Pittsburgh DUI Lawyers Represent Motorists Accused of Drunk Driving
Allegheny County firm challenges allegations of police and prosecutors
Located in Downtown Pittsburgh, Phil DiLucente & Associates defends clients throughout the area who have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Many people are intimidated or embarrassed by a DUI charge and might try to surrender their rights, but our zealous lawyers can examine the facts and challenge unwarranted claims made by police and prosecutors.
What is DUI?
Our diligent firm offers comprehensive counsel to individuals accused of DUI. From the start, we make sure you’re aware of the applicable legal standards:
- Blood-alcohol limits — You can be considered under the influence if your ability to drive is impaired, regardless of your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). However, per se DUI exists when most drivers have a BAC of .08 percent or higher. Tougher standards exist for commercial vehicle drivers (.04 percent) and motorists under the age of 21 (.02 percent).
- Drugs — Under PA law, you can be charged with DUI if you have drugs in your system while driving, such as marijuana, cocaine or heroin.
- Penalties — Someone convicted of a first DUI offense is subject to at least six months of probation and a $300 fine, along with possible community service. After a second conviction, the offender faces a 12 month license suspension and a jail term running from five days to six months. Following a third offense, the motorist could be incarcerated for up to two years and have to pay as much as $5,000 in fines.
- Aggravating factors — Punishment is more severe if a driver is convicted of “high rate” (.10 to .16 percent) and “highest rate” (.16 percent or above) DUI. A person can also be subject to harsher punishment if someone is injured as a result of their drunk driving.
Defending our clients with zeal against drug crimes and other allegations is important to our firm, and we will advocate on your behalf, we battle against prosecutors who sometimes bring excessive charges and/or try to use illegally obtained evidence against you.
Pennsylvania criminal defense litigators outline key DUI defenses
Our Pennsylvania criminal defense litigators assist arrested motorists and point out potential defenses that might exist. For example, the police might not have had improper reasonable suspicion to pull your car over or might have administered various tests incorrectly. Also, you might not have been operating your vehicle on a public roadway. If we can spot a potentially effective defense, your charge could be reduced or dismissed.
Did the police have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop you?
Without proper legal grounds, police officers cannot use the evidence collected, even if it shows that you were intoxicated. To stop a vehicle, law enforcement personnel must have a reasonable, articulable suspicion that you were operating the car unlawfully. A hunch is not enough. To make an arrest, the officers must have probable cause that a crime has occurred.
Were all field sobriety, blood and breath tests conducted according to state standards?
One mistake sometimes made by law enforcement in a DUI case could lead to a serious injustice. If sloppy police work or an unsupported opinion contributed to your arrest, our attorneys will attempt to expose the problem and avert a wrongful charge of DUI.
Were you actually driving?
You might be surprised to realize that even if your car was not running at the time, you can be arrested for DUI. As long as you have the ability to operate the vehicle, charges might be brought, so you should be careful about sleeping in the front seat if you have been drinking.