First DUI Offense
In the State of Pennsylvania, a DUI conviction can complicate your life in ways most people never imagine. While the penalties for a first-time DUI can include a $300 fine, incarceration, six months probation, a drug and alcohol assessment, and alcohol safety training, there are other consequences to consider as well. Insurance companies typically receive information on DUI convictions and almost always raise insurance premiums as a result of a DUI conviction. While the suspension of your license is not automatic and a mandatory jail sentence is not involved for those with a blood alcohol content (BAC) between .08 percent and .099 percent, you will have a criminal record and you could be required to perform community service. If your BAC was .10 percent or higher, you will have your license suspended and likely serve some time in jail.Do not let your friends or family convince you to simply plead guilty to a first-time DUI without talking to an attorney first. A single DUI conviction can have a significant adverse impact on your driving privileges, your future employment opportunities, and your auto insurance rates.For a free initial phone consultation with a qualified DUI defense lawyer in Pennsylvania, call the Law Offices of James Crosby. Located in Murrysville and Pittsburgh, we represent clients throughout Western Pennsylvania.
Take Your DUI Charges Very Seriously: We Certainly Do
A first-offense DUI in Pennsylvania is classified as an ungraded misdemeanor. The range of penalties for a first-time DUI conviction depends on several factors, including your blood alcohol level. Blood alcohol levels are divided into three categories of severity: category 1 is for drivers between .08 and 0.099; category two is for drivers with a blood alcohol level between .10 and .159; category three is for drivers with a blood alcohol at or above .16.
A conviction for a first-time DUI in the first tier can result in criminal penalties that include a $300 fine, safe driving classes, and drug and alcohol treatment. At the higher end of the scale, a conviction for a first-time DUI in tier three can result in up to six months incarceration with a mandatory minimum three-day sentence in jail and up to a one-year loss of your driver’s license.
What is ARD? How can it Help?
As experienced DUI defense attorneys, we always explore a range of possible solutions that will protect our clients’ rights. If an acquittal or case dismissal is not likely, depending upon your criminal record and current charges, Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) may be an option. ARD can minimize potential penalties and adverse consequences. ARD stands for Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition. It is a pre-trial diversion program available to some defendants which results in a dismissal of charges, no conviction, an expungement, no jail time, and a mitigation of a driver’s license suspension. However, no one is automatically entitled to ARD. The District Attorney’s office will review each case and determine who is eligible for ARD. For more information regarding ARD and to determine if you qualify, contact our office to discuss the charges against you.
Contact Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania DUI Defense Attorneys
Although ARD is not guaranteed or even appropriate in all cases, it is one of the many ways our attorneys can seek favorable results on behalf of the clients we serve. To learn more about how to protect your record and your Pennsylvania driver’s license, contact the Law Offices of James Crosby.