Allegheny Center is one of Pittsburgh’s north side neighborhoods. The 36 city blocks were initially created as Allegheny City, but are now a neighborhood of approximately 1,000 residents. The neighborhood has struggled with economic depression in previous decades, but may see a significant revival as developers look to the area as a future information and technology hub. The Allegheny Center Mall, which is now mostly office space, will be recreated into a campus for tech companies. The developers, Faros Properties, hopes the change will reinvigorate the area and its neighbors.
First DUI Offense in Pennsylvania
A driver will be charged with a DUI if a police officer has probable cause to believe they are driving under the influence of alcohol, prescription medication, or illegal drugs. The police officer may conduct a field sobriety test or ask the driver to take a breathalyzer test to gain evidence of the offense. A blood-alcohol level higher than .08 percent results in a DUI. However, they can also arrest you for a DUI based on your driving that the officer witnessed, your behavior when pulled over and other signs, such as open containers of alcohol in the car or the smell of alcohol.
A first-time DUI offense does not usually require jail time or a license suspension. However, the offender will be fined and placed on probation. If the offender’s BAC was above a .10 percent then they may receive time in prison and a one-year suspension of their driver’s license. If the BAC was above .16 percent, then the defendant will face up to six months in jail, a $5,000 fine, and a one-year license suspension. Additionally, if your BAC was over .10, you may have to install an ignition interlock device on your car for one year.
To receive the minimum penalty for a first-time DUI, offenders should have an experienced Allegheny Center DUI lawyer help them through the preliminary hearing and trial. A lawyer will negotiate for a lighter sentence upon conviction.
If you receive more than one DUI within a certain period of time, you face significant penalties including jail time and a license suspension. Like with a first-time DUI, the penalties for second and third DUIs increase based on the driver’s BAC at the time of the arrest. For instance, if you are charged with a second DUI and had a BAC above .16 percent, then you face up to five years in prison with a fine and an 18-month license suspension.
Pennsylvania often requires drivers have an ignition interlock device installed on their car for one year. Drivers may also have to attend alcohol rehabilitation.
A Permanent Criminal Record
If you were convicted of a DUI, you will have a permanent criminal record with a misdemeanor on it. This can follow you around the rest of your life, when you apply to schools, seek a professional license, or apply for jobs. Any position that requires driving a company vehicle or your own car, such as a delivery driver, can be difficult to obtain if you have to disclose you had a DUI.
How Allegheny Center DUI Lawyers Can Help
An experienced DUI attorney can help someone at every step of their case, from the moment they are arrested through sentencing. Your lawyer will guide you through the steps of a DUI proceeding, including:
- The preliminary hearing
- Formal arraignment
- Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program
- Pre-trial conference
- Appeal if convicted
Your Allegheny Center DUI Lawyer will sit down and get to know you and every detail of your situation. They’ll explain the charges, how the legal process works, your rights, and your best options. They’ll explain the worst and the best case scenarios so that you have a clear understanding of what you’re facing.
Your attorney may focus on specific elements of the case to prove your innocence, such as whether the officer had probable cause to pull you over, the breathalyzer test and the field sobriety test performed. If the police officer did not perform a standardized field sobriety test or if the breathalyzer was not calibrated correctly, you may have been improperly charged.
Contact Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC Right Away
Don’t wait until you’re into your trial to call Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys. Our attorneys have years of experience as DUI defense attorneys. They want to help you get through this experience as quickly and painlessly as possible.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI and need help, contact us at (412) 281-2146 or online to schedule an appointment.