You never know when you are going to need criminal defense lawyers. That may seem like an odd thing to say, but life has a way of creating unexpected and unforeseen circumstances that can impact our future and the health and welfare of our families. When those situations arise and you find yourself involved in a first time DUI in Chester County or a personal injury claim, do you really want to rely on someone who has little to no experience handling every challenge posed by these cases?
The answer is a resounding ‘no,’ and so the next question is this: What characteristics distinguish a reputable DUI lawyer from one that isn’t so reputable?
The best criminal defense lawyers often have these characteristics or qualities:
- Years of Experience – the more time a lawyer has spent handling legal matters, the more likely it is that he or she has developed strategies to overcome significant challenges.
- Successful Track Record – experience doesn’t mean much if the lawyer you hire doesn’t have a track record of winning settlements and jury trials. The best criminal defense lawyers should be able to provide you with a list of positive victories in the recent past that show success. That success should be in multiple practice areas, which is a strong indication of that lawyer’s overall legal expertise.
- Commitment To Personal Service – during your free consultation, you will get a good idea about a lawyer’s commitment to you as an individual client by asking the right questions. For example: How will the lawyer communicate with you? How often will you hear from your lawyer? Will the lawyer give you a private after-hours phone number?
- Most Importantly – Will the criminal defense lawyers you meet with at the initial consultation be there with you at every step of your case? Or, will a subordinate just out of law school be there with you to give you advice on your most important life decisions for you or your family member?
Media, PA DUI Lawyer
Everyone makes a bad decision at some point during their lifetime. Unfortunately, some bad decisions are worse than others. That doesn’t mean the men and women responsible for making poor decisions are irredeemable – even when those decisions result in a DUI.
The decision to drive while intoxicated endangers yourself, passengers in your vehicle, and others on the roadway. For this reason, all fifty states have banned the act of driving under the influence. Regardless, many drivers have made the choice to drink and drive. You might tell yourself, “I won’t get caught. Nothing bad will happen. I’m not that drunk.”
At some point, however, the day will come. And you will get caught. When it happens, you’ll need to understand the repercussions of your decision. You’ll also need a DUI lawyer to defend you – someone to convince a judge that you deserve a second chance.
Drunk Driving Penalties in Delaware County, PA
In the state of Pennsylvania, the limit of intoxication is based on BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). If you are under the age of 21, the limit is .02%. If you are over the age of 21, the limit is .08%.
A variety of factors affect BAC, including:
- Rate of Consumption
- Body Type
- Fat and Muscle Content
- Alcohol Tolerance
- Food Consumption
In other words, there’s no surefire way to “guess” how many drinks you can have without exceeding the limit.
After your first DUI, you’ll face a $300 fine. If you refuse to take a chemical test, you’ll be ordered to use an IID (Ignition Interlock Device). This device will prevent your vehicle from starting if you’ve been drinking alcohol. It works much like a breathalyzer test.
In most cases, you will not face jail time and your license will not be suspended. However, Pennsylvania uses a series of penalty tiers, including:
- .08 – .10
- .10 – .159
- .16 or higher
Under this system, your penalties may increase if you’ve been drinking well above the legal limit.
If you have been or are being charged with a DUI in Chester or Delaware County you may be entitled to an ARD program. Call the Law Office of Steven F. O’Meara at 610-546-7174 today for all of your Media DUI defense needs.
What do you get for a second DUI in Delaware or Chester County?
After your second DUI, the system is less forgiving. You’ll receive a minimum jail sentence between five days and six months, a fine between $300 and $2500, and a year-long license suspension. While your license is restricted, an IID will remain on your vehicle.
If you face a third DUI, you’ll receive a minimum jail sentence between ten days and two years, a fine between $500 and $5000, and a year-long license suspension – in addition to an IID.
The state of Pennsylvania has a “lookback period” of ten years. This means, during sentencing, your DUIs from the past ten years are considered when determining your punishment.
Your first DUI can be a slippery slope. Choose the right attorney to help you get a fresh start.
Contact an Experienced Media, PA Defense Attorney for Representation
If you are charged with any type of offense in Delaware County, PA and need advice, contact our law office at 610-546-7174 We handle all types of criminal cases, including:
Call us at 610-546-7174 and set up a consultation.