Getting pulled over and charged for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania is serious. If convicted, you could face criminal penalties that include license suspension, monetary penalties, mandatory use of an ignition interlock device and jail time.
As such, you should not take these charges lightly. Keep in mind that these are criminal charges. Like any other criminal charge you have an opportunity to defend yourself.
What happens if I am charged with a DUI? A DUI case generally goes one of two routes: a plea or a court case.
A plea deal involves the person going forward to the judge and basically admitting guilt. In contrast, the second option allows the person facing the charges to defend him or herself.
A court case generally involves a trial. This often starts with a review of the traffic stop itself. At this point, the officer's motivation for making the stop will be examined. Next, the stop itself will be reviewed. This will involve an analysis of whether the officer had enough evidence to ask the driver to perform a field sobriety test or otherwise move forward with drunk driving charges.
If the officer failed to have proper motivation for the stop or lacked necessary evidence to support moving forward with charges, the charges could get thrown out. This is referred to as an acquittal.
How can I reduce the risk of a DUI conviction? Those who are facing charges can help to better ensure their rights are protected by seeking legal counsel. An attorney can review the case and determine if proper protocol was followed during the stop and build a defense accordingly.