The penalties for a DUI violation are based on your blood alcohol content level (BAC) and the number of prior DUI offenses you have. Pennsylvania has a tiered system of DUI penalties. That means that higher BAC's and more prior offenses result in increasingly severe penalties. Refusing a chemical test may also lead to greater penalties.
It's important to understand that a DUI conviction may result in a wide range of penalties which include:
- Jail time
- Driver's license suspension (often you may not be eligible for a work license)
- CDL (commercial driver's licenses) will be suspended for 1 year (first offense), 2 years (refusal of blood or breath test) or for life (second offense)
- Significant fines (typically costing thousands of dollars)
- Increased insurance rates
- Attending Alcohol Highway Safety School
- Ignition interlock device on your vehicle
Additional Consequences of a DUI
A DUI conviction is permanent. It cannot be expunged. This means you will have a criminal record for the rest of your life. This may result in far-reaching consequences that impact many different areas of your life:
- If you travel for business or pleasure, your travel may be restricted
- You can't purchase or transfer a firearm if you are convicted of a second offense, highest tier DUI
- You may lose your job
- If you have a professional license, it may be impacted by a DUI conviction
- You may be denied admission to certain schools
- If your job requires a security clearance, this clearance may be revoked and you may lose your job as a result
- You may have to undergo treatment programs that are both time-consuming and expensive
- You may have to pay restitution if there is an accident
- It may affect your child custody situation in a divorce
- You may have difficulty renting a car
- It may damage your reputation
Due to the high stakes associated with a DUI conviction, it's crucial that you work with an experienced DUI defense attorney who can ensure your rights are protected every step of the way. As a former attorney for the Pennsylvania State Police, Mike Sherman knows both sides of the law and he'll use this knowledge to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
If you are facing a serious charge, don't delay. Call former Pennsylvania State Police attorney Mike Sherman now to set up your free consultation at (412) 471-5000.