Bradford County Attorney For First-Time DUI Charges

Serving Clients In Athens, Towanda, Tunkhannock And Surrounding Areas

If you have been charged with a driving under the influence (DUI) offense in Pennsylvania for the first time, you are right to be seeking professional legal assistance. The consequences you face are serious and can be life-altering if your case is not defended properly.

Penalties for first-time DUI offense convictions are based on your level of impairment (blood alcohol content) when you are arrested, and they include mandatory minimum jail sentencing, fines in the thousands of dollars, license suspension (12 or 18 months), other required drug and alcohol treatment imposed by the judge and potentially over 100 hours of community service. Penalties increase steeply based on your BAC level and other factors:

  • BAC of .08 but less than .10 is called "general impairment"
  • BAC of .10 but less than .16 is called "high rate of blood alcohol"
  • BAC of .16 or higher is called "highest rate of blood alcohol"
  • Separate, but still severe, penalties exist for those convicted of DUI with a high rate of blood alcohol who cause bodily injury, vehicle damage or property damage to others.

DUI Penalties For Drivers Under 21 And For Minors

If you are arrested for DUI under the age of 21, you will face penalties, including mandatory minimum jail time, automatic driver's license suspension, mandatory alcohol highway safety school, other required drug and alcohol treatment imposed by the judge, and up to 150 hours of community service. Drunk drivers under 18 may be punished as juveniles, but if the charges against you are severe enough, you could be charged as an adult.

Accelerated Rehabilitation Diversion (ARD) Program For First-Time DUI

Attorney Salsman will closely examine your case. If you have no prior criminal record and no prior DUI offense within the last 10 years, you may be eligible for ARD, which would mean less court and less legal cost for you. If you are eligible, the district attorney's office must approve of your inclusion in the program.

Mr. Salsman will go to bat for you and work to minimize the penalties you face to the furthest extent possible. As a former prosecutor and public defender, he thoroughly understands prosecution techniques and what is necessary to gain your entry into ARD.

The benefits of ARD (as compared to conviction) are substantial and include:

  • A probation period of six to 12 months (as opposed to jail)
  • Payment of court costs (as opposed to heavy fines)
  • Possible community service
  • Alcohol highway safety school attendance
  • No license suspension if your BAC is less than .10 percent and you are not a minor
  • License suspension for 30 to 60 days (as opposed to 12 or 18 months) if BAC is greater than .10 percent
  • License suspension for 90 days if you are a minor
  • Possible future expungement (elimination) of the record of your arrest

With Mr. Salsman's help, you may be able to earn a clean slate once again. As long as you commit no other crimes during your probation and you complete all requirements of the ARD program, the charges will be dismissed, and your criminal record will be clean.

The guidance of an experienced DUI lawyer in this process is critical.

Call The Law Office Of Chad M. Salsman In Towanda

Please email or call the office today at 570-316-4037 or toll free at 800-655-5414 to schedule a meeting with attorney Salsman.