Pittsburgh DUI Accidents & Injuries | Criminal Charges & Defense

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If you had a few drinks, got behind the wheel — and then had an accident, you probably feel frightened, depressed and remorseful. Being charged with DUI is serious under any circumstances, but if there is property damage or an injury involved, you may face more severe charges.

Penalties for a DUI Accident in Pittsburgh

The Commonwealth may treat your case harshly if your Pittsburgh DUI accident caused injury or death.

If your DUI charge included your involvement in an accident that caused bodily injury, serious injury, death or damage to a vehicle or other property, your penalties will be the same as for a DUI with .10 to .159.

If this is your first DUI offense, you risk:

  • Two days to six months in jail
  • One year license suspension
  • $500 to $5,000 fine
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Ignition interlock on your vehicle for one year (if our BAC is .10 or over)

If this is your second DUI offense, you risk:

  • 30 days to six months in jail
  • One year license suspension
  • $750 to $5,000 fine
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Ignition interlock on your vehicle for one year
  • You may be required to take a court-ordered treatment program

If this is your third DUI offense, you risk:

  • 90 days to five years in jail
  • 18 month license suspension
  • $1,500 to $10,000 fine
  • Ignition interlock on your vehicle for one year
  • You may be required to take a court-ordered treatment program

You will also risk being sued for damages in a civil court by those who suffered property damages, by those who were injured in the accident, or by the families of those who died.

How a Pittsburgh DUI Accident Lawyer Can Help

If you have been charged, your first step should be to research and hire an experienced Pittsburgh DUI accident lawyer who can handle your case and ensure the best possible outcome. With so much at stake, it is best to have someone who is experienced and able to negotiate a good outcome for your situation. There are typically many court appearances involved with Pittsburgh DUI accident cases, so an attorney can help you navigate the process and even appear on your behalf in some instances.

One of the next steps it the preliminary hearing, at which your legal options will be determined between the Commonwealth and your Pittsburgh DUI accident lawyer. This could involve a plea agreement, trial, or some alternative resolution.

One of the next steps in the DUI process will be your preliminary hearing. This is the first court appearance on your case and it is critical because at this hearing your options, including ARD, a plea negotiation or a trial, will be determined. Your attorney will help you obtain the best possible outcome for your situation.

Your Defense For First DUI Charges

If you have been charged with a first DUI and it resulted in an accident or injury, you may or may not be eligible for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD), a Pennsylvania driving diversion program that is sometimes offered to first-time DUI offenders. An experienced defense attorney can evaluate your case to determine whether or not this would be negotiable with the prosecution based on the details of your case. If you are ineligible or not offered ARD, you decide not to negotiate a plea, and your case goes to trial, your Pittsburgh DUI accident attorney will have several lines of defense depending on the circumstances of your case. A few of these are:

  • The police did not have probable cause to stop you
  • The police did not have probable cause to test you for DUI
  • The results of the breathalyzer tests were not accurate
  • The testing equipment used was flawed

If the police stopped you without probable cause to pull you over, your attorney will try to show that the evidence against you should be suppressed (not allowed to be presented to a jury or the court). If your attorney’s motion to suppress is granted by the judge, your case may be dismissed.

Questions? Contact me.

Your rights are at stake and you need the best defense to keep them. I will fight using the strongest defense available to get your DUI accident charge reduced or dismissed so you can move on with your life.

(412) 281-2146 or advice@pittsburghcriminalattorney.com