DUI Arrest in Pennsylvania: Costly Mistakes to Avoid

male driver being handcuffed and arrestedA DUI arrest can be a major disruption in your life, potentially leading to severe legal consequences and financial burdens. If you find yourself facing such charges in Pennsylvania, it’s crucial to handle the situation with caution to avoid common pitfalls that could worsen your case. At Engle, Kauffman & VanHorn, P.C., our dedicated team of criminal defense attorneys is well-versed in guiding clients through the legal proceedings of DUI offenses, ensuring you receive fair treatment under the law.

Top 7 Most Common Costly Mistakes to Avoid After a DUI Arrest in Pennsylvania

A DUI arrest in Pennsylvania carries significant legal consequences, and how you respond can greatly impact the outcome of your case. Here are some of the most common mistakes individuals make after being arrested for DUI, which can complicate their legal situation and lead to harsher penalties:

Top 7: Refusing a Breathalyzer or Chemical Test

Pennsylvania operates under Implied Consent Law, codified under 75 Pa. C.S. § 1547. This law states that by driving a vehicle in Pennsylvania, you have implicitly consented to chemical testing (breath, blood, or urine) if a law enforcement officer has reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence.

Refusal to submit to this testing will result in:

  • First offense: 12-month license suspension
  • Subsequent offenses: 18-month license suspension
  • Additional penalties: Potential requirement to attend highway safety school and install an ignition interlock device.

In addition to these administrative penalties, refusing a chemical test can be used as evidence against you in court, potentially leading to stricter penalties if you are convicted of DUI.

Top 6: Admitting Guilt at the Time of Arrest

During the stressful moment of an arrest, it’s natural to want to explain your side of the story or make apologies, but this is a critical error. Any statements made during your arrest can be interpreted as admissions of guilt and used as evidence against you in court. Law enforcement officers are trained to gather information that can lead to a conviction. Therefore, it is advisable to exercise your right to remain silent and communicate only through your attorney.

Top 5: Not Hiring a DUI Attorney

DUI laws in Pennsylvania are intricate, and attempting to handle your legal defense without experienced representation can significantly increase the risk of an unfavorable outcome. A seasoned criminal defense attorney in PA can provide crucial strategies and insights that safeguard your rights throughout the legal process. Focusing on DUI defense, our attorneys are equipped with the knowledge and skill necessary to effectively manage the challenges of your case.

Top 4: Missing Deadlines

The DUI legal process is filled with critical deadlines that must be met, from filing an appeal against a license suspension to submitting paperwork or making court appearances. Missing any of these deadlines can result in automatic penalties, such as extended license suspensions, or the forfeiture of certain legal rights. It’s imperative to track these dates carefully, a task that your DUI attorney can manage to ensure compliance.

Top 3: Ignoring Court Requirements

Courts often require DUI offenders to participate in specific programs such as DUI education classes, alcohol and drug counseling, or community service. Failing to comply with these mandates can be seen as contempt of court and lead to additional legal consequences, including fines, extended probation, or even jail time. Compliance not only satisfies court requirements but can also favorably influence your case outcome.

Top 2: Driving With a Suspended License

If your license is suspended following a DUI arrest, it is illegal to drive until your license is reinstated. Driving on a suspended license is a serious offense that could result in additional criminal charges, including hefty fines, further license suspension, or incarceration. This action can also negatively impact any pending DUI case, showing disregard for law and court orders.

Top 1: Failing to Explore All Defense Options

Many defendants make the mistake of accepting plea deals without fully exploring all available defenses. Plea agreements may seem like a quick resolution but can carry long-term consequences, such as criminal records or increased penalties in future offenses. An experienced DUI attorney in PA can evaluate the prosecution’s evidence, challenge test results or procedural errors, and explore defenses that could potentially dismiss or reduce the charges.

To avoid these and other costly mistakes, seek unparalleled legal counsel as soon as possible after a DUI arrest. Engle, Kauffman & VanHorn, P.C., with years of experience in DUI defense, offers the knowledgeable guidance you need during this challenging time. Visit our criminal defense page for more information. Protecting your rights and securing a fair legal process is our priority.

Your Path Forward with Engle, Kauffman & VanHorn, P.C.

Dealing with a DUI in Pennsylvania is challenging, but with the right legal support, you can navigate this difficult time more effectively. Engle, Kauffman & VanHorn, P.C. provides diligent and thoughtful representation to ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process. Our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for your case while minimizing the impact on your life and finances.

For dedicated legal support following a DUI arrest, contact us today. Let us help you move forward with confidence and the backing of a team that understands the importance of a tailored defense strategy.