Legal Toolkit Pennsylvania D.U.I./Criminal and Traffic Defense

What to Know About D.U.I./Criminal and Traffic Defense

If you or a loved one have committed or have been charged with committing a crime, immediate contact with an experienced criminal defense attorney representation is extremely important. If necessary, a criminal defense attorney can help arrange a situation for you to turn yourself in to police; he or she can anticipate the different ways your legal situation may be interpreted according to the law and what the best options may be; he or she can advocate on your behalf to ensure that your constitutional rights are not violated;  the attorney can arrange for investigation of evidence against you and interview potential witnesses; the attorney can represent you in trial; and should you be convicted, they will try to obtain the lowest sentence possible.


Miranda Warnings 

Under the Miranda Rule, if you are in police custody you must be informed of specific constitutional rights before interrogation begins. Those rights are: (1) the right to remain silent; (2) the right to have an attorney present during questioning; and (3) the right to have an attorney appointed if you are unable to afford one.

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT MIRANDA RIGHTS DO NOT HAVE TO BE READ UNTIL YOU ARE TAKEN INTO POLICE CUSTODY. That means that you can be questioned by the police before being in custody, and anything you say at that point can be used against you later in court.


Insurance Requirements

Pennsylvania drivers are required to carry current insurance on any vehicle that is currently registered . If your coverage lapses (ends) you are required to turn in your registration (license plate) immediately. If PENNDOT does not receive the plate within 30 days after the insurance was cancelled, you will have your registration suspended for three months. Keep in mind that insurance companies are not required to notify PENNDOT when your insurance is cancelled or terminated - they are not required to notify PENNDOT when you pick up new insurance. If PENNDOT sends you a letter of inquiry you must respond. If you don't your registration can be suspended for three months. If PENNDOT determines that you operated your vehicle when it was not covered by insurance, your driver's license will be suspended as well.


DUI in Pennsylvania

The basic levels of impairment in Pennsylvania are as follows: General Impairment (.08 to .099% BAC); High BAC (.10 to .159% BAC); and Highest BAC (.16% and higher).

SPECIAL NOTE FOR UNDERAGE DUI IN PENNSYLVANIA - The legal drinking age in Pennsylvania is 21. Under DUI laws in Pennsylvania, if you are found to have ANY measurable amount of alcohol (.02BAC) in your system you will be charged with an underage DUI, and you will lose your license for at least 90 days.