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Pennsylvania Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

When Experience Matters, Banks Law Group Is Routinely The Trusted Choice For DUI Lawyer

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges can be very serious, scary, and costly. You could be facing significant fines and/or jail time. Depending on your BAC level and number of offenses, a DUI offender could be facing; mandatory 6 months probation to 5 years in jail, a fine from $300 to $10,000, a license suspension up to 18 months, increased car insurance rates, and limited future job prospects due to a permanent criminal record.

However, there are options. Depending on the facts of your situation, you may be eligible for a pretrial diversionary program (ARD or ASP), a probationary license, an occupational limited license, the dropping of charges, or an acquittal. There are many variations of options and outcomes when dealing with a DUI. All depend on the facts of your case. At Banks Law, we fully understand the legal problems facing our clients and the options available for a positive outcome.

Attorney Banks and his Team of DUI Lawyer have represented United States Military Personnel, including Special Operators; Professional Athletes; Collegiate Athletes; College Professors; Teachers; Medical Professionals; Professionals from various industries; Large and Small Businesses; and many others. Several of Attorney Banks and his Team’s cases have garnered extensive media attention, including regional/national outlets such as Fox News, ABC News, Huffington Post, NY Times, and many others. Attorney Banks has also collaborated with a New York Times best-selling author, Kate Moretti, for his legal expertise to confirm, advise, and direct legal accuracy in a fictional crime novel.

Clients repeatedly choose Banks Law Group team of DUI Lawyer based on their no-nonsense approach coupled with their dedication to the client’s cause and overall results achieved. Do not hesitate and wait, take control of your legal situation. Allow Banks Law to assist you every step of the way. Contact Banks Law Group directly at 844-815-9632 to evaluate your options with an experienced DUI Lawyer.

Banks Law Group: How our DUI Lawyer approaches each case

The first step in preparing a defense in your DUI case will be to access the file from the court. Once our firm is retained we will enter our appearance on your behalf with the court and access a copy of the Criminal Complaint and Affidavit of Probable Cause. This is the document filed by the police alleging specific facts against you.

Once we receive this, we perform a comprehensive review of the document with a specific focus on the elements of the DUI charges. We will outline the specific options available and the issues with the Columbia County DUI and go over those with you in detail. After all, it is your DUI Lawyers job to educate you on the law, facts, and options. It is your obligation to make the decision on how the case proceeds. We educate our clients on all of their options so they can make the right choice for their case.

During this detailed case strategy review we will be specifically addressing the Preliminary Hearing, Sufficiency of the Evidence, Columbia County DUI common practices/procedures, Field Sobriety Tests (FST), Drug Recognition Experts (DRE), Suppression, Pretrial Diversionary Programs (ARD), and Trial. Once this strategic DUI review is completed, by your DUI Lawyer, you will make a decision on which direction you would like to proceed in and we will execute.

Each DUI case presents a unique set of facts that will require detailed assessment, in depth evaluation and an experienced touch to resolve the matter favorably. Contact Banks Law Group today at 844-815-9632 to evaluate your options with an experienced DUI Lawyer.

Driving Under the Influence

Being accused of a DUI-related crime can be a terrifying prospect.  These charges can result in a wide range of consequences and penalties including mandatory jail sentences, lengthy period of probation or parole, fines, license suspensions, ignition interlock devices installed in your vehicle, and the possibility of a permanent criminal record.  If you are not a citizen, certain drug offenses can render you deportable.

Other consequences can occur after a conviction or plea – and you might not even be aware of the potential until it is too late.  This can include the permanent loss of a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).  The loss or suspension of professional licenses or even termination from your current employment.  Because of the wide range affects a DUI conviction can have on your life, it is important that you understand how and when it is best to fight your case.

Mounting a DUI Defense

Nearly as important as knowing what arguments to make is knowing when to present those arguments.  Each argument has a time and a place in which it is to be presented.  Bringing the wrong argument at the wrong time may undercut the credibility of your valid arguments as it gives the court the impression that you do not fully understand the law and the process.  Because of this, it is critical that all issues are raised in the proper motions, at the proper time, and before the proper court.

The Preliminary Hearing: DUI

Was a crime committed at all?  The preliminary hearing is the time for the Commonwealth to prove that a crime was committed and that it was more likely than not the accused who committed it.  This is the first chance you have to test the evidence and try to get the evidence thrown out.  However, not every defense is appropriate to raise at this hearing.

