If you’ve experienced a first or second DUI offense in PA, your liberty is at stake. A conviction could have a severe impact on your current job, your career, and your ability to drive. And if you were intoxicated while driving because of a substance abuse problem, you should consider your arrest a warning that you need help. The same is true of those using recreational drugs and medications that impact driving.
A DUI is a wake-up call to get help/treatment
You may have gotten the attention of police because you were speeding, weaving between lanes, ran a stop sign, or were involved in an accident. After you were pulled over, the officer may have searched your vehicle and found illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia. The officer may have had no good reason to pull you over, but that’s not usually the case.
Good DUI attorneys have serious conversations with clients, who may be dealing with challenging issues in their lives that may contribute to substance abuse. These include money and relationship problems, and untreated psychiatric or emotional disabilities.
More than half (65 percent) of America’s prison population has a substance abuse disorder, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Another 20 percent, although their drug use wasn’t chronic, were under the influence of drugs when they were arrested. If you’re addicted to alcohol or drugs, and drive while impaired, you are risking your life, the lives of your passengers, and the lives of those on the road with you.
If you don’t get treatment, continue to drive, and are arrested again in the future, the potential penalties become much more harsh for third and fourth DUI offenses. Getting help after a first DUI offense in PA is key. Admitting a problem and getting needed treatment could be key to lesser criminal penalties, may keep you out of the criminal justice system, and may save your life.
Legal consequences for DUIs in PA
In addition to urging treatment, as a Bucks County DUI attorney, I also get your side of the story and review the evidence. I investigate your DUI arrest and what happened to see if there are grounds to challenge the arrest and prevent a conviction.
A proper DUI arrest requires the officer to follow a sequence of rules. If one of those rules is violated or an officer made the wrong decision during the process, it could result in charges being dropped or reduced. There may not have been sufficient grounds for an officer to request you take a breathalyzer test and your arrest may have been illegal. Or, evidence of your guilt may be suppressed because it wasn’t properly obtained.
There are mandatory minimum sentences for DUI, the severity of which depend on various factors, including the number of prior DUI convictions, the blood alcohol content of the accused and whether a minor was in the car, there was an accident and/or injuries were sustained. In addition to criminal penalties, a DUI defendant can have his or her driver’s license suspended.
For first time DUI offenders, various pretrial diversionary programs, such as Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD), may be available to eligible defendants.
But I won’t know about your situation and I can’t help you until we talk. Call my office at 215-355-7260 or 267-566-0173 or fill out my contact form to schedule a consultation. I’ve practiced law for more than 45 years. I can put all I’ve learned over the years to work for you so I can protect your rights and your ability to support yourself and your family. Let’s work together to make this right. – Neal Newman
 Center on Addiction, Behind Bars II: Substance Abuse and America’s Prison Population, February 2010. https://www.centeronaddiction.org/addiction-research/reports/behind-bars-ii-substance-abuse-and-america’s-prison-population
Contact our Firm
Attorney Newman has represented clients in Pennsylvania for over 45 years. If you need an experienced attorney to help guide you through the personal injury claims process or with any criminal defense matters, Attorney Newman is ready to help. Contact The Law Office of Neal E. Newman today to schedule a consultation.