How Can a DUI Conviction Impact Your Future?
Besides license suspension, fines and possible jail time, what is at stake when you are convicted of DUI in Pennsylvania?
When someone is charged with DUI in Pennsylvania, the first thing that probably crosses their mind is “oh, no – my license!” They also probably dread any jail time, hefty fines, or Alcohol Highway Safety classes that can also come with a DUI conviction.
But while losing your driving privilege and jail time are big penalties, if you are convicted of DUI of drugs or alcohol, there are plenty of other consequences which most people don’t think about or that do not happen immediately.
However, a DUI conviction can impact your rights in the future and for the rest of your life, and this fact may make you want to think hard about doing all that is possible to fight the DUI conviction and try to get the charges reduced to a minimum or dismissed.
Until you are convicted, you still have the right to fight your charges. Fully understanding all the options available can help you to know the best next step to take in protecting your rights and your future.
A DUI Arrest Does Not Necessarily Mean You Will Be Convicted
While being charged with DUI is very serious and the consequences are scary, it is important to remember that not every DUI arrest ends up as a DUI conviction. There are options to avoid a criminal record, losing your license and jail time.
Speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible to go over your options and fight for your charges to be either reduced or dropped altogether.
At Saadzoi Law we offer free consultations to anyone charged with DUI in Pennsylvania.
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Lasting Consequences of a DUI Conviction in Pennsylvania
In addition to license suspension, jail time, fines, Ignition Interlock and Alcohol Highway Safety School, you will have to live with additional possible consequences of a DUI conviction that will impact your future for many years to come.
Having a Criminal Record
The first big consequence is that if you are convicted of DUI, you will have a misdemeanor on your permanent criminal record (or a felony, if it is a third offense).
A misdemeanor is not a minor inconvenience – any criminal background check a future landlord, employer or school admissions office will be able to see that you have a criminal record.
A permanent criminal record can follow you when applying for jobs, college or housing for years to come.
Loss of Employment or a Professional License
Depending on what type of job you have and if you hold a professional license, like a nurse or doctor, you could lose your job completely. This is also true if you hold a commercial driver’s license.
In addition, if your Human Resources department conducts a background check, they will see your criminal history and this could impact your employment and future promotions in the company.
An Increase in Auto Insurance Rates
Another lasting consequence is your automobile insurance rates will increase.
Your auto coverage for insurance is estimated to rise by $500 a year for at least the next three years, and possibly longer. It may be difficult for you to obtain auto insurance and they could choose to not insure you.
Limits to Education / College Admissions
A college has the right to refuse any students that have any marks on their record and could reject your application for admission.
If your school or college has a code of conduct, they may see your DUI on your criminal record and take away any type of scholarships you may have earned.
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Standard Penalties of a DUI Conviction in Pennsylvania
The penalties you face are dependent on the BAC level (blood alcohol content) in your system. They are broken down into three tiers, as these will determine the amount of jail time, fines and length of license suspension.
Whether you had any previous DUI convictions, will also determine the penalties you face.
For example, if you are convicted of a first time DUI offense at the highest tier of blood alcohol content (BAC) level, you face the following penalties:
- Misdemeanor on your permanent record;
- Maximum of three days and up to six months in jail;
- Maximum $5,000 fine; and,
- One year license suspension. In addition, you will be required to attend alcohol highway safety school and face mandatory drug and alcohol assessment and treatment.
If you were charged with DUI of a controlled substance, such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or other illegal pills or DUI prescription drugs, etc., you face the same penalties as the highest tier of BAC from alcohol.
You may also face an automatic driver’s license suspension from PennDOT if you refuse a breath or blood test at the time of arrest.
In addition, being involved in an auto accident while DUI, can add additional penalties and charges.
Learn more about PA DUI Penalties for different BAC tiers and number of offenses.
An Arrest is Not a Conviction.
Not every DUI arrest ends up as a DUI conviction – it is important to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible to go over your options and fight for your charges to be either reduced or dropped altogether.
How Can Saadzoi Law Help Fight Your DUI Charges?
Being charged with DUI does not mean you have been convicted. You have a right to dispute the charges or try to get them dropped or dismissed completely.
If this is a first DUI charge, you are eligible for the ARD program, which can reduce your penalties and the charges against you.
DUI charges are fought and won in court every day – it is not impossible.
At Saadzoi Law, we will thoroughly review the details of your DUI arrest and the police reports to determine if the stop was lawful. If not, the case could be dismissed. If there are any other circumstances permitting, Attorney Saadzoi will file motions to gain leverage over the prosecution.
Attorney Saadzoi will do everything possible to get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
Battling DUI charges on your own could increase the likelihood that you will face DUI penalties to the fullest potential of the law.
Attorney Saadzoi has spent time on both sides of the law as a prosecutor and a public defender. As your lawyer, she will work aggressively to resolve the charges against you.
Attorney Saadzoi will fight for your charges to be drastically reduced or dropped altogether. Learn more about Hiring a DUI Lawyer in PA.
Fighting and winning DUI charges in Pennsylvania is possible.
Attorney Saadzoi offers free consultations to anyone charged with DUI in Delaware, Chester and Montgomery Counties – Call 610-566-5956 or Contact Saadzoi Law Today
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