A conviction of driving under the influence (DUI) may not only impair your right to drive but also result in significant penalties and harm your reputation, career, and relationships. If you are charged with driving under the influence, you should meet with a seasoned attorney to discuss your options for protecting your liberties. The skillful Scranton DUI lawyers at Lenahan & Dempsey, P.C., are proficient at defending people charged with drunk driving in the Pennsylvania courts. We will aggressively advocate in your defense to help you strive for the best result possible under the facts of your case.Pennsylvania DUI Laws
Under Pennsylvania law, there are multiple DUI crimes with which a person may be charged for operating a vehicle while impaired. It is important to note that a person does not actually need to drive a vehicle while impaired to be convicted of DUI. Instead, the relevant statute provides that it is unlawful for a person to operate, drive, or exercise control over a vehicle while intoxicated.
A driver may be charged with a “per se” violation of the law, which means that their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.08% or higher. A driver may also be charged with DUI if they have consumed a sufficient amount of alcohol to render them incapable of driving safely. In other words, depending on the facts of the case, a person may be charged with DUI even if they did not undergo chemical testing, or even if the person’s BAC was under 0.08%. Generally, the Commonwealth will rely on the arresting officer’s testimony to establish a person’s impairment in instances in which there is no BAC evidence, or in which the person’s BAC was under 0.08%.
Individuals with a BAC over 0.10% may be charged with DUI – High Rate of Alcohol, while people with a BAC over 0.16% may be charged with DUI – Highest Rate of Alcohol. As the DUI attorneys at our Scranton firm can explain, the penalties that a person charged with a DUI crime may face depend on the person’s BAC level and whether it is a first or subsequent DUI offense.Potential Defenses to DUI Charges
In any criminal case, the Commonwealth bears the burden of proving each element of the charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, the evidence presented must remove any doubt regarding the defendant’s guilt in the mind of a reasonable person. In cases in which a DUI charge arises out of a person’s BAC, the Commonwealth must establish that the chemical test that produced the BAC level was not only properly administered but also administered within the required time frame. If a test was not administered within the time required by law, or if the police cannot establish that the device used to administer the test was properly calibrated, a DUI defendant can argue that the results of the test are invalid and should be suppressed. Our Scranton DUI attorneys can help drivers challenge any irregularities in the testing process.
Additionally, if an arrest arose out of a traffic stop, the Commonwealth must prove that the arresting officer had a reasonable suspicion that a person violated a law prior to stopping the person. In other words, if the police cannot establish just cause for detaining a person, the stop may constitute a violation of the person’s constitutional right to be free from unreasonable stops and searches. This means that the Commonwealth may be prohibited from using any information obtained during the stop against the person at trial.Discuss Your Case with a Trusted Criminal Defense Attorney in Scranton
A conviction of a DUI offense may permanently affect your life. If you are charged with a DUI offense in Pennsylvania, it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney regarding your potential options. At Lenahan & Dempsey, P.C., our attorneys defend not only people charged with DUI but also people charged with a variety of other criminal offenses, including hit and run, vehicle crimes, drug crimes, assault, property crimes, fraud, and probation violations. From offices in Scranton, New Berwick, Tunkhannock, and the Poconos Mountains region, we represent people in towns throughout Lackawanna, Columbia, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, and Montour Counties. You can call us at 888.536.2426 to discuss the specifics of your case with a DUI lawyer in Scranton at no obligation, or you can reach us via our online form.