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I Was Arrested for A DUI. Now What?

April 21, 2021


Picture this: flashing lights, a pounding heart, and the officer's question: "Have you been drinking?" A DUI arrest can be overwhelming, especially if it's your first encounter with the legal system. Don't panic. Here's a breakdown of the DUI process in Pennsylvania and how to protect yourself:

1. The Stop: What Triggers a DUI Investigation?

It all starts with a seemingly routine traffic stop. Speeding, swerving, or even a forgotten turn signal can catch an officer's eye. While approaching your car, they'll assess your behavior for signs of intoxication, like:

  • Strong alcohol odor

  • Bloodshot eyes, slurred speech

  • Unsteady movements or dilated pupils

2. Field Sobriety Tests: Are You Obliged to Take Them?

If suspicion arises, the officer might request field sobriety tests, like walking a straight line or counting backwards. Remember, you have the right to refuse them. While refusal can strengthen the case against you, consulting an attorney first is crucial.

3. Breathalyzer or Blood Test: Choosing the Right Option

You'll also be asked to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). Refusing carries an automatic license suspension, but each test has its pros and cons. Seek legal advice to understand which option might be better for your case.

4. Penalties and Consequences: Beyond Just a Fine

DUI penalties in Pennsylvania vary based on offense level. First-time offenders might be eligible for the ARD program, offering diversion from the criminal justice system with potential record expungement. However, even a first offense can lead to:

  • Fines

  • License suspension

  • Jail time

  • Increased insurance rates

  • Difficulty finding employment

5. Don't Go It Alone: Why You Need a DUI Attorney

Navigating the complexities of a DUI case is best done with experienced legal guidance. A DUI attorney can:

  • Advise you on your rights and best course of action.

  • Negotiate for reduced charges or penalties.

  • Help you explore ARD program eligibility.

  • Fight for your future by challenging evidence or procedures.

Remember: Knowledge is power, and legal counsel is crucial. At The Town Law, we understand the anxieties of facing a DUI charge. Our team of experienced attorneys offers free consultations to guide you through this challenging time. Contact us today and fight for the best possible outcome.