Trial And Conviction
Unless there is a negotiated plea agreement, a driver’s DUI case will go to trial. They will receive a DUI conviction if a prosecutor can prove certain things beyond a reasonable doubt.
*A driver was under the influence of a drug when they were operating a motor vehicle.
*A driver’s blood alcohol level (BAC) when they were driving was greater than .08.
*A driver was impaired by alcohol during the time they were behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
Penalties For DUI In Pennsylvania
People need to realize that being charged with a DUI is a serious situation, and they should try to obtain the best possible legal representation. The reason for this is the penalties for a DUI conviction can be severe. They could include the following:
*Incarceration for a significant amount of time.
*For a college student, it could result in action being taken by their college or university against them.
*It could involve heavy fines.
*People may struggle to find a job or qualify for any type of professional license.
*A driver could be required to pay court costs.
*A person may have a misdemeanor or felony on their permanent criminal record.
*Depending on the situation, a person could lose their driving privileges for a specified period of time or permanently.
*The costs associated with having auto insurance could increase dramatically.
*A driver could be required to attend a substance abuse treatment program or a driving class at their expense.
*A person could be required to pay to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.
An attorney knowledgeable and experienced with DUI cases will know how to negotiate with a prosecutor. This negotiation is very important when it seems as if a DUI conviction is a certainty. An attorney can obtain the best possible plea bargain for their client. This will be based on their professional reputation as well as a history of successfully working with the prosecutor’s office. The goal will always be to completely avoid any type of conviction. They will try and get a dismissal of the charges or a not guilty verdict. If this isn’t possible, they will try to get the best possible outcome for their client.
An attorney will review their client’s case and determine if it is possible to request a dismissal of the charge prior to going to trial. If this is successful, their client will avoid all the costs and challenges associated with a court trial. An attorney can obtain a dismissal of the DUI charge if they can prove a prosecutor doesn’t have sufficient admissible evidence. Doing this will show the prosecutor a trial isn’t worth the time and expense.
An attorney will often file a motion to suppress evidence when it appears their client’s constitutional rights were violated. This could have happened during the traffic stop, chemical test or arrest. A prosecutor is not able to use evidence obtained in violation of a person’s constitutional rights. This is the reason a DUI attorney will carefully review the evidence against their client and how it was obtained.
*Law enforcement must have had a reasonable suspicion to pull someone over. If they didn’t, the evidence obtained during the traffic stop can’t be used by a prosecutor.
*There must be a reasonable cause to search a vehicle. If there isn’t, any evidence found in the vehicle can be suppressed.
*There must be a reasonable cause to request a chemical test. If there isn’t, the test results may be inadmissible
*The breath test, chemical test as well as sobriety test must be administered properly based on a designated procedure. If not, the test results can be excluded as evidence.
It is common for law enforcement to go beyond the scope of their authority during a stop for DUI. This is what makes it possible for a defendant to avoid criminal prosecution. Even if law enforcement does respect a driver’s rights, a DUI attorney will know how to show reasonable doubt at trial. They know how to obtain the best possible outcome for their client’s individual situation.