Guide to DUI Charges

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Guide to DUI Charges

In order to discourage DUI cases, all the states including Pennsylvania have enforced strict laws for DUI charges. Rules are strict for even those who have been convicted for this offense for the first time and have no previous records in the history of a criminal offense. Pennsylvania determines the penalties on the basis of Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) recorded at the time of the arrest. If you have found yourself in a situation where you need legal help regarding a DUI charge, hiring a DUI Attorney Harrisburg PA can be the right choice. Here is a guide to DUI charges.

First Time DUI Conviction:

Luckily the first-timers have an option to keep their records clean by successfully completing the probation period or completing alcohol education class according to Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program. Below mentioned are the estimated penalties that may be given on the range of BACs recorded. These charges may vary according to circumstances and do not include court fees and other monetary charges. 

  • For BACs recorded between 0.08-0.09%, the defendant will have to pay a fine of approximately $300 and the trial lasts for about 6 months. 
  • For BACs recorded between 0.10-0.159%, the defendant will have to pay a fine of $500-$5000 along with jail-time (48 hours to 6 months) and suspension of license for up to 12 months. 
  • For BACs recorded from 0.16 and above, the defendant will have to pay a fine of $1000-$5000, spend 6 months under arrest, and face suspension of license for about 12 months. 

Second Time DUI Conviction: 

If a person is convicted of a DUI charge more than once during a 10-year period, they will have to face serious repercussions and additional penalties. The time period of imprisonment, the fines, and the severity of penalties depends on the range of BAC recorded as mentioned below:

  • For BACs recorded between 0.08-0.09%, the defendant has to pay a fine of $300-$2500, the license is suspended for 12 months and can lead to imprisonment (five days to six months).
  • For BACs recorded between 0.10%-0.159%, the defendant has to pay a fine of $750-$5000, spend a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 6 months in jail, and the license is suspended for 12 months
  • For BACs recorded between 0.16% and above, the defendant has to pay a fine of $1500-$10,000, spend a minimum of 90 days and maximum of 5 years in jail, and license is suspended for 18 months 

In this case, you are best advised to plead guilty and accept the charges, you should only hire an attorney to defend yourself if you are genuinely innocent and the mistake was on the police’s end. 

Third Time DUI Conviction:

If you have been convicted thrice in a 10-year period for a DUI charge, then you will have to face severe charges. Again, penalties depend on the BAC level detected at the time of the arrest. 

  • For BACs recorded between 0.08-0.09%, the defendant is charged with 2nd-degree misdemeanor charges and has to pay a fine of $500-$5000, the license is suspended for 12 months and can lead to imprisonment ranging from 10 days to 2 years. 
  • For BACs recorded between 0.10%-0.16%, the defendant is charged with 1st-degree misdemeanor charges, has to pay a fine of $1500-$10,000, spend 1-5 years in prison, and the license is suspended for 18 months.

Regardless of the category, you fall into, it is essential to seek the professional help of a DUI Attorney Harrisburg PA to avoid serious legal consequences.

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