After you are charged with a first-time DUI, it’s very natural to wonder about the ramifications you may have to face. Many people instantly grow concerned about whether or not they’re going to have to go to jail. That’s what they want to avoid more than anything else.
It is definitely possible to go to jail for a DUI in Pennsylvania. However, this is relatively uncommon for most first-time offenders. By learning how state law breaks things down, you’ll be better prepared to ask informed questions of your attorney as you work together to craft a strong legal defense.
A first offense
To begin with, jail time is less likely if you have no prior DUI offenses. In a case where your BAC ranges from 0.08% to 0.099%, you would likely only be subjected to an ungraded misdemeanor charge. This could result in a $300 fine and six months of probation, along with treatment and safety school requirements, but jail time would not be required unless an aggravating factor – like transporting a minor while impaired – impacts the ins and outs of your case.
If you do have a prior DUI, you will likely still be charged with a misdemeanor, but you may serve between five days and six months behind bars. You will also risk a 12-month license suspension. The ramifications of a DUI conviction will become more severe if you are charged and convicted of subsequent DUIs.
A high BAC
The other thing to consider is that a convicted offender with a high BAC level may be required to spend time in jail. Even if it is your first offense and you have no priors, if your BAC ranges from 0.10% to 0.159%, then you could spend between 48 hours and six months behind bars. If your BAC is at 0.16% or higher, even with no prior DUIs, you may have to spend between 72 hours and six months in jail. In other words, the question of whether your BAC was over the legal limit or not is not the only consideration that is consequential in an impaired driving case.
If you’ve already been arrested and you’re facing charges, you certainly need to know about all the legal options at your disposal. Seek legal guidance promptly to learn how to navigate the criminal defense process as efficiently and effectively as possible.