The DUI Book
I have written a book about the DUI process in Pennsylvania which can be downloaded for free. This book should answer all of your questions and assist you in choosing an experienced attorney to represent you in court.
- Choosing the Right Attorney
- I Am Being Charged With DUI - What Happens Next?
- The Pennsylvania DUI Law
- Field Sobriety Testing
- Mandatory Jail Sentences
- Multiple Offenders
- First Time Offenders - The ARD Program
- Defenses to DUI
- Probable Cause to Stop
- The Police Did Not See Me Driving
- Attacking Testing Procedures
- Refusal of Chemical Testing
- An Interview with a Former DUI Prosecutor
My name is Ellis B. Klein and I have been a practicing Criminal Defense Attorney in Pennsylvania since 1994. After graduating law school, I was hired as an Assistant District Attorney where I rose to the level of Senior Deputy District Attorney. In the five years that I was a prosecutor, I prosecuted over 4,000 criminal cases ranging from minor traffic offenses to homicide. An overwhelming majority of those cases were cases of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or a Controlled Substance.
Now, as a defense attorney for over 20 years, I have helped over 10,000 clients navigate the legal system. More than 50% of those clients were charged with Driving Under the Influence. Most clients who seek my assistance are regular, everyday people who, for whatever reason, made a bad decision and found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many of my DUI clients are first time offenders; all of my clients are concerned about losing their freedom, their driver's licenses and how having a permanent criminal record could affect their lives in the future.
Choosing The Right Attorney
Choosing the right attorney to represent you may be one of the most important decisions you may ever make. The first thing you should look for in a criminal defense attorney is experience. Consider not only how long this attorney has been practicing, but consider where he practices. It is very important that you obtain a local attorney familiar with the local court procedures. The DUI law is the same law throughout Pennsylvania, but every county administers the law differently. Each county has programs specific to that particular county (house arrest, work release, etc.) of which local attorneys are most familiar. It is also important that the attorney handles primarily criminal defense cases because the laws are complex and constantly changing.
It is extremely important that your lawyer have a good reputation with the prosecution because it is up to the police officer and the District Attorney to decide which cases the state is going to prosecute and whether to drop any charges.
Mandatory Sentencing Provisions
If you are found guilty of Driving Under the Influence and your BAC is above .10%, or if this is a second or subsequent offense, there is mandatory minimum jail time that is set by the Legislature. A mandatory sentence means that a judge has no discretion and is required by law to impose jail time, which can range from a minimum of 2 days in jail to a minimum of 1 year, depending on prior record. Intermediate punishment, such as Work Release or House Arrest is determined by the sentencing judge.
First Time Offenders
Many of my clients are first time offenders who have never been in trouble before and are concerned about how a DUI will affect their lives in the future. Luckily, Pennsylvania has a program for first time offenders which gives people an opportunity to avoid going to jail and having a criminal conviction on their record.
If this is a first offense and there were no injuries, you may be eligible for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, known as ARD. If ARD is approved by the District Attorney, an individual does not have to plead guilty, is not convicted of DUI, and the charges are eventually dismissed after successful completion of safe driving classes, community service, and a probationary period. There is no mandatory jail time and license suspension ranges from no suspension for the lowest BAC level up to 60 days suspension for levels over .16%.
Whomever you choose to represent you, do your homework. Ask questions and then ask more questions. Read reviews from former clients online on websites like Avvo.com. Get second opinions but be wary of attorneys who scare you into retaining them or who just tell you what you want to hear, just to get then case. You must be comfortable with your attorney and be certain that he has the experience to properly represent you in court.
The experienced attorneys at Klein Burdett & Associates have handled over 10,000 cases of Driving Under the Influence. We promise to provide you with the dedicated, comprehensive and caring legal representation that you deserve. We understand how upsetting and confusing a criminal charge can be, and you have our promise that we will fight zealously to ensure that you are given the best defense. To schedule your free consultation, call us now at (800) 536-0501 or contact us online.