Pittsburgh DUI Defense Attorneys
Call the Law Office of Melvin L. Vatz
A driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI)
convictions results in a criminal record, which potential employers and
landlords may discover. Whether it is your first offense or third, it
is important that you seek skilled representation from the Law Office
of Melvin L. Vatz to help protect your future.
A conviction on a DUI or DWI charge in Pennsylvania has serious penalties,
- Driver's license suspension
- The possibility of mandatory jail time
Defense for Serious Drunk Driving Charges
The DUI defense lawyer at the Law Office of Melvin L. Vatz fight to protect
your constitutional rights. We have the skills and tenacity to help guide
you through the criminal justice system after a drunk driving arrest.
We are with you from the preliminary hearing through all court proceedings
and advocate to protect your legal rights and to preserve your driving
We take the time to investigate the results of chemical tests, including
blood and Breathalyzer tests, and challenge inaccurate and improperly
collected evidence. There can be many legal challenges to your arrest,
including determining whether the police had probable cause to stop or
arrest you, and we may consult with experts about the accuracy of testing methods.
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition
If you are a first-time offender, you may be able to avoid having a criminal
record as a result of a DUI arrest. In many cases, our DUI defense attorney
is able to pursue a dismissal under Pennsylvania's Accelerated Rehabilitative
Disposition (ARD) program, which results in no criminal record and a significantly
shorter driver's license suspension. We always explore alternatives
to jail, such as house arrest, work release, and community service.
Police Officers Are Prepared to Build a Case Against You
It is important for drivers to know what to do and what to expect if they
are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence. Police officers
will be looking to build a case against you and anything that you say
to an officer may be used against you.
The officer may attempt to gauge your level of impairment by administering
field sobriety tests. These tests are used to determine if chemical testing
is necessary. However, tests are often unreliable and are typically used
to prove your intoxication, not your sobriety.
What If I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?
In Pennsylvania, refusing a Breathalyzer (or other blood alcohol test,
such as a blood draw), can result in significant penalties. If you refuse
a test, your license will be suspended for one year if the police had
reasonable cause to stop you, even if you are not convicted of a DUI later
on. You are also not entitled to an attorney before taking a Breathalyzer
or other BAC test. If you are found to be over the legal blood-alcohol
limit, you may be arraigned before a magistrate immediately, or you may
be sent a summons in the mail to appear for a preliminary hearing.
Should I Answer Questions If I Am Stopped by Police for DUI?
Police officers may ask you questions when you are stopped, and they usually
will not immediately advise you of your right to remain silent. Generally,
they will ask you whether you have been drinking and you should be aware
that your answers usually can be used against you. If police did not have
probable cause to stop you, your statements can't be used against
you as evidence.
Contact Us as Soon as Possible After a DUI Stop
Contact an experienced DUI lawyer to protect your rights as soon as possible. At the Law Office of Melvin
L. Vatz, our Pittsburgh criminal law attorney helps identify possible
defenses to your DUI charges and provides cost-effective legal service
to preserve your driving privileges and your record.
Attorney Vatz has over 40 years of experience fighting criminal charges,
and has served as a former prosecutor. He uses the knowledge he’s
gained in his career to plan a strategic defense, and he has handled hundreds
of criminal defense cases. A Pittsburgh native, Melvin L. Vatz is dedicated
to helping residents of the local community protect their constitutional
rights. He has received an AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating of 5.0
of 5 for his legal service to the community and is a proud holder of a
number of admissions, including the Pennsylvania Bar and the U.S. Supreme
Call (412) 453-3341 to schedule your
free initial case review.