Do I Need a Lawyer for My First DUI in PA?

Many people are initially unsure of whether or not to hire a DUI lawyer for a first-offense DUI Pennsylvania.  Failing to hire an experienced DUI attorney, however, may end up costing you far more than just a fine.

First-time DUI offenses are taken very seriously by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office, and DUI cases are prosecuted on a daily basis.  Having an experienced DUI lawyer with you will not only give you the best chance at having your charges dismissed or lessened, but also the peace of mind that you need during this stressful time.  This is especially true for young adults who are just starting to establish a future for themselves.  While everyone makes mistakes, the consequences stemming from conviction for even your first DUI, such as having a DUI on your criminal record and suspension of your PA driver’s license, are very real and can significantly impact your future and your life as a student or young professional.  Even if you’ve formed your own opinions about the strengths or weaknesses of your case, it is advisable to consult an experienced DUI lawyer to get his or her professional opinion about your conclusions.

While the Constitution protects individuals from illegal searches and improper arrests, exceptions have been made in situations involving a DUI stop or arrest.  That being said, a knowledgeable Norristown, PA DUI lawyer can still ensure that any rights you do have during a DUI stop were not violated.  When an officer pulls you over, the officer must have a reasonable suspicion for the stop.  It is not uncommon for an officer to pull over a motorist for a minor traffic violation, such as questionable window tinting, a cracked windshield, or fuzzy dice hanging from your mirror, ultimately leading to a DUI arrest.  This may just be an excuse to stop you based on the officer’s unverified and unjustified hunch that you may be driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.  If it can be shown you stop was “pretextual”, your DUI lawyer may file a suppression motion requesting that all evidence obtaining during the stop be suppressed on the basis that the stop was illegal.  By hiring an experienced DUI lawyer to defend you, you can ensure that the police had a sufficient legal basis for pulling you over and that none of your other rights were violated in the process.

A DUI lawyer can examine your case for any possible defenses or mitigating circumstances.

An experienced DUI lawyer should analyze the facts surrounding your alleged DUI.  Your DUI lawyer should perform this analysis and discuss your options on how to defend your particular case.  While not applicable in every DUI charge, an experienced DUI lawyer will generally look at the circumstances of your arrest, if you were given field sobriety tests or a breathalyzer test, as well as the time frames involved on the night of your arrest.  These are just some of the factors that can be looked at as mitigating circumstances, as they can lessen your culpability and point toward a lesser charge overall.

A DUI attorney can help get your criminal record expunged.

In addition to plea bargaining, a DUI lawyer can also assist you with getting your DUI charge removed from your criminal record entirely.  In certain circumstances, Pennsylvania law provides the opportunity to have the potentially embarrassing and stressful information regarding a DUI conviction removed from your record through a process called expungement.  Expungement in PA offers the chance to erase the charge from your criminal record.

Facing a first-time DUI charge can be frightening and overwhelming.  Even if you are uncertain about hiring a DUI lawyer to defend you, it is highly advisable to at least consult an experienced DUI attorney for his or her professional opinion and to see how a DUI lawyer may be able to help you.  A DUI charge, even a first offense, is a serious criminal matter that should not be taken lightly.

Contact an experienced DUI lawyer at 215-646-3980 for a free drunk driving case evaluation.

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