Our criminal defense law firm represents individuals charged with drunk driving in counties throughout Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, & Montgomery and New Jersey (Camden, Burlington, Gloucester, Mercer, Cumberland, Ocean, Salem, Atlantic, Cape May). In addition, our law firm has represented individuals beyond the 5 counties within the Metro Philadelphia area, including Carbon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Centre, & Dauphin. In all of these cases, we must evaluate pre-trial issues such as probable cause to stop and arrest a person for suspicion of drunk driving as well as trial issues such as the authenticity or validity of the chemical test (blood or breathalyzer).
What if the evidence against you is just too strong?
There are several options available to our law firm to defend an individual who faces mandatory drunk driving penalties which can include county jail sentences, license suspensions, fines, and court costs.
There are situations, however, where the evidence is overwhelming, and a client is either convicted at trial or we need to advise an individual to accept a negotiated or even open guilty plea. In these situations where a client could face jail, there are options to alleviate a potential jail hardship through various pre-trial and post-trial programs.
At the pre-trial level programs include ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) and even treatment court in some jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions, like Bucks County, allow for restrictive probation where a person can serve a mandatory county jail sentence on electronic monitoring. Most of these pre- and post-trial programs require that a person have a very limited or no criminal history. If the program admits a person with a criminal history, it will likely require that it be a non-violent crime. District attorneys’ offices can waive this requirement in many cases and its important that your criminal defense lawyer explore all options.
A program like restrictive probation require that you, through your lawyer, complete an application 30 or more days prior to sentencing to determine eligibility. If you are approved for restrictive probation you can serve potentially all of your jail time on electronic monitoring. During this time, it is critical that you’re honest with your criminal defense lawyer and disclose all criminal history including prior DUI’s even if the resulted in prior pre-trial program disposition such as ARD. Courts will order a CRN (court reporting network) evaluation and this evaluation will uncover all prior drunk driving offenses regardless of where or when they occurred. It is very important to understand that all pre-trial and post-trial program applications require full disclosure. If an individual or their attorney do not disclose prior convictions it could automatically disqualify them from a program.
If you are charged with drunk driving in Pennsylvania, you could face a mandatory jail sentence even if you do not have a prior criminal history although it is unlikely. In addition to jail, drunk driving is a criminal offense in Pennsylvania, unlike in New Jersey where it is a traffic offense. For more information on drunk driving please visit our website.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in PA & NJ
Please click here to contact our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers. We offer free case reviews and serve the following areas in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Atlantic City, Camden, Cherry Hill, Chester, Conshohocken, Doylestown, Media, Norristown, Philadelphia, Pottstown, Salem, Upper Darby, Upper Merion, Upper Providence, Vineland & Woodbury areas.