I was arrested for a DUI. Now what?
Updated: Apr 23
Being arrested for a DUI can be a very traumatic and troublesome experience. In many situations, when an individual is arrested and charged with a DUI, it is their first encounter with the criminal justice system.
If an individual is arrested in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for driving under the influence (DUI), that individual will face criminal charges in the Pennsylvania Court system.
Where does the DUI process begin?
The first stage begins with the DUI arrest. Typically, an officer will pull somebody over because he or she witnessed a traffic violation.
What types of traffic violations lead to a stop?
Speeding, failing to maintain lanes, failure to use one’s turn signals, running a red light or stop sign, etc.
What happens after someone is pulled over for a traffic violation? The officer will approach the vehicle, informed the individual why he or she was pulled over, and then ask for identification, registration, and insurance. Then the officer will make observations that will prompt suspicion of an individual being under the influence of alcohol, prescription medication, or an illicit narcotic.
What observations lead to suspicion of DUI?
The officer may note in his police report (or in the affidavit of probable cause) that there was a strong odor of alcohol coming from the driver or the vehicle, he may note that the driver had red, bloodshot, or glassy eyes and perhaps slurred speech. Other times, the officer might make note of the driver’s pupils mentioning whether they were very constricted or very dilated.
What takes place after the officer suspects a driver of a DUI?
The officer will order the driver to step out of the vehicle to perform field sobriety tests. After performing the tests, the officer will then make a determination as to whether to place the individual under arrest. The officer will also ask the driver to submit to a blood draw and/or a portable breath test. If the individual refuses the blood draw or portable breath test, there will be an automatic suspension of one’s license. If they agree to the breath test, the officer – if he has a portable breath test on his person – will have the individual blow into the device. If they agree to a blood draw, the officer will take the individual to the hospital for a blood draw.
What are the typical sentences for DUI?
Below are the guidelines and mandatory sentencing guidelines for 1st offense DUIs, 2nd offense DUIs, 3rd offense DUIs, and 4th offense DUIs.
If this is your first DUI and you do not have any prior convictions or the circumstances of your DUI are not aggravating, you may be eligible for admission into Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program (ARD). The ARD Program will allow you to avoid jail time, reduce the license suspension, and allow for the expunction and removal of the DUI from your record upon completion of the ARD Program and submission of the expungement.
Bucks County ARD, Chester County ARD, Delaware County ARD, and Montgomery County ARD all allow for an individual who are first-time offenders and who have no prior criminal convictions or prior ARD dispositions to remove their cases from the criminal justice system.
While the decision as to whether or not to permit a person into the ARD Program rests with the head of the ARD Unit, criminal defense attorneys who have a great deal of experience in handling DUIs are able to provide the ARD Unit with the necessary information that allows for their clients to be accepted.
At The Town Law, we understand just how stressful facing criminal charges can be. With our vast experience handling DUI defense cases throughout Bucks County, Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania, we are well-equipped to ensure you get the best result possible with attentive attorneys by your side throughout the process. Contact our firm today for a free consultation. Our staff of experienced attorneys is dedicated to the best outcomes for all of our clients.