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Multiple DUI Convictions

 

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If you have been convicted more than once in the last 10 years for a DUI, you already know something about how the system works in Philadelphia. And you probably know you will be punished more harshly if you have priors.

With a conviction for a second DUI offense, you run the risk of being dropped by your car insurance company. You may have to have an ignition interlock device on your car – and you will be required to pay for this expensive device yourself.

You can lose your license for months, making it hard for you to get to work, run errands or see your friends. You may be looking at months or even years of jail time. You will need to hire an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as you can.

Your BAC Level

When you are stopped by the police, you will be asked to take a Breathalyzer or some other kind of test such as a blood test, to find out what level of alcohol you have in your blood.

If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or more, the equivalent of two drinks for most people, you will be charged with DUI. However if the police believe you are impaired because of alcohol and/or drugs, you can still be arrested even if your blood level tests lower.

In Philadelphia, you have to be tested within two hours of your arrest. If you refuse to be tested, your driver’s license may be immediately suspended for a year or more.

Philadelphia’s Three-Tier System

Philadelphia uses a three-tier system based on the level of alcohol in your blood to determine your level of punishment for a DUI.

First tier (BAC of .08 to .099) is general impairment and it is the lowest level. If you have one or more priors, you can be punished with:

First tier, second offense—

  • Five days to six months in jail
  • $300 to $2,500 in fines
  • One year license suspension
  • You will have an ignition interlock device on your car for one year. You will be unable to start your car without passing a BAC test.

First tier, third offense—

  • 10 days to two years in prison
  • $500 to $5,000 in fines
  • One year license suspension
  • The court may order you to take a treatment program
  • An ignition interlock device on your car for one year

Second tier (BAC of .10 to .159) is high impairment and it is the middle tier. It is punished with:

Second tier, second offense—

  • 30 days to six months in prison
  • $750 to $5,000 in fines
  • One year 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

Second tier, third offense—

  • 90 days to five years in prison
  • $1,500 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

Third tier (BAC of .16 or more) is the highest impairment. It is punished with:

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

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.

Questions? Contact us today.

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