If you are facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania, you might be wondering whether it’s worth hiring a criminal defense lawyer. You might be thinking about handling your case on your own, or you might be thinking about pleading guilty and moving on with your life.

Both of these can be very costly mistakes.

When you are facing a DUI charge, hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself. There are several ways an experienced lawyer will be able to help you—regardless of whether you were driving under the influence at the time of your arrest.

10 Ways a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help with Your Pennsylvania DUI Case

What can a lawyer do to help? Here are 10 ways a criminal defense lawyer can help when you are facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania:

1. Understanding the Charge (or Charges) Against You

Pennsylvania’s DUI laws are complex, and they allow prosecutors to pursue drunk driving cases on multiple grounds. For example, while proving your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is one way that prosecutors can secure a conviction, they can also secure a conviction with other evidence that you were “rendered incapable of safely driving” due to drug or alcohol consumption.

In many cases, DUI arrests will lead to other charges as well. In addition to helping you understand the nature of your DUI case, your lawyer can help you understand any other charges that have been filed against you.

2. Helping You Understand All that You Have at Stake

In addition to helping you understand the charge (or charges) against you, your lawyer can also help you understand what is at stake in your case. In Pennsylvania, DUI charges can carry several penalties, including:

  • Fines, assessments, and surcharges
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device installation
  • Mandatory alcohol education or treatment
  • Jail time or house arrest

But, a DUI conviction can have many other consequences as well. From making you ineligible for scholarships and financial aid to jeopardizing your professional career, a DUI conviction can truly impact all aspects of your life.

3. Determining if the Police Violated Your Constitutional Rights

When facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania, a key question is whether the police violated your constitutional rights. If they did, then the prosecution’s evidence against you may be inadmissible in court. Without admissible evidence, the prosecution won’t be able to secure a conviction. Racial profiling, making an arrest without probable cause, and conducting a custodial interrogation without reading your Miranda rights are just a few examples of violations that could play a major role in your DUI case.

4. Determining if Prosecutors Violate Your Constitutional Rights

In addition to determining if the police violated your constitutional rights, your lawyer will also be able to determine if prosecutors violate your constitutional rights while your DUI case is pending. For example, the constitution generally requires that prosecutors disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense. If prosecutors impermissible withhold exculpatory evidence during your case, this could entitle you to a dismissal.

5. Identifying All Viable Defenses to Your DUI Charge (and Other Charges)

Along with exposing violations of your constitutional rights, there are several other ways to fight DUI charges (and other charges) in the Pennsylvania courts. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will be able to examine all potential defenses and determine which of these defenses apply in your case. Is your BAC reading invalid or unreliable? Did your arresting officer improperly administer the field sobriety tests (FSTs)? Do you have grounds to argue that you weren’t in “actual physical control” of a vehicle? These are just a few examples of numerous potential defenses to a DUI charge in Pennsylvania.

6. Helping You Avoid Mistakes That Could Jeopardize Your Defense

When you are facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania, you need to be very careful to avoid mistakes that could jeopardize your defense. Many of these mistakes are not obvious, and some might even seem like they are the right thing to do. Your lawyer will be able to walk you through all of the mistakes you need to avoid so that you protect your ability to fight your DUI by all means available.

7. Helping You Decide How to Approach Your Case

Your lawyer can also help you decide how to approach your case. Depending on the circumstances involved, you may have a few different options. For example, while fighting your charge (or charges) in court might be the best approach, it may also be in your best interests to negotiate a plea bargain. If you are a first-time offender, you may also qualify for pretrial diversion. This option allows you to avoid a conviction regardless of the facts of your case.

8. Building a Comprehensive and Cohesive Defense Strategy

If it is in your best interests to fight your case in court, your lawyer will build a comprehensive and cohesive defense strategy. Your lawyer will use the available evidence to show why a conviction is unwarranted; and, if necessary, to show why you do not deserve the maximum sentence allowable under Pennsylvania law.

9. Representing You in Plea Negotiations or Court

Whether you decide to pursue a plea bargain or fight your case in court, you will need experienced legal representation. When you hire a criminal defense lawyer, your lawyer will use his or her experience to seek a favorable outcome on your behalf.

10. Guiding You Through Your Next Steps

Throughout the process of fighting your DUI, your lawyer will guide you through your next steps. Your lawyer will explain what to do (and what not to do), and your lawyer will give you the information you need to feel confident that you are making the right decisions for yourself and your family.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Stroudsburg Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian C. Jordan

Are you facing a DUI in Pennsylvania? If so, we encourage you to contact us for more information. To schedule a free consultation with criminal defense lawyer Brian C. Jordan in Stroudsburg, please call 570-764-4114 or request an appointment online today.

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Brian C. Jordan, Esq

If you need legal assistance for your situation, I can help you. Schedule a free consultation.

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