If you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence, the following is what you should know about where you will be taken, who will hear your case, how long your case will take, and whether you have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test. To learn more about DUI arrest read below before calling and scheduling a consultation to discuss your case with an experienced Philadelphia DUI lawyer.
When a person is arrested for DUI in Philadelphia, the first thing that happens is they are brought to the police administration building also known as the Round House as well as other designated locations throughout the city depending on where the stop took place.
When a person is brought to that location, the person is subjected to a DUI breathalyzer and/or has their blood drawn. And in either case, certain steps and protocols must be used by the police to protect the results and the accuracy of the results.
Once it’s determined that a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a person is then held in custody and arraigned before a bail commissioner and/or a magistrate in Philadelphia. That person will then get a brief glimpse of what the charges are, what the person’s past is and make a recommendation of what the bail should be for the person in order to get out of custody.
The person is then given an opportunity, if necessary, to make a phone call to a family member and or attorney so that the bail process can continue. Once a person is free from bail and out of custody, the person will be given a court date. And it’s at that first initial pre-trial court date that the blood alcohol results and/or police reports will be available to their Philadelphia DUI attorney.
It is essential to get a Philadelphia DUI attorney involved as soon as possible so that every aspect of a person’s alleged DUI arrest can be challenged from the very beginning, giving a person every chance at an acquittal.
In Philadelphia and the rest of Pennsylvania, you can always refuse to take a breathalyzer test. You will be given what we commonly call “O’Connell warnings” which are the warnings that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania requires for a person to knowingly turn down a request in which they were asked to give a breathalyzer and then be aware that they’re turning the police down.
But a person must be aware that if they reject the breathalyzer, their license will automatically be suspended for one year through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. And that’s regardless of whether the DUI case turns into an acquittal or a conviction later.
While a person has the ability to turn down a DUI test or refuse a BAC test, under no circumstances would I ever recommend that a person to do so. It doesn’t benefit a person in any way, shape or form given that the mere fact that a person refused the breathalyzer test is per se evidence that a person was unable to operate a motor vehicle safely on the streets of Philadelphia, which a judge can and will take in to account when determining whether a person should be convicted of DUI.
David Clark Attorney at Law