Criminal charges of any kind are serious, regardless of whether or not it's a misdemeanor or felony offense. Any criminal charges are a threat to your future and your interests, and you would be wise to take the appropriate steps to defend yourself, no matter what you are up against.
This is true for DUI charges, even if it is your first offense. If convicted, you could face a myriad of penalties that will affect your finances, your freedom and more. It is possible to fight these charges, and with the right support, you may be able to mitigate potential penalties or even challenge the case against you.
The impact of a first DUI
In Pennsylvania, there are three different levels of drunk driving offenses. The first level, general impairment, is for offenses where the driver had a blood alcohol concentration at the time of the traffic stop that was .08 percent to .99 percent. The penalties for general impairment, while still serious, are not quite as high as the penalties associated with the other two categories of DUI offenses, high DUI and highest DUI.
Simply because it is your first offense and you are charged with general impairment does not mean that you will not face penalties that could have a long-reaching impact on your life. Some of the penalties for a first general impairment offense include the following:
- Up to six months on probation
- Charged with upgraded misdemeanor
- Possible required attendance at alcohol treatment classes
- $300 fine
A DUI conviction can affect much more than just your criminal record. It can impact your reputation, your right to drive and much more. You would be wise to take your situation seriously and respond with a defense that you have custom-tailored to your objectives and legal goals.
Why fight a DUI?
Some people mistakenly believe that there is no point in fighting a DUI. A conviction is never your only option, as you have the right to challenge the prosecution's case, such as the results of a chemical test or the grounds for the initial traffic stop.
Your quick response after a drunk driving arrest is important for your defense. You have no time to lose in protecting your interests, whether you are facing general impairment charges or your case is particularly serious. You can start the process of defending yourself simply by having your case analyzed and evaluated as soon as possible after an arrest.