At this hearing, the magistrate judge is required to believe the witnesses for the prosecution because a witness’s credibility is to be determined at trial.  Because of this, you may do more harm than good by bringing all of your arguments at the preliminary hearing.  You could prematurely alert the prosecutor to weaknesses in the case and give them the chance to do further investigations they would not have thought of.  Or, you could point out errors in the police investigation that can be corrected before a suppression hearing or trial.

Because the burden of proof at this stage is so low, it is important to know what arguments should be made here and which should be saved for suppression or trial.

Negotiating Outcomes In A DUI Case

The vast majority of criminal cases, in Pennsylvania and nationwide, end in a negotiated outcome and not at a trial.  In Pennsylvania, DUI charges are categorized into three tiers.  Each of these tiers has increasing mandatory penalties based upon a number of factors including: the level of alcohol in your blood at the time, was an accident involved, did you refuse a legal request for blood or breath evidence, were controlled substances found in your blood?  These penalties also increase if you have previously been convicted of DUI.

This tier system creates the potential for you to negotiate lower penalties than the law would otherwise require you to serve.  This can include less jail time or that the jail time be served on house arrest.  Through proper negotiations you can greatly decrease the amount in fines to be paid or lessen the imposed license suspension.  To effectively negotiate an outcome, you have to know what to ask for and what issues to raise in asking for it.

DUI Diversionary and Treatment Programs Available 

Many counties in Pennsylvania offer a range of programs to lessen the impact of your charges against you or help you obtain addiction treatment if needed.  Some of these programs include:

  • Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD)
  • Drug Treatment Court
  • Veteran’s Court
  • Mental Health Treatment Court

These programs are built to more effectively rehabilitate those in need of help and, more enticingly, help you mitigate the penalties associated with the crimes charged.  You can utilize these programs to better educate yourself on the warning signs of addiction and how to help yourself avoid those dangers.  But you can also use these programs to avoid mandatory jail time or entirely avoid a criminal conviction on your record.

The availability and requirements for these programs will change greatly depending on the particular county in which you were arrested.  Different programs are available in different counties.  Each have different requirements for entry and completion.  It is important to know which is right for your individual goals and how to properly apply for the best option.

Suppression of Evidence: DUI Case

Why did the police make contact you in the first place?  Was your vehicle stopped for a traffic violation?  Was there an accident?  Did you drive through a vehicle checkpoint?  The laws that govern the police conduct in pulling over drivers and making initial contact with citizens is constantly evolving.  New arguments and opinions from the Appellate Courts are decided every day.

If you, or your attorney, are not familiar with the developing trends in the law, you can miss the opportunity to suppress some or all of the evidence the police have gathered against you.

Did the police obtain chemical testing of your blood or breath?  Did they obtain a warrant for this evidence or did you consent to it?  Was the warrant valid?  Were you unlawfully forced into giving your consent?  Following recent decisions from the Supreme Court of the United States, many of these questions do not have firm answers yet and are ripe for new arguments.

Properly identifying these issues and presenting them in the correct manner can be the difference between an assured conviction and eliminating key pieces of evidence against you.

DUI Trial

The criminal trial is the main event and the last line of defense.  This is the time to test the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses.  Are they mis-remembering the encounter?  Are they embellishing the facts?  Are the outright lying?  Were the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests conducted in a manner that were not actually standardized?  Did the officer look for the right clues of impairment as opposed to indicators of injuries or other health problems?  Was your blood or breath tested properly and were the machines properly calibrated?

Strong and effective cross-examination can severely undermine the Commonwealth’s case.  A thorough and persuasive closing argument can often be the difference between a conviction and a verdict of not guilty.  There are many cases where an effective and experienced criminal attorney is the difference between conviction and vindication.

DUI Appellate Process

Judges and juries are people.  Sometimes people make errors and those errors need to be corrected.  This is why Pennsylvania has an appellate court system and our state Constitution gives you the right to appeal if you are convicted of a crime.  Inexperience with the appellate process can often result in this right being lost or improperly handled.

Sometimes the judge applied the law correctly – but that law needs to be changed or overturned.  History is filled with instances where our Supreme Court has changed the rules of criminal law after decades of it being applied to criminal defendants.  If you or your attorney are not up to date on the recent trends in the law, you can miss out on the chance to take advantage of these changes.

Allow Banks Law to assist you every step of the way. Contact Banks Law Group directly at 844-815-9632 to evaluate your options with an experienced DUI Lawyer.

