Montgomery County DUI Defense Attorney
Pennsylvania saw the lowest number of alcohol-related driving deaths in 2017, which dropped from 297 to 293, but that number is still not zero. Until that zero number is reached, lawmakers continue to take a vigorous approach to drunk driving. The result is arresting innocent people or using them as examples to deter others. If you are convicted, serious penalties can include jail time, fines, and suspension of licenses. If you or a loved one have been convicted of a DUI in Montgomery County, contact a Montgomery County DUI Defense Attorney to discuss legal action moving forward and ensure your rights are protected. We serve Montgomery County with offices in Plymouth Meeting, PA.
Montgomery County DUI Defense
Montgomery County, also referred to as Montco, is the third-most populous county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the 71st most-populous in the United States. As of 2017, the estimated population in Montgomery County was 826,075. Montgomery County is located adjacent to and northwest of Philadelphia. The county seat of Montgomery County is Norristown. Montgomery County is very diverse, with farms and open land in the north and densely populated urban neighborhoods in the south and central portions of the county. The county was created in 1784, out of land which was originally a part of Philadelphia County. The first courthouse in the county was in Barley Sheaf Inn. Montgomery County is believed to have been named for Richard Montgomery, a general from the American Revolutionary War.
In 2008, Montgomery County was named the 9th Best Place to Raise a Family by Forbes, and there are certainly plenty of things to do for families in Montgomery County. Valley Forge National Historical Park allows you to walk in the footsteps of soldiers from the Revolutionary War, experience the grandeur of Bryn Athyn, and take a look into the home of John James Audubon. Visitors to the area can tour historic properties like the Peter Wentz Farmstead, Pennypacker Mills and Pottsgrove Manor, or can see the Beth Sholom Synagogue, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Outdoor adventures abound in Montgomery County, particularly in the wintertime. Those who ski will enjoy Spring Mountain, while others will be amazed as they take flight in a hot air balloon or enjoy a magical sleigh ride through the Montgomery County countryside.
There are as many as 90 miles of hiking and biking trails throughout Montgomery County, allowing exploration of the Philadelphia countryside and suburbs. The Schuylkill River Trail connects Valley Forge Park with Philadelphia, and the Perkiomen Trail connects the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove to Green Lane Park. If you are up for a more exciting adventure, zip through the treetops on a zip line trek; Treetop Adventures zip lines will give you a birds-eye view of the Elmwood Park Zoo. Boaters, kayakers and anyone else who loves the water will enjoy Montgomery County rivers and lakes. Montgomery County is bursting with artists and arts; you can witness an award-winning performance at a local playhouse, or explore the many unique museums, live music venues, historic movie theaters, and some of the finest gardens and arboretums in the country.
Montgomery County Alcohol Highway Safety Program
In 1977, the Alcohol Highway Safety Program in Pennsylvania was formalized as a result of a revision of the Motor Vehicle Code. This program provided for DUI coordinators to be named in each county, under the Judge of the county. The DUI coordinator in each county oversees the Alcohol Highway Safety School and the Court Reporting Network. In Montgomery County, the process is overseen by the Montgomery County Adult Probation & Parole Department’s DUI Administration.
New Pennsylvania DUI Laws
Pennsylvania has never been a state which is soft on DUI offenses, and recently, the laws have gotten even tougher for those caught driving while impaired. In 2018, Governor Tom Wolf made the penalties for impaired driving tougher, creating a new felony category for certain DUI offenses. Drivers who cause a fatal accident while under the influence would face a minimum of five years in prison for each death—up from the current three years—if the driver had a prior DUI conviction. If the driver had two or more prior DUI convictions, the minimum prison term for each death in a fatal DUI accident would be seven years.
Pennsylvania Parents Against Impaired Driving, a group of parents in the state who have lost children to DUI accidents, believe repeat offenders in the state are responsible for at least 40 percent of all DUI fatalities. The bill also provides that multiple repeat offenders who are arrested for the third DUI with a BAC of .16 or higher would face felony charges. All repeat offenders who are facing a fourth or subsequent arrest for impaired driving would also face felony charges. Currently, Pennsylvania is one of just four states which treat all standard DUI convictions as misdemeanors.
The new law increases the penalties for driving while serving a DUI license suspension. Under the old laws, the maximum penalty was a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail, regardless of whether the offense was a first or subsequent offense. Under the new law, a second DUI offense results in a fine up to $1,000 and at least 90 days in jail, while a third offense results in a $2,500 fine and up to six months in jail. Finally, the new law stipulates that any adult accompanying a driver with a learner’s permit must remain sober, or risk being charged with DUI as a passenger.
Tiers of BAC Levels in the State of Pennsylvania
Like other aspects of its DUI process, Philadelphia also has a unique tier system as far as DUI penalties go. The tiers are based on BAC, as well as multiple DUI convictions. The lowest penalty category for a Pennsylvania DUI is a BAC from 0.08 percent to .99 percent. The higher penalty category for a Pennsylvania DUI is a BAC from .10 percent to .159 percent, and the highest penalty category for a Pennsylvania DUI is .16 percent or higher.
