If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Greensburg, you’re likely seeking one or more of the following outcomes: avoiding jail time, a reduced charge, maintaining a clear criminal record, driving privileges, or even a full case dismissal. At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, our skilled Greensburg criminal defense attorneys have defended hundreds of DUI cases, and strive to seek outcomes that will avoid serious consequences that could result in increased financial responsibility, job loss, educational impacts, and embarrassment.
If you’re looking for a Greensburg DUI lawyer near you, contact us today at (412) 483-1802 today to schedule a free and confidential case consultation.
What’s on this Page
- When you need a DUI Attorney
- Difference between DUI and DWI
- DUI offenses
- When can you be charged with DUI
- Contact Us
When You Need An Experienced DUI Attorney Near You
Driving under the influence, or drunk driving, can have very serious and wide-ranging consequences. If you have been charged with a DUI in the state of Pennsylvania you need a qualified DUI lawyer to help you avoid jail time, and reduce fines and other DUI penalties. At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys we have helped many clients in the Greensburg area who are facing DUI or DWI charges. Being the only law firm in western Pennsylvania that is board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy we have the expertise needed to help you with your DUI case. You can make an appointment for a free DUI case evaluation at our downtown Greensburg office nearby right on North Main Street by contacting us at 724-834-1275.
What is the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI in Pennsylvania?
In short, there is no difference between a DUI and a DWI, they are two ways of saying the same thing. Each state across the country uses its own terminology when referring to driving under the influence charges.
- [svg-icons custom_icon=”Worgul-Icon-Right-Circle-Button” wrap=”i”] DWI – This stands for driving while intoxicated or impaired. The term used to refer only to driving under the influence of alcohol but has been updated to include impairment caused by drug usage.
- [svg-icons custom_icon=”Worgul-Icon-Right-Circle-Button” wrap=”i”] DUI – This stands for driving under the influence, and can refer to the influence of both prescription or illegal drugs or alcohol. This is the term used in Pennsylvania law, so if you live in the Greensburg area or Westmoreland County and have been charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence, it will be a DUI charge.
The penalties for being charged with a drunk driving DUI offense will vary depending on the amount of alcohol or drugs in the bloodstream, the circumstances of the situation, and whether it is a first, second, or third offense. See other circumstances such as: CDL DUI or Underage DUI.
What Happens for a First, Second, or Third DUI Offense?
Pennsylvania law takes driving under the influence very seriously. No matter whether it is a first offense or more the consequences can be quite severe depending on the circumstances of the offense.
- [svg-icons custom_icon=”Worgul-Icon-Right-Circle-Button” wrap=”i”] First-Offense DUI – for first-time DUI offenders the court will take into account the person’s BAC level, whether they caused any sort of injury or property damage, whether they have a minor in the vehicle with them, or if they refuse to take the breathalyzer test. Depending on these different factors the fines for a first-time DUI offense range from $300-$5000, jail times can go up to six months in prison, offenders will have to complete an alcohol safety class, and probation and suspension of license are quite possible.
- [svg-icons custom_icon=”Worgul-Icon-Right-Circle-Button” wrap=”i”] Second-Offense DUI – the factors that will determine penalties are similar to those of first-time offenders with the exception of also looking at when the last DUI offense occurred. Any DUI occurring within 10 years of a first DUI offense would be considered a second offense, even if charges were laid in different states. The penalties for a second-offense DUI charge range from $300-$5000 fines, five days to six months of jail time, a 12-18 month suspension of license and the completion of an alcohol safety class and probation.
- [svg-icons custom_icon=”Worgul-Icon-Right-Circle-Button” wrap=”i”] Third-Offense DUI – people can be charged with a third-offense DUI if it is their third or more offense within 10 years of their first offense, again even if the charges occurred in multiple states. The penalties for a third-offense DUI range from $500-$15,000 fines, 10 days to 7 years jail time, a 12-18 month suspension of license and the completion of an alcohol safety class and probation.
If you live in Westmoreland County, it is important to reach out to a qualified DUI attorney near you if you have been charged with drunk driving, or driving under the influence of any kind. They might be able to help plea bargain you down to a lesser charge or have the case dismissed altogether depending on the circumstances.
When Can I Be Charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania?
In the state of Pennsylvania to be charged with a DUI, a police officer will have pulled you over under the suspicion of driving under the influence and will generally ask you to conduct a breathalyzer test or blood test. They are testing to see if your blood alcohol concentration or BAC level is higher than the allowed limit of .079 percent. If a person blows a .08 or higher for their BAC level they can then be charged with a DUI.
In Pennsylvania, there are actually three separate DUI rankings that a person can fall into based on their BAC level. These are:
- .08 – .099 percent BAC – this is considered a general impairment
- .10 – .159 percent BAC – this is called a high BAC
- .16 – higher – this is called highest BAC and carries the strictest penalties
It should be noted that Pennsylvania also enforces a Zero Tolerance Law for anyone caught driving under the influence that is below the legal drinking age of 21. For these offenders, any BAC that is .02 or higher will result in a DUI charge.
Contact an Expereinced Greensburg DUI Attorney
Being charged with a DUI can seriously impact your life; restricting employment opportunities, costing you huge sums of money for raised insurance premiums, and causing a sense of shame and embarrassment. At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys we have years of experience helping clients in the Greensburg area and other areas nearby deal with driving under the influence charges. Contact our office, conveniently located in downtown Greensburg, just a few blocks away from Seton Hill University, to set up your free case evaluation today. 724-834-1275