A DUI under Delaware County law requires a few factors to be in place. It requires a minimum amount of blood alcohol content (BAC) over the limit, which is different for adults and minors. For adults, the limit is commonly 0.08 BAC. An individual could also get a DUI for being under the influence of drugs.
A DUI charge requires intoxication to be proven. Also, for a DUI conviction, it must be proven that the defendant was in physical possession or operation of a vehicle while they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you are facing charges, call a dedicated attorney who is experienced with Delaware County DUI cases. Let a seasoned DUI lawyer fight for you.
Delaware County DUI laws are enforced heavily. Law enforcement in Delaware County takes DUI cases seriously for safety reasons. Sometimes accidents or intentional accidents, dangerous driving on the road, and other adverse outcomes could happen if that type of driving is not deterred.
They prosecute in Delaware County also for the effect of deterring people from driving while intoxicated.
Law enforcement officials have chosen to focus on DUI offenses for a few reasons. One, because they do carry a significant risk to the general public. If someone is struck by a DUI driver, then there is always public outrage about why they were not stopped earlier or prosecuted and why it was not a priority for the police to watch out for DUI drivers because they can have unintended consequences, including harm to innocent parties.
Also, DUIs are generally a more straightforward crime to prosecute in the sense that the evidence is usually public. People are driving on public roads and are easier to stop and investigate than a crime that happened inside a private home, such as charges of possession of drugs. Due to the fact that DUIs happen on public roads, it is easier for the officers to stop people, justify their stops, and investigate DUIs.
In Delaware County, DUI cases are prosecuted by the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office. It usually starts with an arrest or vehicle stop by an officer that could lead to field sobriety tests and further investigation, such as a BAC or blood test. After that, there might be a period of detention in which someone is taken down to the station, properly questioned further, or simply released from the police station and given a summons requirement.
At that point, the prosecution will be twofold. First, the person who was stopped will get a court date summons for a magistrate court, which is the first step of the prosecution. The second step is, if their case continues onto the higher court level, it goes to the common pleas court, which is the next level up from the magistrate court, and that is where cases are resolved by either a trial, a plea, or a dismissal.
DUI charges are intimidating to people for many reasons. There are serious criminal penalties associated with DUI charges, such as mandatory jail sentences. Those sentences increase based on the number of DUIs someone has had in the past within ten years. It also leaves someone with a permanent criminal record, so they will always have a misdemeanor offense on their record, the social stigma of being arrested or stopped for DUI, and having a DUI conviction. A DUI comes with the loss of driving privileges, as many DUI sub-sections come with a mandatory license suspension for one year or more.
The benefit of working with a local DUI lawyer is an understanding of these local magistrate courthouses, knowledge of the local areas, the officers, and the types of investigations that they run, as well as an understanding of the Pennsylvania law as it relates to DUI and what evidence is sufficient. If you are facing a DUI charge, consult with a skilled attorney who is well-versed with Delaware County DUI cases.