Harrisburg DUI Attorney
Proven DUI Defense throughout Dauphin County
There is nothing like flashing red and blue lights in your rear view mirror to send a chill through your spine. Whatever happens, you know it is bound to be less than ideal, especially if you suspect you might be tested for driving under the influence. When law enforcement want to charge a person with DUI, they will stop at almost nothing to find evidence of the crime. If you were charged with impaired driving, you need a Harrisburg DUI lawyer on your side who can help you build a strong case in protection of your rights. At the Dorward Law Firm, we understand how to effectively fight charges of drunk driving to help you keep your driving privileges.
DUI Penalties in Pennsylvania
Under Pennsylvania state law, if you are charged with DUI you can face serious charges. Your charges depend on the circumstances and if you have had prior convictions. For example, one factor that determines the level of your charges is your BAC percentage at the time you were arrested for driving under the influence.
Possible Penalties for DUI:
- First Offense – 2 to 3 days in jail and one-year driver’s license suspension
- Second Offense – 5 to 90 days in jail and 18-month driver’s license suspension
- Third Offense – 10 days to 1 year in jail and 18-month driver’s license suspension
It is important that you speak with a Harrisburg DUI lawyer as soon as possible if you have been charged with driving under the influence. The Dorward Law Firm is equipped to fight for you.
What Happens to First Time DUI Offenders in PA?
In Pennsylvania, you can face severe penalties for drunk driving even if it is your first offense. Depending on the level of your BAC at the time you were tested, you could even face jail time.
Possible jail sentences for first time DUI offenders include:
- BAC .08 – .099: no minimum jail time requirement
- BAC .10 - .159: minimum of 2 days in jail
- BAC .16 and higher: minimum of 3 days in jail
Defenses to Pennsylvania DUI Charges
With over a decade of experience, Harrisburg DUI Attorney Shawn Dorward has seen many of the strategies used by law enforcement to obtain evidence for a criminal charge. Unfortunately, instances of police misconduct are all too common. With our team on your side, you can feel confident that your interests will be protected.
We may be able to prove that you:
- Were unlawfully stopped by law enforcement: Police must have a good reason for stopping you, such as noticing erratic driving or witnessing some other irresponsible behavior. If this never occurred, you may be able to call the validity of the stop into question.
- Were unlawfully arrested by law enforcement: Sometimes police officers lack the proper training in DUI's which could potentially lead to being unlawfully arrested during standardized field sobriety tests. Additionally, the wrong charges might be filed against you if you were arrested for a DUI, but the controlled substance was a prescription medication.
- Underwent a faulty blood alcohol test: Breathalyzers are notoriously faulty. You should always question whether or not the machinery used to test you was properly calibrated and working correctly.
- Had no other option but to drive: If you know you had alcohol in your system, proving your necessity to drive could help get you a reduced sentence.
The A.R.D. Program
Pennsylvania created the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (A.R.D.) to let drug and alcohol offenders have a chance to rehabilitate themselves and have a clean slate afterward. This program is an excellent opportunity for people who may not want to fight the charges against them, but are willing to work hard at living a clean and sober life.
To be eligible you must not have any serious criminal convictions and you cannot be accused of a serious crime. When you apply for the A.R.D program you waive your arraignment and then your the District Attorney's office will schedule you an A.R.D. hearing for about 90 days out.
Conditions for completion of the A.R.D. program can include:
- Driver's license suspension
- Community Service
- Victim impact panel
- Substance abuse treatment
- Submit to drug testing
- Alcohol Highway Safety School
If you have been arrested for a DUI and you think the A.R.D. program is something that could work for you, reach out to us and we will help see if this is right for you. We can help you apply to the program and we will follow you every step of the way until its completion.
Call Our Harrisburg DUI Lawyer Now
The Dorward Law Firm offers free consultations to help you get started. During this initial meeting, we can help you better understand the charges you face and how to protect yourself against the devastating consequences of a conviction. You should not go it alone. Let our Harrisburg DUI lawyer help you make the best use of the legal options you have available.