Fighting DUI Cases in Pennsylvania –
Is Winning a DUI Case Possible?
If you were charged with DUI / DWI in PA, chances are you are dealing with a high level of stress and anxiety. The penalties for a DUI conviction can be tough in Pennsylvania, not to mention losing your driver’s license.
Sometimes all the stress can lead people to plead guilty so they can move on with their lives quickly. But every DUI is worth fighting because having a DUI charge on your permanent record can cause many problems in the future—like getting a job, finding housing, getting a loan for a car, or getting into college. All of these problems can cost a great deal, even far into the future.
A DUI charge is NOT a conviction. Just because you have been arrested for DUI does not necessarily mean you will also be convicted.
The PA criminal justice system must presume you are innocent of DUI charges unless a judge or jury finds you guilty or unless you plead guilty. A skilled attorney can assist you with every aspect of your DUI charge, the DUI process in PA, and will fight to protect your rights as guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
Your DUI charges can be fought and won in court.
If an experienced Pittsburgh DUI lawyer is fighting for you, there is a much greater possibility for minimizing your sentence or having your charges dropped. Contact Ketchel Law to schedule a free legal case evaluation.
OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR DUI CHARGES DISMISSED.
CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
DEFENSES AGAINST DUI CHARGES
An experienced DUI attorney has many ways of helping clients get their sentencing reduced and eliminate the harsh penalties that come with a conviction. Even if you are convicted, there are still ways to reduce the sentencing.
Throughout the DUI Court Process, your attorney can help you every step of the way. Whether you decide to fight the charges or try to get into an alternative program, like the ARD Program for first-time DUI offenders, your attorney can offer advice, prepare you for hearings and fight your charges to get the best possible outcome for you.
Common Methods DUI Defense
Probable cause is crucial in any criminal case. The police must have sufficient grounds to make an arrest. If it can be shown that police did not have sufficient probable cause to stop you or to arrest you, the case against you will be dismissed. Likewise, if the police did not follow proper procedures during your arrest, your case could also get dismissed.
When you obtain a Pennsylvania driver’s license and operate a motor vehicle on public roadways, you are giving consent to be tested for alcohol or controlled substances. Chemical tests are used to measure your level of intoxication. You have the right to refuse a breathalyzer in PA, but refusal carries its own consequences.
Chemical testing has to be administered properly in order to be submitted as evidence against you. While these tests are widely used, they are not without fault. Whether a collection error occurred or the test was not timely, an attorney can investigate to determine if your testing was proper.
For example, if a breathalyzer device was not properly calibrated, the result is faulty and thus cannot be used against you in court. Blood, breath, and urine samples also must be collected within two hours of your arrest or the test may be incorrect as well.
If your chemical sample was obtained improperly or in the incorrect amount of time, this could lead to the evidence being thrown out and unable for the prosecution to use it in your case.
Field Sobriety Testing
Unlike chemical testing, you can refuse a field sobriety test without repercussions. Field sobriety tests are another method of collecting probable cause at the scene.
Perhaps you failed to be able to stand on one leg or walk and turn without faltering. Whatever the case, you do not have to submit to field sobriety tests. If you do so, the results can be used as proof of your guilt. However, these tests are considered subjective and therefore do not hold as much weight in court as scientific proof of intoxication.
It is important to note that you can be convicted of a DUI based on an officer’s observations alone. This could include erratic driving, the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath, slurred speech, or bloodshot eyes.
The importance of having a DUI attorney to offer alternate reasons for the behavior or refute the testimony of the officer is invaluable.
It would be nice to think that every police officer in every city, town, and county in Pennsylvania followed the rules and never acted improperly or made mistakes.
Sometimes, police make mistakes, they fabricate evidence and try to prove their case through improper methods.
If you believe that a police officer acted inappropriately or performed some act of misconduct, it can lead to evidence being dismissed or your entire case being thrown out.
There are many steps involved in processing a DUI defendant. Having an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced can make all the difference in your case.
Your attorney can file pre-trial motions and have evidence excluded before the trial even begins. They can also investigate and show a lack of probable cause and/or instances of police misconduct or improper chemical testing.
An arrest for a DUI is not a conviction.
A DUI defense attorney will be able to present you with your options and work to get your charges dismissed or reduced.
Because the laws are complicated and the penalties can vary, you absolutely must speak with a DUI attorney who understands how the system works— call Justin Ketchel for a free legal consultation.
How a DUI Lawyer Can Help
At Ketchel Law, our greatest strength lies in critically analyzing and dissecting the details of a police officer’s report looking for weaknesses, neutralizing the police officer’s testimony, and questioning the testimony of any experts regarding blood or breath testing.
Sometimes the arresting officer does not have reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle or probable cause to justify your arrest. If this is the case, we can work to suppress the evidence and gain a dismissal of the DUI charge.
When a full dismissal is not possible, we strive to negotiate an alternative to jail time (home detention, alternative housing, or work release) or have the charges reduced.
For first-time DUI offenders, we negotiate for placement in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. And, when an alternative resolution is not possible, we represent DUI clients at trial.
Our experience and knowledge, along with our strong persuasive skills, allows us to provide you with the best possible defense.
Call the law offices of Justin J. Ketchel at 412-456-1221 for a free legal consultation. We take your case seriously and are committed to providing quality legal advice.
Learn More About DUI Laws in Pennsylvania:
- First-time DUI in PA
- The ARD Program
- Second DUI in PA
- Fighting a DUI Charge
- The DUI Court Process
- The Penalties for a DUI Conviction in PA
- Your License and DUI in PA
- DUI Controlled Substance / DUI Drugs
- DUI Arrest in PA with a BAC over .16
- Refusing a Breathalyzer
- Underage DUI
- Underage Drinking in PA
- Third DUI Offense and Subsequent DUI Offenses
- DUI in PA with a CDL License
- DUI while on Probation
- DUI Prescription Medication
- DUI Accident with Injuries
- DUI Field Sobriety Tests
- Guide to Hiring a DUI Lawyer
- The Birchfield Ruling—New Supreme Court Ruling on DUI