Is This Your First Offense DUI in Pittsburgh?
When you’re arrested for your first offense DUI, you’ll likely feel overwhelmed and frightened. Thoughts are probably racing through your head about how you’ll handle the situation—and above all else, where you can find the right DUI attorney in the Pittsburgh area.
Although your first offense DUI in Pittsburgh is certainly a predicament, there are steps you can take to lessen the blow as much as possible. If you’ve found yourself with your first offense DUI in Pittsburgh, here’s what you need to do first.
Step 1: Contact a Pittsburgh DUI Attorney Immediately
Now is not the time for self-help. Although you can find some credible information online in terms of your first offense DUI, it’s best to speak to an experienced attorney who can directly help you and your unique situation.
Step 2: Attend Your Fingerprint Appointment
Anytime you are charged with a crime, you are required to be fingerprinted. If you receive your charges in the mail, be on the lookout for a fingerprint order, which tells you the date, time and location of your fingerprint appointment. Show up 30 minutes early and bring all your paperwork to the appointment. Being fingerprinted is a condition of your bail, and if you appear even a minute late, you will not be printed.
Step 3: Show Up at All Court Appearances
The next step that you’ll be required to do is reporting to court. Avoiding your court date can worsen the problem and cause more legal trouble for you in the long run. You will likely have to show up in court for a preliminary hearing or a preliminary arraignment within 30 days of your first offense DUI in Pittsburgh.
Once you receive the paperwork in the mail, you typically have 1-2 weeks before your first court appearance. The magistrate will expect you to be prepared with legal representation, so don’t wait until the last minute to retain a qualified DUI attorney.
Step 4: Work With Your Pittsburgh DUI Attorney to Get the Best Possible Resolution of Your Case
If found guilty of a first-offense DUI, you are facing a mandatory minimum sentence ranging from 6 months of probation up to 72 hours in jail, a maximum sentence of up to 6 months in jail, a 12 month license suspension, minimum fines ranging from $300 up to $1,000, and will have a permanent criminal record.
If you have no prior criminal record, you may be eligible for the ARD program. With the successful completion of the ARD program, you serve no jail time, a reduced license suspension ranging from 0-60 days, and the charges will be expunged from your record.
A skilled Pittsburgh DUI attorney will help you increase your chances of getting the best possible resolution of your 1st DUI case.
Step 5: Fulfill Your Punishment And Pay Fines
If you are admitted into the ARD program, plead guilty, or are found guilty after trial, you’ll be required to carry out the punishment. Make sure to comply with all conditions of your probationary supervision and pay all fines and court costs as soon as possible.
Step 6: Do Not Drive If Your License is Suspended!
During your period of license suspension, do not drive! If you are caught driving a vehicle, you can be charged with Driving on a Suspended License, DUI-Related, which carries a mandatory 60-day jail sentence and an additional one year license suspension.
Step 7: Get Your Drivers License Back
As you come close to completing your license suspension, PennDOT will generate a DL Restoration Requirements Letter which sets forth all the requirements you must comply with to get your license back. You will need your driver’s license number and social security number to obtain the letter.
Some of the requirements you must fulfill may include: paying all fines, costs and restitution, paying all restoration fees, installing an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, completing drug and alcohol treatment, completing alcohol highway safety school, and producing proof of insurance.
How to Find The Best Pittsburgh DUI Attorney For Your Case
Now that you understand the proper steps you’ll need to take for your first offense DUI, it’s time to find a Pittsburgh DUI attorney. It’s highly advised that you hire an attorney before your preliminary hearing, which is your very first court date. You’ll want to be sure that you have an experienced Pittsburgh DUI attorney reviewing your file and the evidence against you.
When you’re searching for a Pittsburgh DUI attorney, be sure that the attorney in question is experienced in representing clients in your situation. You can meet in person with your Pittsburgh DUI lawyer to discuss options and possible strategies. And above all else, you’ll need to determine whether this is the attorney that you want to represent you in court.
If you have questions about finding the best Pittsburgh DUI Attorney to handle your case, don’t hesitate to contact the Zuckerman Law Firm. As former DUI prosecutors and members of the National College of DUI Defense, we’ll help ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible from start to finish.
Call today at 412-447-5580 for your free consultation.