First Offense DUI Lawyers Erie, Pennsylvania
Experienced PA Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys Help You Fight First Offense DUI Charges in Erie County, Pennsylvania
Everyone makes mistakes in life. Unfortunately, some mistakes are punished more severely than others. A DUI violation in Pennsylvania is the kind of mistake that can haunt you for a very long time. Perhaps you were out with friends and had one drink too many without realizing it. Or perhaps you were coming home from happy hour after work. Regardless of the circumstances, Pennsylvania imposes harsh penalties on drunk driving offenders – even first-time offenders. The reality is that a person convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol can face the loss of their driver’s license, heavy fines, and even jail time. That’s why it is imperative that you talk to a skilled PA DUI defense attorney as soon as possible.
If this was your first DUI offense, you may not be familiar with how the Pennsylvania criminal justice system works. Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. can help you navigate the legal system and avoid the most severe penalties for a DUI conviction. Our experienced DUI defense lawyers are prepared to represent clients in Erie County, including Erie, Millcreek, Harborcreek, and Fairview, Pennsylvania. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation about your first offense DUI case.
Pennsylvania First Offense DUI Penalties: Jail Time, Fines, License Suspension, and More
The legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) in Pennsylvania is .08 percent. This is a very low threshold, which means that even a few drinks could put you over the legal limit. Additionally, keep in mind that you can actually be charged with a DUI in PA even if your BAC is below .08 percent. Pennsylvania law enforcement has discretion to arrest anyone who they believe is too impaired to safely operate a motor vehicle. On the other end of the spectrum, anyone caught driving with an extremely high BAC – above .10 percent – will face enhanced penalties.
The good news is that first-time DUI offenders are usually able to avoid the most severe penalties. Those penalties vary, based on the motorist’s BAC:
- Tier 1 – General Impairment: .08-.099 percent BAC.
- Tier 2 – High BAC: .10-.159 percent BAC.
- Tier 3 – Highest BAC: .16 percent BAC or greater.
Most first-time offenders who are charged with General Impairment wind up being sentenced to six (6) months of probation, fined $300, ordered to perform 150 hours of community service, and required to attend Alcohol Highway Safety School. However, a first offense DUI involving a High BAC carries much harsher penalties that include up to six (6) months in jail, driver’s license suspension for one year, and between $500 and $5,000 in fines.
Additionally, keep in mind that a first offense DUI conviction will stay on your permanent record – and it is a criminal charge, which means you will have a criminal record. Beyond that, if you commit a second DUI offense anytime within 10 years of your first DUI offense, you will be subject to enhanced penalties that include up to five (5) years in prison.
Read Our Free DUI Book to Learn More About Fighting Drunk Driving Charges in Pennsylvania
If you’ve got questions about your first offense DUI charges in Pennsylvania, you can find answers in Defending Freedom: The Ultimate Guide to DUI Cases in Pennsylvania. Download our free DUI book today to get answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about drunk driving violations in PA, information about the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program for DUI offenders, and DUI laws & penalties.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Aggressive Erie DUI Defense Attorney Today
Many PA DUI cases are fact-specific and turn on a single circumstance of the police traffic stop or arrest. If you’ve been charged with a first offense DUI, second offense DUI, or Breath Test Refusal in Pennsylvania, you need an experienced Erie DUI lawyer from Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. on your side and challenging the evidence. Call us directly to speak with a member of our legal team about your case, or fill out the convenient online contact form to arrange a visit to one of our offices in Erie, Meadville, or North East, PA.