Frequently Asked Questions About DUI

I was pulled over for a DUI. Blood was drawn at hospital. Will the police be coming to arrest me?

In Pennsylvania, following an arrest for DUI, police generally proceed with the filing of a criminal complaint at the magisterial district court. The court will be sending a copy of the criminal complaint to you, along with a date for a preliminary hearing. It is unlikely that the police will come to your house to serve you with a criminal complaint, unless you fail to respond.

I refused a blood test. What will happen to me?

Under the Implied Consent Law, an operator is deemed to have given consent to a chemical test for blood alcohol content in blood, breath or urine. If a police officer has reasonable cause to believe that you were operating a motor vehicle while impaired, he or she has the right to request a chemical test. There are certain requirements imposed upon the police officer. Your failure to submit to a blood test will likely result in notification from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation that your operating privileges in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be suspended for a period of one year.

A refusal to submit to blood, breath or urine testing can have serious consequences. A person placed under arrest for suspicion of Driving Under the Influence will be requested to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test. The officer making the request should warn you of the consequences of a refusal, contained in a PennDOT form called a DL-26. These consequences include a license suspension for refusing to submit to testing and, if you are charged with DUI, your DUI will be considered a Tier III offense - meaning that you will be facing the stiffest mandatory penalties allowed under law. These penalties include mandatory jail time and another license suspension (i.e. your license will be suspended for the refusal and for the DUI).

Rarely is it a good idea for a person to refuse to submit to a blood, breath or urine rest.

I was arrested for DUI. Will I go to jail if I am convicted?

In Pennsylvania, there is an alternative to a criminal prosecution. It is known as the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. If accepted into this program, and following its successful completion, there will be no criminal conviction and you would be eligible to have your criminal record expunged.

However, if you are not eligible for ARD, the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code requires that a judge impose certain mandatory sentences upon conviction for a DUI. This would include incarceration. However, there are alternatives to jail and we welcome the opportunity to discuss that with you.

What is ARD? Am I eligible for ARD?

ARD stands for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition. Each county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a different program. Suitability for admission into the program differs. The District Attorney's office must move your admission into the program. Call us to discuss the eligibility requirements. The ARD program affords you an opportunity to avoid a criminal conviction, mandatory one year license suspensions, and jail.

DUI - ARD - Bucks

A person charged with a first offense DUI may be eligible for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (or ARD) even if a person refuses chemical testing. The Bucks County District Attorney's office has established criteria to determine whether a person is eligible for ARD or not. ARD is a terrific outcome for a DUI case because it avoids possible mandatory incarceration, a criminal conviction, and it avoids lengthy license suspensions.

Experienced attorneys can help you to determine if you are eligible for ARD. A good lawyer can also work with the District Attorney to resolve any disputes that arise over your ARD eligibility. Qualified legal assistance is especially invaluable in these cases, as ARD means the difference between jail time and no jail time, between a long license suspension and a short one, and between a criminal conviction and a clean record.

If the officer did not read my Miranda warnings, does that mean they can't convict me?

No. Miranda warnings are sometimes not given and the police did not act inappropriately. Miranda Warnings are the explanation of your rights as required by Miranda v. Arizona. There is no set language but it includes the right to remain silent, statements can be used against you and the right to an attorney, and if you cannot afford one, one will be provided for you. These warnings however only apply after you are arrested. Therefore, an officer may ask you, and has been trained to ask you questions like "How much have you had to drink?" before they place you under arrest.

Any responses you give to these questions before arrest may be introduced against you without Miranda warnings being read. If the officers believe they have all the information they needed, they may not read them at all. If you are arrested and then were asked incriminating questions (not name, date of birth, etc) without first being read your Miranda warnings, then the answers you gave to those questions may be dismissed by the court, but any answers given prior to the arrest may still be used against you.

Can police question me without an attorney?

Yes and No. You do not have the right to call an attorney from the police station but you do not have to answer any questions without the presence of an attorney.

The court system can be extremely overwhelming and intimidating, especially if this is your first time attending court. And if this is your second or multiple offense for DUI, there are more reasons that you need our legal counsel. You will want to consult with an attorney before attending any hearing to find out what is going to happen and what process you will follow. Our firm will make the process less intimidating and allow you to feel confident in achieving the best possible outcome for you.

Contact our office

At Goldman Law Offices we have more than 60 years of experience assisting people throughout Bucks County, Montgomery County, and the surrounding area. For a private consultation with an experienced Doylestown criminal defense attorney, contact our office online or call us at 215-348-2605.