The penalties for a first-time DUI in Pennsylvania may include jail time, fines and mandatory education programs. The exact potential penalties you face depend on the level of your bodily alcohol content at the time of the offense. Knowing the possible penalties for your offense is critical to approaching your defense in the best possible way. Our criminal defense attorney Richard Fink explains penalties for a first-time DUI in Pennsylvania.
The penalty for a first-time DUI in Pennsylvania is six months probation, a $300 fine, alcohol education and substance-abuse treatment classes if the offender’s bodily alcohol content at the time of the arrest is under .10. If their bodily alcohol content is between .10 and .15, penalties increase to a minimum of 48 hours in jail and a maximum of six months jail. In addition, penalties may include a fine of $500-$5,000 and six months probation.
For offenders with the highest bodily alcohol content, of .16 or above, the penalty for a first-time DUI is not less than 72 hours in jail and up to six months in jail. The offender must pay a fine of $1,000-$5,000. In addition, they face a one-year suspension of their driver’s license. Finally, they must undergo mandatory education and treatment programs.
The sentence that you get for first DUI in Pennsylvania depends on the maximum possible penalties and the circumstances of the case. Just because certain penalties are stated as the maximum possible sentence doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to receive that penalty. The judge makes an individual determination about what the penalties should be for you.
When they give you a sentence, the judge must stay within the sentencing ranges. For example, if the possible penalties are between 72 hours and six months in jail, the judge must stay within those ranges. Of course, there’s a big difference between 72 hours and six months in jail. That makes it important to do the right things in order to minimize your penalties.
To minimize penalties or a first DUI, it’s important to begin to evaluate the case as early as possible with the help of a criminal defense attorney. First, you need to post bond and address the conditions of bond. That way, you don’t have bond standing in your way of building your case.
Once you’ve posted bond, minimizing your penalties for a first DUI means building your defenses as much as you possibly can. You might minimize penalties by bringing a motion to suppress evidence based on constitutional grounds. You might question the admissibility of the chemical testing done in the case. These challenges may result in a dismissal of your case before it even reaches trial.
In addition, you can minimize penalties by preparing the reasons that you deserve favorable treatment at sentencing. You may begin substance abuse treatment in advance of sentencing. You should always abide by the terms of your bond while your case is pending. A criminal defense attorney can help you create a tailored plan to minimize the penalty for a first-time DUI in Pennsylvania