Philadelphia Multiple DUI Attorney
Savvy, innovative legal defense for the repeat offender
If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Philadelphia and have a prior DUI conviction, you already know another charge is a serious offense with severe, long-term consequences. At van der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin, we don’t waste time telling you what you already know. Instead, we give you what you desperately need — an aggressive DUI defense handled by a highly-skilled Philadelphia multiple DUI attorney capable of taking on the toughest cases, and the top prosecutors, and winning.
Aggressive representation when your future is at stake
Getting arrested for another DUI within 10 years of a previous conviction exposes you to a much different set of circumstances than you faced before. Pennsylvania DUI laws focus on rehabilitating the first-time offender, with an emphasis on probation supervision. You may even be eligible for pre-trial diversion through an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition.
All of that changes when you have multiple DUI charges. Instead of pre-trial diversion, you could be facing confinement in jail or prison and up to thousands of dollars in fines. Handling the case yourself, or retaining an attorney who handles an occasional DUI charge, is not an option when your future hangs in the balance.
When the stakes are high, you want an attorney whose career has been devoted to standing up for the rights of the accused. Philadelphia’s foremost criminal defense attorney, Michael T. van der Veen, built his well-deserved reputation as a fierce, relentless advocate for clients through decades of success in Pennsylvania criminal courts. If you are facing a multiple DUI charge, trust our Philadelphia DUI lawyers to protect your rights and your future.
Increased penalties and consequences of multiple DUI offenses
The severity of DUI charges and the penalties judges may impose upon you at sentencing are governed by a grading system based on your blood alcohol content level for your most current charge, and the number of prior convictions on your record. Your BAC level will put you into one of three levels for purposes of establishing the charge and the penalties:
- BAC between .08 percent and .099 percent: This is the general impairment level and is an ungraded misdemeanor as a first offense. Underage drivers, drivers of commercial vehicles, school bus drivers and drivers involved in an injury- or property damage-causing accident may be upgraded to the charges and penalties in the next highest level.
- BAC of .10 percent to less than .16 percent: This is referred to as the high BAC level. Although it is still an ungraded misdemeanor for someone without a prior record, the penalties are more severe than for the general impairment level. Individuals with a lower BAC level may be charged under the high level if they refuse to submit to BAC testing when requested to do so by the police.
- BAC of .16 percent or higher: This is the highest level in the three-level system. Included in this level are individuals caught driving while under the influence of controlled substances. Refusing to submit to a chemical or breath test to measure your BAC level will move you into the highest level.
Penalties and charges that can be imposed within each of the three levels dramatically increase with prior convictions. For example, at the lowest level, general impairment, a person with no priors may put on probation and fined $300, but jail is not among sentencing options. A prior DUI conviction could increase the penalties to:
- A minimum 5-day jail confinement
- Fines up to $2,500
- License suspension for one year
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device
Sentences in the higher BAC levels may include fines up to $10,000, confinement in prison for up to five years and loss of your driving privileges for at least 18 months. When the state comes after you with such harsh and severe penalties, your attorney must be up to the challenge of devising an innovative strategy that makes optimal use of all defenses and options available under the law.
Multiple DUI convictions require a vigorous defense from tenacious Philadelphia DUI attorneys
Michael T. van der Veen and his carefully-chosen team of Philadelphia DUI attorneys commit themselves to waging a relentless battle defending you against charges that could cost you your freedom. If you have been charged with a DUI and have prior convictions, contact the foremost criminal defense team in Philadelphia at van der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin online or by calling 215-515-6892 to schedule a free initial consultation.