Ignition Interlock Laws in the State of Pennsylvania
The state of Pennsylvania now requires installation of an Ignition Interlock requirement for first-time and repeat DUI offenders who have a high BAC level. Refusing to submit to chemic testing for a first DUI offense will result in having an Ignition Interlock device installed for one year. For those who violate the terms of their Ignition Interlock, the period of time will be extended for one year. For a second or subsequent DUI offense, refusal to submit will result in an Ignition Interlock for one year, with eligibility after nine months. For a second or subsequent DUI offense, an Ignition Interlock violation will result in no early Interlock eligibility and an Ignition Interlock device for one year.
An Ignition Interlock device is mandated for any DUI offense with a BAC higher than .10 percent. The only time an Ignition Interlock device is not required is for a first DUI within ten years, with a BAC less than .10 percent, and no injuries. An Ignition Interlock device prevents a driver who has been drinking from starting the vehicle. The driver must blow into the device, and if alcohol is detected, the car will not start. Additionally, periodically while driving, the driver will be prompted to blow into the device to ensure he or she has not been drinking after starting the vehicle. The average costs associated with a Pennsylvania Ignition Interlock device is between $900 and $1,300 per year.
ARD in Montgomery County
In Montgomery County, the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program is supervised by the ARD Captain who reviews criminal cases for potential admission into the program. ARD is approved by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for first-time offenders who have no prior criminal convictions and no prior ARD dispositions. The purpose of the ARD program is dispensing of the charges, eliminating the need for time-consuming trials and other court proceedings, recognizing those who are amenable treatment and rehabilitation, removing these DUI cases from the criminal justice system. Those who would like to be placed into the ARD program must submit a written application to the DA’s office within 30 days of the preliminary hearing. The preliminary hearing and formal arraignment must be waived to receive ARD, and, if approved for the program, the individual must be placed on probation, ordered to pay fines and costs, and complete community service. Once the ARD program is completed, the applicant can petition the court to have his or her record expunged
Why Choose Ciccarelli Law Offices?
- Our Montgomery drunk driving defense lawyers are knowledgeable of Pennsylvania statutes and can help your case from going on your record with the Probation Before Judgment.
- Our local lawyers are trusted within the court system and may be able to negotiate a plea deal.
- We are committed to your case and will advise on what is and isn’t standard in a DUI or DWI to bolster your case.
Why You Need a DUI Defense Lawyer
DUIs and drunk driving are offenses punishable by jail time, fines, and remains on your permanent record. During a time of aggressive law enforcement with driving under the influence, mistakes are easily made. For example, the prosecutor may try to convict you with information obtained in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. In this case a plea deal would be used and charges dropped. A local Montgomery County Criminal Defense Attorney will help you evaluate your options and make smart choices.
Pennsylvania Drunk Driving Penalties
The state of Pennsylvania takes drunk driving and driving under the influence very seriously. Laws for blood alcohol content are strict and are based on the driver’s blood alcohol content. The BAC in Pennsylvania is separated into tiers, 0.08%, 0.10 to 0.159%, and 0.16% or higher. Penalties in Pennsylvania depend on the BAC and level of defense. A first-offense DUI is punishable by a $300 fine, but no jail time and no points on their license. A second-offense DUI is punishable by a fine up to $2500, a one-year license suspension, and a minimum of 5 days to 6 months jail time. A third-offense DUI is punishable by up to a $5000 fine, a one-year license suspension, and a minimum of 10 days to 2 years in jail.
Drunk Driving Defenses
If you are arrested driving under the influence with the appropriate blood alcohol content, you are held liable. Third parties that sell alcohol to an individual who drives under the influence could also be liable. For this, Montgomery Country Criminal Defense Attorneys will evaluate all of the circumstances and work hard to lessen the charges. For example, an attorney could use the no probable cause defense, in which there was no probable cause to stop the individual and test for their BAC. Other defenses are no impairment, faulty BAC test results, not driving at the time, and rising BAC. These defenses require carefully crafted legal plans.
Contact Our DUI Attorneys Today
Montgomery DUI Defense Attorneys work diligently on behalf of every client. Whether your blood alcohol content was over the limit or not, a defense can be made in your case. Contact a defense attorney to evaluate your case and help you take the next step. We may be able to lessen your charges, including keeping your case from remaining on your permanent record. Call to request your free, no-obligation consultation.
Our Montgomery County DUI Lawyers Are There When You Need Us
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our Montgomery County DUI attorneys are here to help you following your DUI charges. This can be a time when you are extremely stressed and even frightened regarding the potential criminal penalties associated with your DUI charges. We understand you are facing many serious penalties, and that you may be feeling very anxious about your future, and we will do our best to alleviate those fears, answering your questions about the Montgomery County DUI process. We also understand that if you are unable to drive, you may also be unable to work, therefore, we will fight hard to retain your driving privileges.