Pittsburgh DUI Attorney
A conviction for a DUI or DWI charge in Pennsylvania has serious penalties, including driver’s license suspension, fines, probation, a criminal record and possibly mandatory jail time.
A DUI conviction results in a criminal record, which potential employers and landlords may discover. Hire an experienced DUI lawyer prepared to protect your rights whether you are facing first-time charges or second or subsequent offenses.
Defending Clients Facing DUI Charges
The Law Office of Melvin L. Vatz will 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. Attorney Melvin Vatz will be with you from the preliminary hearing through all court proceedings. We will advocate to protect your legal rights and to preserve your driving privileges.
Our firm’s DUI lawyer and skilled team will investigate the results of chemical tests, including blood and Breathalyzer tests, and challenge inaccurate and improperly collected evidence. We will examine legal challenges to your arrest, including determining whether the police had probable cause to stop or arrest you. We may consult with experts about the accuracy of testing methods, such as a Breathalyzer or Intoxilyzer machine, or field sobriety tests. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.
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 DUI cases, we can 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. If you are facing mandatory penalties, we will 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 later on.
The officer will attempt to gauge your level of impairment by administering field sobriety tests. These tests are used by officers to determine if chemical testing is necessary. However, these tests are often unreliable and are typically used to prove your intoxication, not your sobriety. We will examine the circumstances under which field sobriety tests were performed, including lighting conditions, whether the street was level and whether there was any medical reason that you might have had difficulty performing a test.
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 do refuse the 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 “Miranda” rights (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. We will investigate whether the police had probable cause to stop you. If they did not, your statements can’t be used against you as evidence.
Contact Us as Soon as Possible After a DUI Stop
At the earliest point possible after a DUI stop or arrest, contact an experienced DUI lawyer to protect your rights. At the Law Office of Melvin L. Vatz, our criminal law firm will identify possible defenses to the DUI charges and will provide cost-effective legal service to preserve your driving privileges and your record. Contact us by e-mail or by calling (412) 391-3030 for a free initial consultation.