Your Driver’s License And DUI


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If you are charged with driving over Pennsylvania’s legal limit of a BAC of .08 percent or greater, one of the toughest penalties you risk is losing your driver’s license. For a year or more you may have trouble getting to work, picking up groceries, seeing your friends or taking your kids to school. If you are arrested for DUI, you will need to hire an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as you can.

What You Need To Know About PennDOT

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) maintains a driving record for every licensed Pennsylvania driver.

  • PennDOT’s driver information can be obtained by employers, insurance companies, attorneys who represent you, courts and law enforcement.
  • To encourage safe driving in Pennsylvania, PennDOT uses a point system where you accumulate points for specific driving violations such as running a stop sign. You get points when you are found guilty of these violations.
  • An accumulation of six or more points leads to penalties such as having to be retested for your license or a license suspension.
  • Additionally, your insurance company will be notified by PennDOT about your points and your rates will go up.
  • If you are a Pennsylvania driver and you get a ticket while you are driving in another state, you violations will transfer to Pennsylvania.

Driver’s License Suspension

If you are convicted of a DUI, you can receive the following license suspension penalties based on your blood alcohol content:

  • If your BAC is below .10 percent: No suspension for your first offense if you meet certain criteria; 12 month license suspension for second or subsequent offense.
  • If your BAC is .10 percent to .15 percent: 12 month license suspension for your first and second offense, 18 month suspension for your third or subsequent offense.
  • If your BAC is greater than .16 percent: 12 month license suspension for your first offense, 18 month suspension for your second or subsequent offense.
  • Out-of-state DUI convictions: No suspension for your first offense; 12 month license suspension for your second or subsequent offense.

License Suspension For Test Refusal

Pennsylvania has implied consent laws – meaning that if you are arrested for drunk driving you implicitly agree to take a chemical test to determine your BAC.

You do have the right to refuse to take a blood, breath or urine test, however if you do, the police will alert PennDOT and your driver’s license will be suspended. The suspension is a year the first time you refuse a test and 18 months for subsequent refusals.

You have 30 days to appeal your suspension. You will need to hire a lawyer to represent you at a license suspension hearing, which your attorney will file as a civil appeal in the Court of Common Pleas.

At the hearing, PennDOT has to prove a preponderance of evidence, which means it’s greater than 50% that the evidence is likely to be true, that the police:

  • Had reasonable cause to make the stop
  • Had reasonable cause to believe you were driving under the influence
  • Asked you to take a test of your breath, blood or urine to determine your blood alcohol content
  • Informed you of the consequences of refusing to be tested

PennDOT must also prove that you refused to submit to testing and that your DUI arrest was valid.

If PennDOT can’t meet the standard of preponderance of evidence, then your driver’s license will be restored.

How A Philadelphia DUI 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.