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Will I Go to Jail for a Pennsylvania DUI?

17 Apr 2019, by Brandy Benefield in Criminal Defense, DUI

Written by Timothy Czekaj

DUI (driving under the influence) is one of the most serious criminal offenses people can face, and Pennsylvania’s DUI laws have some of the harshest penalties in the country. Prosecutors will aggressively pursue convictions, and the law is very rigid for drunk driving crimes.

If you have been charged with this crime and are wondering “will I go to jail for Pennsylvania DUI,” you should reach out to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The Pennsylvania DUI attorney at Czekaj Law, LLC have the knowledge and experience you need to build a strong defense. To schedule a free and confidential case consultation, contact us today at (717) 275-9770.

What Constitutes DUI in Pennsylvania?

Like most states, you can be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol if you are over the age of 21 and have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. However, you can be charged with DUI with a lower BAC if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • You are under the age of 21, and have a BAC of .02% or higher
  • You’re a commercial driver, and you have a BAC of .04% or higher

You should also keep in mind that you can also be charged with DUI if you were driving while under the influence of drugs or another illegal substance.

First-Time DUI Penalties in Pennsylvania

DUI penalties in Pennsylvania are determined by your level of impairment and other circumstances surrounding your arrest.

For a DUI with a BAC of .08% to .99%, you face the following penalties:

  • Probation for six months
  • A fine of $300
  • Mandatory alcohol highway safety program
  • Potential collateral consequences related to employment, child custody, and more

The penalties are increased if your BAC was between .1% to .159%:

  • Up to six months’ incarceration
  • A one-year driver’s license suspension
  • Fines up to $5,000
  • Mandatory alcohol highway safety program
  • Collateral consequences

If you had a BAC of .16% or higher:

  • Up to six months’ incarceration
  • Driver’s license suspension for one year
  • Fines between $1,000 up to $5,000
  • Mandatory alcohol highway safety program
  • Potential alcohol or drug treatment program

The penalties increase if you have prior DUI convictions, so it’s important to reach out to a skilled PA DUI lawyer to learn about the possible consequences you face after a DUI arrest.

You Can Go to Jail

If you have a BAC of .1% or higher or have prior convictions, you could face anywhere from 48 hours up to seven years of incarceration, so the stakes are largely dependent on your specific circumstances.

New laws that were recently enacted have stiffened penalties for DUI, especially for those with prior convictions. For example, if you were arrested for drunk driving while driving on a suspended license due to a prior DUI, you face a mandatory minimum of 90 days in jail. If you killed someone in a car accident while under the influence, you could face a significant period of incarceration in the Pennsylvania State Prison system.

Contact a PA DUI Lawyer for Help Today

When it comes to DUI charges, a simple error in judgment can lead to very serious consequences. Even a couple of days in jail can have disastrous consequences for most people, not to mention all of the other consequences that can result from a drunk driving conviction. DUI cases are prosecuted aggressively in Pennsylvania, so you need someone on your side who will protect your rights and your future. At Czekaj Law, LLC, we will fight for you to get a fair result.

Call us today at (717) 275-9770, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and discuss how we can help you.