUI offense in PA involving a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.08% to .099% is an ungraded misdemeanor.

For a first DUI in Pennsylvania with this BAC, the mandatory minimum sentence is:

  • Six months of probation
  • $300 in fines
  • Completion of alcohol highway safety school
  • Alcohol or drug treatment, if ordered
  • No driver’s license suspension

A first DUI involving a BAC of .10% to .159% is an ungraded misdemeanor. For a first DUI in Pennsylvania with this BAC, the mandatory minimum sentence is:

  • At least 48 hours in jail (although the court can impose up to six months)
  • A fine between $500 and $5,000
  • Successful completion of alcohol highway safety school
  • Completion of alcohol or drug treatment, if ordered
  • A driver’s license suspension of 12 months

A first DUI involving a BAC of .10% to .159% is an ungraded misdemeanor. For a first DUI in Pennsylvania with this BAC, the mandatory minimum sentence is:

  • At least 72 hours in jail (although the court can impose up to six months)
  • Fines between $1,000 and $5,000
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Alcohol or drug treatment, if ordered
  • 12 months’ license suspension

Criminal and License Records After a DUI

The ARD program was created to help individuals charged with a first-time offense to avoid a criminal record. If an individual successfully completes this program, the prosecutor with the District Attorney’s Office will dismiss the charges.

By statute, a DUI dismissed by ARD can be expunged. A DUI conviction, however, cannot be expunged. In addition, a DUI dismissed by ARD will be expunged and removed from a person’s Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) record after 10 years. In the case of a DUI conviction, however, the charge cannot be expunged and will remain on his or her PennDOT record.

Your License after a DUI in PA?

Pennsylvania law mandates a driver’s license suspension for certain DUI convictions, but the details of such a consequence depend on various factors, including your BAC while driving, other traffic convictions at the time of a guilty plea, a DUI test refusal, or whether you were under the influence of any controlled substances.

If convicted of a first-time DUI in PA, you face the following driver’s license suspension terms:

  • No suspension if your BAC was below .10%
  • A 12-month license suspension if your BAC was greater than or equal to .10%, and less than .16%; if your minor son or daughter had a BAC greater than or equal to .02%; or if you were a commercial driver or school bus operator
  • A 12-month license suspension if your BAC was greater than or equal to .16%; if you refused a chemical test, or you were convicted of driving under the influence of a controlled substance

In certain cases, a person convicted of a first-offense DUI may be eligible for an Ignition Interlock Limited License and to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in their vehicle. This allows DUI offenders restricted driving privileges during their suspension period. When an IID is installed, the driver must blow into the device before the vehicle can start, and periodically during operation to confirm they are not impaired.

ARD & DUI License Suspension in PA

Under the ARD program, the court will impose a driver’s license suspension for offenders based on certain blood alcohol concentration (BAC) ranges and whether any controlled substances were in the person’s blood. The suspensions are as follows:

  • No suspension if your BAC is less than .10%
  • A 30-day suspension if your BAC was .10% to less than .16%
  • A 60-day suspension if your BAC is .16% or above, drugs found in blood test, you refused chemical testing, or the DUI involved bodily injury or a vehicle accident
  • A 90-day suspension if the driver was a minor under the age of 21-years-old

Contact a DUI Lawyer for Help

If you have been arrested for a first offense DUI, you need to contact an experienced drunk driving attorney to fight for your rights and freedoms. Michael J. Skinner can help you assess whether you are eligible for ARD, or assist you at each stage of the criminal process to protect your rights and driving privileges.

Whether your case involves a breath test, a blood test, or a refusal to submit to testing, he can help you fight the charges. Find out what you need to do right now to protect your driver’s license, your criminal record, and your good name. Let attorney Skinner put his experience to work for you.

To schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case with an experienced DUI attorney, contact Skinner Law Firm LLC today at (610) 436-1410.

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