From time-to-time, you see someone pulled off to the side of the road undergoing a field sobriety test. This time… that person is you. You never thought it could happen, but now it has, and you’re feeling overwhelmed and scared. You are facing a DUI charge and a possible DUI conviction. You need help and have questions. At Ferro Law Firm – you have found the best DUI lawyers in York, PA. We have answers and solutions, and we are here to help!
Before we dive into how we handle DUI cases in York, PA , here are some frequently asked questions:
Is a DUI conviction considered a crime? Yes, it is.
Does a DUI conviction become a public record? Yes, it does.
Can I avoid jail time? It depends. Mandatory jail sentences apply to just about every DUI conviction in Pennsylvania. The possibility of incarceration goes up with certain factors including prior convictions, excessive blood alcohol levels, accidents, and the presence of minors in the vehicle at the time of the offense. Hiring excellent lawyers in York, PA who focus their efforts on DUI cases makes avoiding jail possible, depending on the circumstances of the case.
If I’m convicted, will that information really remain on my record, permanently? Yes. In Pennsylvania, a DUI conviction will remain on your record for life, unless later expunged under limited circumstances.
Does a DUI conviction show up anywhere else besides a criminal background report? Yes, DUI convictions are not only indicated on one’s criminal background report, but they can make their way on one’s credit reports with TransUnion, Experian, Equifax, and other reporting bureaus, as well as one’s insurance and driver’s license history.
If I’m convicted of my DUI but don’t go to jail, what possible consequences remain? DUI convictions can generate consequences well beyond jail. It may affect employment, rental applications, insurance rates, loan and school applications and some professional licenses.
A DUI conviction can also include fees, fines, and court costs as well as community service, mandatory attendance of alcohol highway safety school, and probation.
Don't Settle for Less than the Best
At Ferro Law Firm, we use the law and our experience to obtain the best possible outcome of your case. Through our efforts, we have secured lighter sentences, and obtained dismissals, acquittals, and favorable plea bargains for our clients. Our DUI lawyer team will exhaust all avenues both pre-trial and through trial, if necessary to secure the best result.
What Constitutes a DUI Charge?
In Pennsylvania, there is three-tiered system that establishes the specific DUI charge and potential consequences. Those tiers are generally as follows:
- ‘General impairment’ (BAC of 0.080% to 0.099%)
- ‘High rate’ (BAC of 0.10% to 0.159% or a DUI with an accident)
- ‘Highest rate’ (BAC of 0.160% or higher and/or DUI involving drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol)
In order to convict an individual of DUI, the Commonwealth must prove that the individual operated a vehicle on a highway or byway of the Commonwealth and that, at the time of the operation of the vehicle, the driver was impaired or operating with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit.
Further, a police officer must have probable cause to pull a driver over and initiate a DUI investigation. Both the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section Eight of the Pennsylvania Constitution protects individuals and it prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, which includes illegal or unauthorized traffic stops.
If you want a better understanding of these issues and how they may affect your case, contact us immediately. If you want to know whether the Commonwealth has sufficient evidence to support the DUI charges or you believe police violated your search-and-seizure rights during a traffic stop our DUI lawyer team will work with you to get the answers and find the solutions.
A Variety of Defenses are Used in DUI Cases
It is not unusual for our DUI lawyer team to obtain a dismissal of the charge or a reduction of the offense, depending on the circumstances. We have been very successful with DUI arrests not leading to DUI convictions for our York, PA clients.
In addition to establishing a violation of the Fourth Amendment, our lawyers have utilized all of the following defenses to obtain exceptional results.
Failure to provide complete discovery – DUI charges could be dismissed if all required evidence from the police is not presented to the judge.
Lack of probable cause – One cannot be arrested unless an officer has probable cause to believe one was driving under the influence. If the arresting officer pulled you over illegally, all evidence obtained subsequent to the traffic stop would be thrown out of court. This would include your breath or blood test result, FST results, and anything you may have said to the arresting officer.
Improper administration of field sobriety test – A field sobriety test includes a battery of assessments used by police officers to determine if a person driving was under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
Arresting officers must follow standard procedures when administering a field sobriety test. If standard procedures are not adhered to and/or if test results were inaccurate, DUI charges could be dropped or a sentence could be reduced.
Inability to prove the operator of the vehicle – If the police officer is unable to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were behind the wheel while under the influence, then your DUI charges would likely be dropped. In Pennsylvania, you can only be convicted of driving under the influence if you are in “actual physical control” of your vehicle. There are various instances where “actual physical control” can become a complicated issue.
Invalid Blood Test Results – Blood results can many times be questioned due to numerous issues, including consent, timeliness, or the failure to follow proper procedures. Blood tests also have a scientific margin of error, which can result in misleading or questionable results.
The above are just some of the issues we have successfully litigated on behalf of our clients. Each case and defense is different. The goal remains constant – striving to find the best result for our client.
Expungement – A Ray of Hope for First Offenders
Our York, PA clients who are charged as first-time DUI offenders may have the option of taking part in a program known as the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, also known as ARD.
A DUI lawyer from our team can explain what the ARD program entails, help you apply for the ARD program, assist you with meeting the legal deadlines of the program, and work on your behalf to obtain the most favorable decision from the District Attorney’s Office.
Once you apply for the ARD program, and if you are accepted, you must successfully complete the program. Once successfully completed, all of the charges filed against you will be dismissed by court order and you will also be entitled to an expungement of the criminal history.
The ARD program can help DUI offenders avoid jail time.
The ARD program offers a second chance for those who have a genuine desire to put their DUI behind them and move forward with their lives in a positive direction.
Feel free to take advantage of a free consultation with a DUI lawyer from our team. During that time, we can discuss the details of your case, the possible outcomes, and the best course of action moving forward.
They say the best defense is a good offense. No one understands this better than the lawyers at the Ferro Law Firm. All of our DUI lawyers in York are former prosecutors. Now we defend. We offer strategic advantages for our clients. Ferro Law Firm is here to fight for our clients’ rights, utilize the most effective defense strategies, get DUI charges possibly reduced or dismissed, and help those in York, PA move forward with their lives, once and for all.
Connect with the Ferro Law Firm
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