The state of Pennsylvania has very strict drunk driving laws. If you or a loved one is currently facing DUI charges, you need to take immediate action. Not only can an intoxicated driving conviction result in the loss of your driver’s license, you may also face heavy financial penalties, and even jail time.
To protect your legal rights, please reach out to an experienced Philadelphia DUI defense lawyer today. At the Ellenberg Law Group, our highly qualified DUI defense team represents clients throughout the region, including in Montgomery County, Bucks County and Delaware County.
Arrested for DUI? Two Things You Need to Know
Remain Silent: Under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, you have the legal right to remain silent. This means that you do are not required to answer any of the arresting police officer’s questions. Please always exercise this right. The bottom line: You are not going to talk you way out of DUI charges. Indeed, you actually might talk your way into more trouble.
Do Not Just ‘Plead Guilty’: Too many defendants decide that there is no use in fighting their DUI charges, so they just resign themselves to pleading guilty. Please do not thoughtlessly plead guilty. Before entering a plea, let an attorney review your case to ensure that your legal rights and your best interests are being properly protected.
Felony DUIs in Pennsylvania
Under Chapter 38 of the Pennsylvania Code, most DUIs are charged as misdemeanor offenses. That being said, in some cases, a DUI can rise to the level of a felony. Under the state’s regulations, a DUI could end up as a felony charge if an ‘aggravating factor’ is present. In other words, there must be some additional type of misconduct that makes your intoxicated driving offense especially bad. Some common examples of ‘aggravating factors’ include:
- Being intoxicated, and causing an accident that results in a serious injury or death;
- Being arrested for drunk driving while having a minor in the vehicle;
- Attempting to evade police officers, or being involved in a ‘hit and run’ accident; and
- Already having two (or more) previous DUI convictions on your record.
If your DUI arrest is being charged as a felony, you have no time to waste; get your case into the hands of a felony defense attorney today.
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD): Explained
Under Pennsylvania law, all counties must set up Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition programs. For the most part, these programs are accessible to first time DUI offenders who otherwise have a clean criminal record. If you meet the criteria, your Philadelphia DUI defense lawyer may be able to get you into this program. ARD provides significant benefits to those who have been charged with a drunk driving offense. Specifically, these benefits include:
- Avoiding any prison time;
- Avoiding a long-term suspension of your license; and
- Keeping your clean criminal record intact.
Get Legal Help Today
At the Ellenberg Law Group, we have extensive experience handling criminal defenses cases, including DUIs. If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Philadelphia or any of the surrounding communities, please contact us today at 215-790-1682 for immediate legal assistance.