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DUI Lawyer West Chester
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If you are charged with a DUI in West Chester, Pennsylvania, you should take the case against you seriously. You need to receive straightforward advice so that you can understand your rights and what you might expect. West Chester DUI lawyer Michael DiCindio at DiCindio Law understands how much anxiety you might be experiencing because of your DUI charge. He has substantial experience defending people against DUI allegations and is prepared to help you with your case.

Each case has its own facts and circumstances and will require a tailored defense strategy. If you have recently been charged with a DUI, you should work with an experienced DUI defense attorney to fight against your charges. Learn about the rights you might have by calling DiCindio Law at 610-430-3535.

What happens during a DUI arrest?

Police officers typically pull people over for violating a traffic law or for erratic driving behavior that leads them to suspect that the drivers might be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a police officer pulls you over and suspects that you are under the influence, he or she will likely ask you to perform the standardized field sobriety tests or SFSTs. These include roadside tests such as the one-legged stand, the walk-and-turn, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus tests.

Based on the officer’s observations of you and your performance on these tests, the officer might place you under arrest if he or she develops probable cause to believe that you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The officer may then take you to the police station or the hospital to have you submit to chemical testing of your breath, blood, or urine. You need to submit to these tests. Drivers in Pennsylvania are deemed to have given implied consent for chemical testing when they get their drivers’ licenses. If you refuse chemical testing, your license might be suspended for 12 months, and you could face the penalties for the highest BAC DUI. If your BAC tests at 0.08% or higher, you will be charged with driving under the influence and should contact a lawyer.

Three DUI tiers

In 2003, Pennsylvania enacted a new DUI law that reduced the legal limit for alcohol from 0.10% to 0.08%. This new law also established a three-tiered system of penalties based on different BAC levels. The penalties become more severe as a person’s BAC level increases. The penalties you might face will depend on your BAC level, whether you have any prior DUIs, and whether any other aggravating factors might be present.

The three DUI tiers for penalties include the following:

People who refuse chemical tests or who submit chemical test results showing the presence of illegal drugs or prescription drugs for which they do not have prescriptions will automatically face the penalties for the highest BAC DUI.

DUI penalties for first DUI offenses in West Chester, PA

If you are convicted of a DUI as a first offense in West Chester, the penalties you might face will depend on your BAC level. For a first general impairment DUI, you will face the following penalties under 75 Pa.C.S. § 3804:

  • Ungraded misdemeanor
  • Six months of probation
  • $300 to $2,500 fine
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Substance abuse assessment and treatment if ordered

If you are convicted of a first high BAC DUI, you will face the following penalties:

  • Ungraded misdemeanor
  • Minimum 48 consecutive hours of jail up to six months
  • $500 to $5,000 fine
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Substance abuse assessment and treatment if ordered

If you are convicted of a first highest BAC DUI offense, you will face the following penalties:

  • Ungraded misdemeanor
  • From 72 hours to six months in jail
  • $1,000 to $5,000 fine
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Substance abuse assessment and treatment if ordered
  • 12-month ignition interlock device installation

If you have prior DUI offenses within the last 10 years, the penalties at each BAC level will increase. If you have three prior DUI convictions within the last 10 years and are convicted of a fourth general impairment or high BAC DUI, it will be a felony. If you have two prior DUIs within the last 10 years and are convicted of a third highest BAC DUI offense, it will also be a felony for which you can face up to seven years in prison.

Defending against DUI charges in West Chester

While you might believe that you are likely to be convicted of your DUI charge, it is possible to defend against many DUIs. Your DUI lawyer in West Chester PA can analyze the evidence in your case to build the defense strategy that is most likely to help you secure a favorable plea offer or an outright dismissal of your charges. While every case is different, some of the common defenses that might apply to DUI cases include the following:

  • No reasonable suspicion for the stop
  • No probable cause for a search or arrest
  • SFSTs administered improperly
  • Breath, blood, or urine test administered improperly
  • Officer not certified to administer the breath test
  • Breathalyzer machine not properly calibrated or maintained
  • Chain of custody problems for blood or urine samples
  • Blood not stored correctly
  • Analysis mistakes at the forensic lab

You should never agree to enter a guilty plea to a DUI charge without talking to an experienced defense lawyer. With the help of a DUI lawyer in Chester County, you might secure a plea to a lesser offense or win dismissal of the charges against you.

Why you should retain an experienced DUI lawyer Montgomery County

If you are facing DUI charges, you need to retain an experienced DUI lawyer in Chester County as soon as possible. Call DiCindio Law today to schedule a free consultation at 610-430-3535.

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