After a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction, you will likely face license suspension. Even violating implied consent laws could cause a license suspension.
If you hope to avoid having your driver’s license taken, you must take steps to clear your name of the DUI charges against you. With help from a Pennsylvania DUI attorney, you could protect your license and regain control of your life.
What Happens When You Are Convicted of a DUI?
When you are found guilty of a DUI offense, you will face several criminal penalties that could follow you for years. Some of the most significant consequences of a DUI conviction in PA include the following:
You can expect to be fined by the court. The amount of your fines will vary depending on whether you are a first-time DUI offender or a habitual offender. Generally, penalties are more significant for those who have previous DUI convictions on the record.
In addition to court fines, which could reach up to $2,500 for repeat DUI offenses, you could also pay restitution to any victims who suffered injuries if you were involved in or responsible for causing a car accident.
You can also expect to spend time in a Pennsylvania county jail or state prison when convicted of a DUI. Again, your criminal record, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels, and other aggravating factors will affect how long the court sentences you to jail or prison time.
First-time DUI convictions carry no mandatory minimum jail time. Conversely, someone convicted of four or more DUI offenses could face up to seven years in a Pennsylvania state prison.
You will almost certainly face license suspension if convicted of DUI multiple times. The amount of time your driver’s license suspension will last is based on the following:
- Whether your DUI is at the misdemeanor or felony level
- Whether you have a history of DUI convictions
- Whether a child was involved
- Whether anyone suffered severe bodily injury or death
- Whether property damage occurred
- How high your BAC levels were at the time of your arrest
Depending on the severity of the case, someone convicted of a first-time DUI could expect to have their license suspended for a minimum of 12 months. However, if you qualify for accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD), your license suspension time could be reduced.
Alternatively, someone convicted of multiple DUIs could face a driver’s license suspension that lasts as much as 18 months. Intoxicated underage drivers will face a harsh one-year license suspension if convicted of a DUI.
For a free legal consultation, call 215.515.3360
How to Avoid Driver’s License Suspension
There are two primary ways to avoid having your driver’s license suspended after a DUI. These include enrolling in a pretrial diversion program or defending your case at trial.
Enter a Pretrial Diversion Program
Entering a pretrial diversion program may be a good option if this is your first offense, your BAC levels were less than .16%, and no one suffered severe bodily injury or death. In exchange for completing specific requirements, the district attorney may be willing to reduce DUI charges against you to a lesser offense or drop the case entirely.
Defend Your Case at Trial
You may need to defend your case at trial and hope for an acquittal if you do not qualify for a pretrial diversion or the prosecutor is unwilling to negotiate a plea bargain. Some potential defenses used in DUI cases include:
- Lack of probable cause
- Unlawful stop
- Improper breathalyzer calibration
- Inaccurate laboratory test results
- Police misconduct
Meet With a DUI Attorney for Help Today
Having your driver’s license taken away after a DUI conviction could carry harsh penalties. Protect your future when you contact a Pennsylvania DUI lawyer at the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC.
When you are ready to start your defense, fill out our online contact form or call us to schedule your confidential case assessment as soon as today.