Serving Clients All Over Western Pennsylvania
Getting arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) can be a stressful and frightening experience. However, the arrest is just the start of a lengthy process that can have very serious consequences on many aspects of your life. If convicted, you may face harsh penalties that include jail time, hefty fines and a suspension of your driver's license.
The biggest misconception people have about being charged with a DUI is that there is no defense. There are a lot of potential defense strategies, but you need to work with an attorney who understands the science behind DUI cases and who will work with the proper experts to review your case to identify areas where the state is falling short. It's really important for you to understand that there is hope.
Former Pennsylvania State Police Attorney Mike Sherman has over 33 years of experience handling all types of DUI cases, and he will fight aggressively to ensure you receive the best possible outcome to your case. You can learn about your legal rights and options by speaking with Mike in person.
Don't delay this important appointment. Mike can't begin investigating your case and crafting your defense strategy until he knows the details of your DUI arrest. Please call (412) 471-5000 today to schedule a free complimentary consultation. We serve clients all over Western Pennsylvania.
How Is a DUI Defined in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, a DUI is defined as a motorist who is driving, operating or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The state has to prove that a person is incapable of safe driving due to impairment by alcohol, illegal drugs or prescribed drugs. Because driving under the influence of drugs encompasses prescribed drugs, it's becoming more common that people are being arrested for essentially taking their prescription medicine.
For additional information, please read our DUI FAQ page.
Pennsylvania DUI Laws
In Pennsylvania, it is unlawful to drive a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over 0.08%. In addition to the standard legal limit of 0.08%, some groups of people may face a stricter legal limit:
- The unlawful BAC level for minors is 0.02%
- The unlawful BAC level for commercial truck drivers is 0.04%
In addition to having a BAC over the legal limit, you can potentially be charged with a DUI for one of the following reasons:
- Refusing to take a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine
- “General impairment” – A situation that may occur when the police allege that based on their observations, you were intoxicated enough that it made you incapable of safe driving
- You are under the influence of drugs (the term “drugs” is interpreted broadly and can apply to prescription and non-prescription drugs, illegal drugs and substances that create a hallucinogenic effect)
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has created a list of the minimum levels of controlled substances or metabolites that are considered to be unlawful. Since these levels are very low, it's easy to wind up with a DUI charge even if you're feeling no effect from drugs in your system.
Defending Your DUI Case
Being arrested for any reason can be very scary. It can also be confusing, especially if you are trying to navigate the world of Pennsylvania DUI law without an attorney. If you're a first offender, you need to have someone who can help you:
- Fill out all of the proper forms
- Answer all your questions
- Make sure that you are properly prepared to appear in court
- Make sure that you understand the license suspension consequences
- Advise you regarding what to do when you are in court
Our office may be able to find a way of getting a reduction to the charges or a reduced license suspension. We may even be able to get some of the charges against you dropped.
Many DUI cases are not a lost cause. We know the difference between a hopeless case and one that has potential. There are often options that only an experienced DUI defense lawyer can tell you about, and we know when to pursue these possibilities. Questioning the evidence can bring important details to light.
- Were you actually driving at the time of the offense?
- Did the officer follow the proper legal procedure?
- Did the officer lawfully pull you over?
- Is there another explanation for the observations the police officer made?
- Were the tests of your breath or blood properly run?
- Do the physics of your accident support the theory that you caused it?
It may be possible to reduce your penalty by refuting the evidence against you. To do that, you need someone with expertise in your corner who knows the testing methods and the science, forensics, and medicine involved in DUI cases. Mike Sherman literally wrote the book on Pennsylvania DUI law, and he spent time working on cases for the Pennsylvania State Police. This expertise will give you the edge you need when you are facing such serious criminal charges and penalties.
Contact Pennsylvania DUI Attorney Mike Sherman
What is the Mike Sherman Difference?
Mike Sherman has unique experience and knowledge which he uses to protect his clients.
- Mike Sherman is a former attorney for the Pennsylvania State Police. He knows both sides of the law and uses that knowledge to benefit his clients.
- Mike Sherman wrote “the” Pennsylvania textbook on Pennsylvania DUI law, Driving Under the Influence Law and Practice.
- He uses a scientific method to investigate your case. Relying on his deep understanding of forensic science, he picks apart the evidence against you and looks for errors that he can challenge. He then carefully prepares your case with the goal of highlighting these issues and putting you in the best possible position.
If you are facing a serious charge, don't delay. Call now to set up your free consultation at (412) 471-5000.