Hiring an Experienced DUI Lawyer Matters

At Banks Law Group, our team of experienced DUI Lawyers will help you navigate the complex legal system and get the results you are looking for. In Pennsylvania, nearly all sections of the DUI statute have mandatory minimum incarceration (JAIL) as a sentence. Same is true for Drivers License suspensions. The penalties associated with a DUI need to be taken seriously by an experienced DUI Lawyer.

Do not hesitate and wait, take control of your legal situation. Allow Banks Law to assist you every step of the way. Contact Banks Law Group today at 844-815-9632 to evaluate your options with an experienced DUI Lawyer.

Why are good people choosing Banks Law to represent them in their DUI cases?

At Banks Law, we fully understand that each case presents a unique set of facts, problems, and options for resolution. From the outset, Banks Law commits itself to providing each client with a thorough understanding of the case before them by answering every question and exploring all available options. We achieve this goal by personally dedicating ourselves to an in depth, hands-on approach that has a proven track record of positive results.

Additionally, clients routinely positively comment and thank us for our straight forward billing structure. With Banks Law Group, you will only ever be charged for the work we know for a fact you need and have asked for. We are a “flat fee” firm and have a well-defined structure. Each step of the way, our attorneys will thoroughly explain to you the options, prices, and projected path your case may take.

Here is what some of our recent clients have said about us:

“I am so glad that I found a lawyer who genuinely cares about his clients and gives the best useful advice. His sincere approach made me comfortable and confident that he would help me get the best possible results. Thank you Matt.” T.M.

“Matthew Banks represented me for a serious DUI charge and I was completely pleased with the results… All charges against me were dropped. I would recommend him to anyone seeking a DUI attorney.” R.L.

“When I initially called Matt he broke down the process and made sure that I knew all of the possible outcomes and tried to work the best deal for me.” J.R.

“When I first called Matt he felt concerned not only about my case, but I could tell he cared about me and my well being. He was honest and up front with my case. Not only was I pleased with the outcome, Matt also took one-step further to call with concerns of my well being. Generally, attorneys do not call you back.” D.P.

“I hired Matthew Banks to represent me in my DUI case, he did an exceptional job. Mr. Banks went over all available options for sentencing and explained everything clearly to me. He got me a great deal and remained helpful and interactive with me the entire trial. I would recommend Matthew Banks to my friends, family, and co-workers. Thanks Matt!” D.S.

“Very attentive and cares: During your primary phone call with Attorney Banks, expect to immediately feel comfortable with his advice. He is attentive and cares about your needs. He gives strong and note worthy advice that makes an impact. He is great with follow up and his fees are fair. Words cannot express how thankful I am to him. One of the best, truly.” Katie

“Best of the best: Dear Attorney Banks, My son, Joshua, had asked me to write you on his behalf. He just wanted to say thank you for everything your law firm did for him for all his cases. He especially wanted me to let you know that he felt Attorney Harakal went above and beyond for him at times. Attorney Harakal was on top of every case Josh had. He made many phone calls, court dates got changed ( a lot) and Josh was going from one jail to another. He worked with the advocate from the VA for Josh. Attorney Harakal always made time for me when I called on behalf of Josh ( and I called a lot!) He went to see Josh in jail, to make sure Josh understood what was going on. Both Josh and I have recommended your law firm to anyone who asks us if we know a good lawyer. Thanks to Attorney Harakal, Josh will be going back down to the VA on May 15, 2017, and getting into the PTSD program that he desperately needs. Thank you.” Margaret

“Awesome guy and lawyer! Mr. Banks took the time to make sure I understood and agreed to everything happening in my case. He made me feel comfortable in a very uncomfortable situation. He’s a great lawyer and a great guy. Its clear he enjoys what he does and puts all his effort and skill into every case, even a trivial one. I would highly recommend him to anybody needing a lawyer in the future.” Emily

“Matthew Banks will always have deepest gratitude. I never thought that I would find myself in trouble with the law. Being accused of a crime that I knew I was not guilty of, is still at the end of the day, a crime I was charged with. I was, and am very naïve about the law today. If you think that you understand the law because you watch crime shows on T.V. believe me you are mistaken. If you are in trouble, there is no one that could represent you better then Matthew Banks. Matthew is a very down to earth man who listened to me and represented me with the professionalism and skill that got positive results, and in the end, got my charge dismissed. If I would ever need an attorney in the future, there is no doubt, I would call Matthew Banks to represent me. He has my heartfelt thanks and my highest recommendation.” MDM II

At Banks Law, you will always come first. Do not hesitate and wait, take control of your legal situation today. Contact Banks Law Group today at 844-815-9632 to evaluate your options with an experienced DUI Lawyer.