DUI Defense

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Effective DUI Attorney Services in York, PA — Defend Your Rights

Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or other substances is a potentially serious legal issue in Pennsylvania. Even a first-time offense could have significant consequences, including the suspension of driving privileges, fines, court costs and possible imprisonment. It could also affect your employment status or make it more challenging to secure a job in the future. 

If you’ve been arrested for DUI in York, Pennsylvania, MPL Law Firm can provide the effective legal representation you need to achieve the best outcome for your situation. We know the laws in this complex legal area and will work aggressively to build an effective defense to achieve the most beneficial solution. 

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Work With an Experienced DUI Attorney in York, PA

At MPL Law, we have an extensive track record of achieving successful outcomes for our clients. You’ll work with a knowledgeable DUI lawyer who understands how to navigate the legal process and develop a carefully crafted strategy. Depending on your circumstances, this approach could entail negotiating a plea deal, applying for a first-time offender’s program or going to trial.

Regardless of your situation, your MPL Law attorney will become a trusted ally who always has your best interests in mind. You’ll have an advocate on your side to guide you through the process.

Why Do You Need a DUI Attorney in Pennsylvania?

Most people do not become fully aware of the nuances and complexities of the DUI laws in Pennsylvania until an arrest forces them into the legal system. For instance, did you know that being arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana is treated the same as an alcohol-related DUI? Although attitudes toward marijuana use in PA and around the country are changing, driving a vehicle after using the drug can have similar short- and long-term consequences.

A DUI attorney can help you understand the laws and how they impact your unique situation.

The Impact of Applied Consent Laws

Some individuals do not realize that Pennsylvania has implied consent laws. If a law enforcement officer pulls you over and has a reasonable suspicion that you’re driving under the influence, you implicitly agree to have your blood or urine tested for alcohol or drugs. If you refuse, you’ll automatically lose your license for a year for a first offense. Some triggers that may cause an officer to believe you are under the influence include:

  • Accelerating and decelerating without cause
  • Hitting or scraping other cars or objects
  • Breaking traffic laws or driving erratically
  • Difficulty operating the vehicle and following directions properly
  • Slurred speech, lack of understanding and smell of alcohol

You have the right to request additional testing beyond those administered by the arresting officer. However, any positive results can serve as evidence against you in court.

Understanding Blood Alcohol Concentration

Blood alcohol concentration, also called blood alcohol content (BAC), plays a crucial role in the nature of the charges and the severity of the penalties if you’re convicted of DUI. This reading indicates the percentage of alcohol in an individual’s bloodstream.

A driver must have a minimum BAC of .08 to be considered operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol in Pennsylvania. The penalties increase with higher readings — a BAC of .16 or more can result in a one-year license suspension and a fine of up to $5,000, even for a first-time offense.

For individuals under 21, Pennsylvania’s Zero Tolerance Law means driving with any amount of alcohol in their system can face significant consequences. An underage driver with a 0.2 BAC or higher could face license suspension, a jail sentence and fines.

Roadside testing via a device called a Breathalyzer conducted by the arresting officer primarily determines the initial BAC reading. The officer may also take the driver to a medical facility to have blood drawn for testing, which typically results in higher accuracy.

However, the flawed nature of the process sometimes produces unreliable results. Your DUI attorney in York, PA, can help you explore your testing circumstances and uncover potential errors that work in your favor.

DUI-Related Accidents and Injuries

A DUI incident can involve a crash that causes injuries to passengers in the driver’s vehicle or the occupants of another vehicle. In these situations, prosecutors can pursue enhanced charges, even if the injuries are not severe. The penalties can escalate further if the accident results in serious injury or death.

Hiring a capable DUI lawyer is crucial in these situations because so much is on the line. A conviction could result in up to 10 years or more in prison and substantial financial penalties. An attorney can prepare and implement an effective defense that minimizes the impact or possibly gets the charges reduced or cleared before going to trial.

Tailored Defense Strategies for Various DUI Scenarios

Your MPL Law attorney will rely on years of experience and extensive knowledge of the legal system to help prevent a DUI charge from ruining your life. No two situations are alike — you’ll have a targeted defense that addresses the nuances of your case and increases the likelihood of a favorable result.

It’s also important to understand that the jurisdiction where the incident occurred can affect your case. Although our practice is headquartered in York, PA, we represent clients in York, Adams, Cumberland and Lancaster Counties. Our familiarity with the court proceedings and the attitudes toward DUI in each of these areas allow us to know what to expect and prepare accordingly.

You might consider defending yourself against a DUI charge. While there is no requirement in Pennsylvania to hire a DUI lawyer, attempting to represent yourself is risky. You might also be tempted to plead guilty to resolve the issue quickly, but this might not be the most effective legal tactic for your circumstances.

Hiring the best DUI attorney ensures you’re covering all the bases and doing everything possible to protect your legal rights. You’ll also avoid costly mistakes that could make your situation worse.

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    Frequently Asked PA DUI Questions

    The answers to these frequently asked questions can provide more insight into the Pennsylvania DUI laws and their potential impact. 

    Is DUI a misdemeanor in PA?

    Most DUI cases in Pennsylvania are misdemeanors, which are lesser criminal acts with less severe penalties. However, situations involving accidents and injuries can lead to felony charges, with convictions often resulting in substantial prison time. 

    Is your license suspended immediately after a DUI arrest in PA? 

    In some states, a police officer can confiscate a driver’s license on the spot during a DUI arrest. In Pennsylvania, you can keep your license until you’re convicted or plead guilty. However, refusing to take a Breathalyzer test will result in an automatic 12-month suspension, which escalates to 18 months for a second or third offense. 

    How much is a DUI fine in PA?

    The fine for a DUI in Pennsylvania can range from $300 to $10,000. Factors that impact the amount include the driver’s BAC level, whether there are previous DUI offenses, the occurrence of an accident with injuries and the presence of a minor passenger in the vehicle. 

    How long does a DUI conviction stay on your record in PA?

    Except in specific circumstances, a DUI conviction will result in a permanent criminal record. It will appear in a criminal background check, which can make it more difficult to rent an apartment or get a job. It will also appear as a major violation on your driving record, resulting in higher insurance rates or hindering your ability to obtain coverage. 

    How do you expunge a DUI conviction in PA?

    Some first-time DUI offenders in Pennsylvania may be eligible for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD), a program that prevents a conviction and removes the incident from the public record. Participants must complete several steps, such as performing a specified number of community service hours, attending a drug and alcohol education or treatment program, passing drug and alcohol screenings and reporting to a probation officer. 

    Your DUI attorney can complete the ARD application and submit it to the district attorney’s office for approval. Factors that can render you ineligible for the program include prior DUI or criminal convictions, a DUI-related accident involving injuries, the presence of a child under 14 years old in the vehicle and pending charges for assault or other violent offenses. 

    Request a Consultation With a DUI Lawyer in York, PA

    You don’t have to let a DUI arrest ruin your life. Take the first step towards a robust legal defense by contacting the seasoned DUI attorneys at MPL Law Firm. We’ll start with a no-obligation to discuss your situation and determine the most prudent course of action. Call us at 717-845-1524 or submit the online form today.

    Page Updated on October 3, 2022

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