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Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is one of most commonly-charged crimes in Pennsylvania. This is especially true in Montgomery County and the Philadelphia suburbs because it is difficult to get anywhere without driving a car. It is very easy to find yourself driving away from a sporting event, restaurant or party with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit. And, if you are pulled over by the police, you can find yourself charged with a DUI. If this happens to you it is a wise move to retain our Montgomery County PA DUI Defense Lawyers.
The DUI law in PA was drastically changed in 2004. These DUI changes resulted in a three-tier system where the penalties and license suspensions varied depending on whether a person’s blood alcohol level is in the “general impairment” (bottom), “high rate” (middle) or “highest rate” (high) tier. The DUI penalties become more harsh for DUIs in the higher tiers. DUI sentences also become more severe if a person has prior DUIs offenses.
If you are charged with a DUI it important to call a DUI defense lawyer to avoid jail or losing your license for a year or more. Please feel free to contact me, Upper Merion Township DUI Defense Lawyer Erik Petersen to discuss your case.
The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD Program) is a pretrial disposition program that is designed to divert cases from the criminal track so that the person charged can emerge from the process without a criminal conviction. Most, but not all, ARD cases involve DUI charges.
The ARD Program suspends the criminal charges while a person completes the terms and conditions of ARD. These ARD conditions typically involve (1) serving a period of probation, (2) undergoing a drug and alcohol evaluation and completing recommended treatment, (3) completing alcohol highway (safe driving) school and (4) performing some community service. After these conditions have been satisfied, the ARD Program is completed and the charges are legally dismissed.
After a person successfully completed the ARD Program, he or she can file a petition to have the charges expunged. Obviously, in this day and age, it is important to have a clean criminal record if possible. if you have completed the ARD Program (or if DUI charges are withdrawn or dismissed), you should hire a Montgomery County PA Expungement Lawyer to assist in getting your record expunged. Call Montco Lawyer Erik Petersen to discuss your rights and options.
DUIs are not all the same. Under the PA DUI laws, a person may be convicted of DUI based on the consumption of alcohol or any controlled substance (whether legal or illegal). This means that a person may be charged with DUI after taking legally-prescribed medications if a judge or jury determines that the prescription drugs rendered him or her incapable of safe driving.
Some difference types of DUIs in PA include the following:
Whether you have are a first-time offender (and perhaps eligible for the ARD Program) or have prior offenses, you should consult a DUI defense lawyer to learn how the DUI laws apply to you. Call Norristown, Montgomery County DUI criminal lawyer Erik Petersen to discuss your rights and options.
While the ARD Program may be a possibility for first-time offenders, a large percentage of DUI defendants have a prior record that makes them ineligible for ARD. If you are charged with a DUI and have one or more DUI offense in the last 10 years, you may be subject to mandatory minimum sentences of up to 90 days in prison (for a second-offense DUI) or one year in jail (for a third or subsequent DUI).
It is important for anyone facing a second or subsequent DUI to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to learn of the potential alternative DUI sentences. Depending on the county in which you are charged, you may be eligible for one or more of the following alternative sentences:
If you are charged with DUI, your first call should be to Haverford DUI defense lawyer Erik Petersen with an office in Harleysville, Montgomery County, PA. As a prosecutor with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, and as a criminal defense attorney for many years, Mr. Petersen has handled hundreds of DUI cases and can help you obtain the best possible result.
I defend those accused of criminal charges, drug crimes, DUI, property crimes, violent crimes and sex offenses throughouth Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. This includes Abington, Ambler, Blue Bell, Collegeville, Conshohocken, Haverford, Jenkintown, Cheltenham Township, Pottstown, Upper Merion Township, Upper Dublin Township, Lower Providence Township, Upper Moreland Township and Horsham Township.
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