How Can You Get a DUI Charge Dropped in Pennsylvania?

If you’re arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, you face the possibility of imprisonment, as well as fines and license suspension. This is a scary situation to be in, but it may be possible to get your DUI charges dropped. It depends on several factors, including whether this is your first offense and whether the arresting officer made any mistakes in pulling you over or administering a field sobriety test.


Penalties for DUI in Pennsylvania

A DUI charge is a serious matter. Under Pennsylvania law, you can be charged with a DUI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. The penalties for a first DUI with a BAC below 0.10 percent include a $300 fine, up to six months of probation, mandatory alcohol highway safety school attendance, and the possibility of court-ordered treatment.

If this was your second DUI, you face additional penalties of a 12-month suspension of your driver’s license, a fine of anywhere from $300 to $2,500, five days to six months in jail, and a year with an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. Penalties for third DUIs are even more severe, as are penalties for DUI with a BAC of 0.10 percent or higher. Repeat DUI offenders with BACs of 0.16 percent or higher face up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, among other penalties.

Given the severity of these penalties, it’s easy to see why you might wonder about the possibility of getting a DUI charge dropped.


Getting a DUI Charge Dropped in Pennsylvania

Getting a DUI charge dropped can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. One key factor is whether law enforcement violated your rights or made procedural errors before, during, or after your arrest. Here are some of the scenarios in which an experienced Pennsylvania DUI lawyer may be able to get your charges dropped:

  • The arresting officer did not have probable cause to pull you over.
  • The officer improperly administered the field sobriety test by failing to give you proper instructions or administering the test in improper conditions.
  • Your failure of the field sobriety test stemmed from a physical limitation or the side effects of a prescribed medication.
  • The breathalyzer test was improperly administered, the results were skewed by a physical condition or medication, or the evidence was improperly stored or transferred following administration of the test.


Pre-Trial Diversion

Another way to get a first DUI charge dropped is by completing a pre-trial diversion program, officially known as an accelerated rehabilitative disposition program (ARD). If you qualify, you can get your DUI charge dropped by completing the requirements of the program, which may include:

  • Refraining from alcohol and drug use
  • Completing a substance abuse treatment program
  • Meeting regularly with a probation officer
  • Seeking counseling from a therapist
  • Attending all mandated court dates

A criminal defense lawyer can help determine whether your situation makes you a strong candidate for ARD approval and will advocate for this option on your behalf.


Contact a Pennsylvania DUI Attorney Today

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, contact the team at Chieppor & Egner, LLC. Partners Jonathan Chieppor and Alexander Egner are both former prosecutors, so they understand how prosecutors think and what their approach will be. Our attorneys are dedicated to defending the rights of people facing criminal charges such as DUI. Contact us today to get started with a free consultation.

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