Greensburg First Offense DUI Lawyer | DUI Attorney Near Me

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If you suddenly find yourself facing your first DUI charge in Greensburg, PA, or a nearby city, it is time to consider your options and how to secure the best possible outcome. To begin with, you need to be very careful when you’re driving because you do not want to be pulled over a second time, while your first offense DUI charges are still pending. Next, you should review the ticket or a letter that you received, which will have a court date, time, and place for your arraignment. Prior to this date, you should contact a first-offense DUI lawyer, like our Greensburg criminal attorneys to discuss your options and how to proceed.

At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, our DUI lawyers in Greensburg know what you are going through, what you hope to achieve, and will work to secure the best possible resolution. Depending on the facts, you may be able to preserve your license, save time and money, or sometimes avoid a DUI conviction all together through a reduction or dismissal.

A DUI first offense misdemeanor needs to be taken seriously from day one. To learn more about your rights and how to protect yourself from the harsh first DUI penalties in Westmoreland County, contact us online or call (724) 834-1275 to schedule a free consultation.

First DUI Law

You can be arrested and charged with a DUI under 75 Pa. Code §3802.

Specifically, 75 Pa. Code §3802(a)(1) prohibits you from driving, operating, or being in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing enough alcohol that you are incapable of safely driving, operating, or being in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle. Also, 75 Pa. Code §3802(1)(2) prohibits you from driving, operating, or being in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing enough alcohol that your breath or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at least .08 percent within two hours of driving, operating, or being in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle.

It is important to keep in mind that you can be found guilty of a DUI if you have a BAC above the legal limit OR if there is other evidence you are impaired due to alcohol. You can be arrested, charged, and receive a first DUI conviction even without a .08 percent or higher BAC.

Under 75 Pa. Code §3802(d), you are also banned from driving, operating, or being in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle if you have a controlled substance in your body, if you are under the influence of any drug or combination of drugs, or if you are under the influence of a combination of drugs and alcohol. This is considered drugged driving, and Pennsylvania law mentions both controlled substances, drugs, and solvent or noxious substances. Therefore, you can face first time DUI charges without any alcohol in your system. You also can face DUI charges if the drugs in your system were not illegal since you can be impaired due to prescription medications, and even over-the-counter products.

The Pennsylvania Lookback Period

You may be considered a first-time DUI offender even if you technically have a previous DUI conviction on your record. Pennsylvania’s lookback period for driving under the influence is typically 10 years. If you have one DUI conviction within the previous 10 years, then this arrest will be a second DUI. However, if your prior conviction was for an arrest that occurred more than 10 years ago, then this arrest is a new first DUI. For example, you may be in your 40s and facing a DUI charge. A DUI conviction that took place when you were 22 years old may not impact this offense. You will instead face a first-time DUI.

To learn more about dealing with your first offense, contact a Greensburg first DUI lawyer at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys.

What Happens for Your First DUI Offense in Greensburg

For a first offense DUI, you will be arrested and taken to the police station. There, you will be asked to submit to one or more chemical tests. In most cases, the police will ask you to submit to an official breath test or to provide a blood sample. You can refuse, however, doing so violates Pennsylvania’s implied consent law. If you refuse a breath test request, you can receive additional criminal penalties. You cannot face extra criminal punishments for refusing a warrantless blood test, though.

Whether or not you submit to a chemical test, you will be booked into jail. When and how you are released depends on the circumstances. In DUI cases, there will usually be a preliminary arraignment as soon as possible. You will go before a judge and hear the charges against you. However, you can be released before this or without this hearing if the police believe you will show up to your arraignment and that you are not a threat to the public. In other words, if you sober up and someone can get you, you will likely be released within 24 hours.

When you are released, you’ll either be given your DUI paperwork right away or receive the criminal complaint and court summons later in the mail. This paperwork will notify you of your first hearing date. If you are released without a preliminary arraignment, the police have five days to file a criminal complaint. You typically will receive your court paperwork within a week of your arrest, though it can take longer.

Once you are released from jail in Greensburg, you should contact a first offense DUI lawyer near you. You need to learn more about Pennsylvania’s DUI law, your rights, and what will happen at your first hearing. You also need to discuss the potential defenses for a first offense DUI.

Potential Punishments for a First DUI

When you are facing a drunk driving first offense, you’ll naturally be wondering about the possible consequences. It is important to speak with a DUI attorney to learn about all the potential penalties, including probation or jail time. You also can face significant court fees and fines, which makes a first DUI conviction very expensive. Financially, the situation will get worse from there if you are required to install an ignition interlock device, pay the driver’s license reinstatement fees, and increased auto insurance premiums.

For a first offense DUI in Greensburg, as an ungraded misdemeanor your criminal penalties may include:

First DUI With a BAC Lower than 0.10 Percent

  • Up to six months’ probation
  • $300 DUI fine
  • Alcohol safety school
  • Alcohol or drug treatment
  • No first offense DUI license suspension
  • No DUI first offense jail time
  • Ignition interlock device required, if you refuse a chemical test

First-Time DUI With a BAC Between 0.10 and 0.159 Percent

  • Between two days and six months’ incarceration
  • Up to $5,000 fines
  • one-year driver’s license suspension
  • Alcohol Safety School
  • Alcohol or drug treatment
  • Ignition interlock device

First Offense DUI With a BAC Higher Than 0.16 Percent

  • Between three days and six months’ incarceration
  • Fines up to $5,000
  • One-year driver’s license suspension
  • Alcohol safety school
  • Alcohol or drug treatment
  • Ignition interlock device

Additional First DUI Consequences

When you are facing first-time DUI charges in Greensburg, you also need to be aware of the collateral and far-reaching ramifications, outside of the criminal implications.

If you are convicted of a DUI and are in college, it can make it difficult or impossible to attend classes. You may have to take time off school. If your DUI involved drugs, you might not be able to obtain federal financial aid. Also, a DUI could impact any private grants and scholarships.

If you are unable to drive or have a DUI on your record, it could make it difficult to live your life normally. You may not be able to get to and from work consistently, and you likely will not be hired for any positions that require driving.

A DUI conviction can make it difficult to travel abroad. You could be denied entrance to Canada, Mexico, and many other countries. You might have to ask for special consideration for a visa to visit, well in advance of your trip.

Additionally, DUIs are very costly. After all of the statutory punishments, required diversion classes, and other fees, you are also going to be charged more for auto insurance.

I’m Facing My First DUI, What Should I Do?

If you were arrested and charged with a DUI for the very first time, you need to take steps to protect your rights and freedom. By hiring a first offense DUI lawyer from Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, you improve your chances of securing a positive result. We will review the details of your case, evaluate all the evidence, and depending on the circumstance will work to have the charges reduced, dismissed, or mitigated, so the impact to your life is diminished as much as possible.

We are available 24/7 to discuss your first offense DUI in Greensburg or anywhere in Dauphin County. Call Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys at (724) 834-1275 or online to set up a free and confidential consultation. Let us handle your DUI, so that you can move on with your life.