If you are caught using drugs and driving, your penalties may be as strict as if you tested for having twice the legal limit of alcohol in your blood – Pennsylvania’s highest DUI punishment level. You can lose your license and face jail and fines. You need a DUI defense attorney who thoroughly understands the law, and can represent you skillfully and aggressively.

Related Reading: 4 Police Mistakes That Can Get Your DUI Dismissed

Drunk Driving Versus Drugged Driving

In Pennsylvania you will be charged with DUI if controlled substances or metabolites are found in your blood or if you have any combination of alcohol and drugs in your blood that impaired your driving.

  • Pennsylvania’s drugged driving cases are treated very much like drunk driving.
  • As with driving under the influence of alcohol, if the police stop you for suspected driving under the influence of drugs they will be looking for behavior that shows you were driving impaired. On the road, they will look for weaving, driving under the speed limit and following too closely. After they stop your vehicle, they will look for factors such as slurred speech and glassy eyes.
  • The police will probably give you a field sobriety test, and a blood or urine test.
  • The police may bring in specially-trained Drug Recognition Evaluators who use a multi-step program to test whether or not a driver was impaired by drugs. If a DRE is called in, they will look for signs of drug use like injection marks. They will take a close look at the pupils of your eyes, blood pressure and pulse rate, and they will ask you questions about possible drug use. They may also conduct their own field sobriety test.
  • You can be charged with DUI if the drugs that impaired you were prescription drugs, prescribed by your doctor, if you were not driving safely.

Philadelphia’s Highest DUI Offense Level

If you are charged in Philadelphia with driving under the influence of drugs, you may be charged at the highest level of the three-tier system and subject to the harshest punishment:

Third tier, first offense—

  • Three days to six months in prison
  • $1,000 to $5,000 in fines
  • One year license suspension
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • The court may order you to take a treatment program

Third tier, second offense—

  • 90 days to five years in prison
  • $1,500 to $10,000 in fines
  • 18 month license suspension
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • The court may order you to take a treatment program
  • An ignition interlock device on your car for one year

Third tier, third offense—

  • One to five years in prison
  • $2,500 to $10,000 in fines
  • 18 month license suspension
  • The court may order you to take a treatment program
  • An ignition interlock device on your car for one year

More Negative Impacts Of A DUI

  • DUI convictions will give you a criminal record that can impact your ability to get a good job.
  • With any DUI conviction, your car insurance rates are likely to go up.
  • If someone was injured or killed while you were driving drunk, you may draw an enhanced sentence with harsher penalties. You can also be sued in a civil court for damages.

What To Do If The Police Pull You Over

  • Do not try to talk your way out of the arrest
  • Do not tell them you have been drinking.
  • If the police question you repeatedly, politely refuse to answer their questions and tell then you want a lawyer.

Your Defense

Depending on the circumstances of your case, among the many defenses your attorney may try to prove:

  • You were not impaired
  • The stop was not legal
  • The DUI checkpoint did not meet standards
  • They had no legitimate reason to stop you
  • The test was administered incorrectly
  • The test equipment was not calibrated properly
  • You were not the driver
  • The police report had inaccuracies

Defending against driving under the influence of drugs takes special knowledge and understanding of drug tests. Your DUI defense lawyer needs to be experienced enough to understand the many issues that can impact your case.

How A Lawyer Will Help

When you are up against DUI charges, you need an attorney who will stand by you every step of the way, work hard to discredit any evidence – and work with you to determine your best course of action.

Pennsylvania DUI Law

DUI is described and defined under The Pennsylvania Code under Title 75, Chapter 38. Read the code here.

Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Certified

Attorney Michael H. Fienman represents clients in criminal and traffic matters throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Mr. Fienman has completed the same DWI detection training as most law enforcement officers and he holds a certificate in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) As an experienced trial attorney, he is a zealous advocate known for relentlessly defending clients in state court, federal court, and before administrative agencies.

Attorney Fienman is licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court of New Jersey, the US District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Questions? Contact us today.

Based on the evidence, Fienman Defense will try to get your DUI charges dismissed or lowered. Should the case go to trial, we will fight to present the strongest defense possible for your situation.