A DUI arrest in Adams County can bring up a whole bunch of questions. Questions like, what kind of punishment am I facing? Will this affect me in the future? Is my life going to be ruined?
It’s true; a conviction for DUI in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania can have some pretty frightening consequences. And those consequences will last longer than even a few years. They can stick around and have an effect on you for decades, and even the rest of your life.
If this is your first DUI offense, even if it’s minor, you’ll be put on probation and you’ll be fined. A second offense or a third offense will mean higher penalties, as will a higher B.A.C (Blood Alcohol Concentration) in your bloodstream or a more serious offense. If you’re convicted there, penalties include a suspended license, fines reaching into the thousands of dollars and jail time. And whether the offense is major or minor, it will go on your permanent record.
That means that anyone in Adams County – a potential employer or landlord or even a nosy neighbor, can look up your records and see that you have been convicted of DUI. In fact, anyone in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will have access to this information, and will for the rest of your life.
The specific penalties you face in your DUI case will depend on which category it falls into. Categories are based on B.A.C., which is the number the police got when they gave you a breath or blood test when you were pulled over. If you didn’t take the test, you automatically face charges under what is called the Highest Impairment category.
Category 1 : General Impairment
- B.A.C. of .08-.099%
- No accident, injury or property damage
- Driver is at least age 21
Category 2 : High Impairment
B.A.C. of .10-0.159%
- General B.A.C. with an accident or injury
- General B.A.C. with a driver under 21
- School Bus Driver with a B.A.C. of 0.02-0.159%
- Commercial Vehicle Driver with a B.A.C. of .04-0.159%
Category 3 : Highest Impairment
- B.A.C. of .16% or higher
- Chemical test refusal
- Driver has taken a controlled substance, prescription drugs or marijuana
The penalty you faced will also be higher if you’ve been convicted of DUI before.
For your First Offense:
- If you’re in the General Impairment category, conviction will bring you up to six months probation and a fine of $300.
- If you’re in the High Impairment category, a conviction will mean two days to six months in prison, a year’s suspended license and fines of $500 to $5,000.
- If you’re in the Highest Impairment category, you’ll spend between three days and six months in prison, lose your license for a year and pay fines ranging from $1,000-$5,000.
For your Second Offense:
- If you’re in the General Impairment category, conviction means you’ll go to prison for five days to six months, lose your license for a year and pay a fine of anywhere from $300 to $2,500.
- If you’re in the High Impairment category, a conviction means a prison sentence of between one and six months, a year without your driver’s license and a fine between of $750 and $5,000.
- If you’re in the Highest Impairment category, you’ll have a first degree misdemeanor conviction on your record; spend 90 days to five years in jail, lost your license for 18 months and pay fines of $1,500 to $10,000.
For your Third Offense:
- If you’re in the General Impairment category, you’ll end up with a second degree misdemeanor conviction, along with 10 days to two full years in prison, a suspended license for a year and a fine between $500 and $5,000.
- If you’re in the High Impairment category, you’ll have a first degree misdemeanor conviction on your record, spend between one and five years in jail, lost your license for 18 months and pay fines of $1,500 to $10,000.
- If you’re in the Highest Impairment category, you’ll have a first degree misdemeanor conviction, spend between one and five years in prison, lose your license for 18 months and pay fines ranging from $2,500 to $10,000.
With numbers like that, it’s obvious that a DUI conviction in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania means consequences that are extremely serious, and can continue to affect your life for decades to come. So is there anything you can do about it now to protect your life and your future? Believe it or not, the answer is yes – IF you hire a lawyer. Having an experienced, aggressive professional who understands DUI cases on your side can give you the chance you deserve. In some instances, you might even be able to win your case.
The McShane Firm’s team of attorneys has all completed extensive training in DUI law, and Attorney Justin McShane serves as a state delegate for the National College of DUI Defense. Contact our offices today to schedule a free consultation and find out what we can do for you.