If you are well-known in your community or a successful professional, getting arrested for drunk driving may have been the most mortifying moment of your life so far. You may have worried the entire time that someone you knew drove past and saw you there, performing a field sobriety test.
Now that you face criminal charges, your fear may be even more intense. You likely worry that family members, your clients or your employer may find out about your legal situation. You worry about losing your job or never achieving your goals because of social stigma.
Driving under the influence (DUI) charges often involve technical violations rather than harm to others. You likely have no idea how to proceed. What is the best course of action? A great deal of thought and discussions must occur to allow you to make the best decision on how to proceed.
The criminal penalties can alter your life
Pennsylvania imposes numerous specific consequences for DUI charges. The exact penalties often include mandatory minimum jail sentences. There are also license suspensions prescribed by PennDot.
Those penalties alone could cost you thousands of dollars and damage your career. Losing your driver’s license might mean that you can’t continue working in the same profession. Even if you don’t drive for work, your employer might eventually find out about your charges if they do a background check while considering you for a promotion. Any criminal record can slow or end your career advancement.
Licensing and insurance challenges are noteworthy
Even if you only lose your license for a short amount of time, you could end up paying more for your insurance coverage for several years once you regain your driving privileges. For many people, the combined cost of alternate transportation while they do not have a license and the increased premium they must pay for insurance will exceed what they may have saved in court costs by pleading guilty to the charge against them.
What do I do?
A person charged with DUI needs to retain a knowledgeable attorney who will thoroughly explain EVERYTHING. You need a lawyer with experience, one who will be straightforward and who understands your specific situation. You need an attorney standing beside you who is FIERCE, RESPECTFUL AND COMPASSIONATE.