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Frequently Asked Questions And Answers About Pennsylvania DUIs

Facing a DUI conviction can be overwhelming and terrifying. It is understandable that you have questions about your case and how it will impact your future.

At Decker Bradburn, Attorneys at Law, in State College, our experienced DUI defense attorneys are here to help you. In the meantime, please see some answers to frequently asked questions below.

Will I go to jail?

While serving jail time is a possibility for DUI offenders, it is not a foregone conclusion after a first-time conviction. If you are a first-time offender, you will likely be able to avoid jail time if your BAC is between 0.08% and 0.10% and there were no aggravating factors in your case. You will, however, face a fine and probation. You may also have to attend a class on traffic safety and undergo alcohol treatment.

If your BAC was above 0.10% or there were aggravating factors in your case, you will likely spend time in jail on top of the aforementioned consequences. Your best chance of avoiding this outcome is by hiring a DUI defense attorney.

Can I refuse a blood or breath test during my arrest?

You can refuse a chemical test during your arrest. However, your refusal comes with consequences. Pennsylvania is an implied consent state, which means that when you decide to drive in the state, you consent to all chemical testing allowed under state law. When you refuse to take the test, you will be charged with a DUI. You will also automatically lose your license for at least one year if you do not request an appeal hearing within 30 days.

Will I lose my license?

In Pennsylvania, all DUI convictions after your first offense result in a license suspension for one year at a minimum. Third-time DUI offenders can lose their license for up to five years. Once you complete your one-year suspension, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

However, there may be ways you can get around this penalty if you are a first-time offender, particularly if you need to drive to and from work, school or medical appointments. You may qualify for an Occupational Limited License, which allows you to drive in limited situations but restricts your ability to do so otherwise. You may also qualify for a probationary program, which could permit you to drive so long as you comply with its terms. And while there are no guarantees your charges will be dismissed, you can fight them with the help of an attorney.

How long will a DUI stay on my record?

A DUI conviction will likely remain on your record forever and could cause problems for you long after you receive it. Some things a conviction can impact include:

  • Car insurance: A DUI conviction will cause your car insurance rates to rise.
  • Employment: A DUI conviction could cause you to lose your job, especially if you drive for work, and may be treated as a red flag by potential employers.
  • Housing: A DUI conviction could cause you to fail a background check if you are looking to rent an apartment or house.
  • Schooling: If you are a student, a DUI conviction could negatively affect your academic standing and any scholarships you receive. If you are applying to college or graduate school, a DUI conviction could count as a mark against you during the admission process.

Under limited circumstances, you may be able to expunge your DUI from your record. While expungement may not prevent you from experiencing some personal and professional consequences, it can, once it’s completed, prevent future fallout.

The negative effects of a DUI conviction means you will want to fight your charges, regardless of your chances of prevailing. Do not attempt to attempt this alone: a Pennsylvania DUI lawyer will help you build a defense designed to protect you.

Can I get expelled from my university for a DUI?

Your college or university can penalize you for DUI convictions. Each school has different rules and guidelines, but you may face probation, suspension, removal from athletic teams and, in severe cases, expulsion. Working with an experienced defense attorney can help prevent these severe punishments from derailing your future.

Contact An Experienced DUI Defense Attorney Today

Don’t take a chance with a DUI conviction. From losing your license to facing jail time and fines, the consequences can be severe and life-altering. Contact our State College office today to schedule a free consultation by calling 814-470-8023 or completing our online contact form.