One minute you think it’s fine to drive home after a few happy hour drinks. The next, you’re being cuffed on the side of the road for having a BAC reading of .099. Understanding Pennsylvania’s criminal code as it pertains to DUI or DWI offenses can be intimidating and confusing. Take a look at these common DUI questions.
Can my DUI be expunged?
In Pennsylvania, your DUI charge may be expunged from your record if you go through the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. Because the ARD program was created to stop individuals from becoming a repeat offender, the only individuals eligible for expungement are first time offenders.
In addition to the ARD program, your record could also be expunged if it has been five years since the crime occurred and you have not committed another offense.
Will my DUI charge come up on a background check?
If you have a DUI charge against you, it will appear on a criminal background check. In addition, if an employment screening required a driving record check, it likely will appear there, too.
Will it impact my job?
While a DUI can leave a black mark on your record, it doesn’t always impact your employment. However, there are certain careers where a DUI can impact your employment prospects. Those jobs include:
- Jobs involving children like a teacher, daycare staff, bus driver, etc.
- Truck drivers, delivery drivers
- Some government and military positions
I have an underage DUI. What should I do?
While the penalties for an underage DUI depend on a variety of factors, such as how much you drank and if this is your first charge, the baseline penalties for an underage DUI are:
- Driver’s license suspension for 12 months
- $500 to $5,000 fine
- Possible prison sentence or time in a juvenile detention facility depending on circumstances
What’s the difference between a DUI and a DWI?
DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence of drugs or alcohol. DWI stands for Driving While Impaired. While there is no legal difference between the two, states may call driving while under the influence of a narcotic or alcohol a DUI, DWI, or even OWI (operating while intoxicated) offense.
When is it a felony?
While in most cases a DUI is a misdemeanor offense, there are times when it can be categorized as a felony charge.
Under Pennsylvania Act 153, you may be charged with a felony DUI when you have three prior convictions for a DUI at any level within the last 10 years.
I lost my license because of a DUI. When can I drive again?
If you have lost your license as a result of a DUI conviction, you may have your license suspended for one year for first-time offenses or up to 18 months for a second or any subsequent offense.
What can I expect in my DUI charge?
After being arrested for a DUI offense, the court proceedings typically go as follows:
- 1. Preliminary hearing
- 2. Arraignment
- 3. ARD program or trial
If you have been charged with a DUI in Scranton, Kingston, or Carbondale, do not wait to seek legal advice. DUI lawyers Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano know that every case is different. We will work with you to seek the most favorable outcome. Contact us today.