DUI Defense Attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any combination of intoxicants is a serious criminal offense that has potential long-term repercussions. Whether it’s your first offense or you're facing repeat charges, the penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) are strict and can escalate with subsequent offenses. 

If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge, consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial for protecting your rights, preserving your driving privileges, and minimizing the impact on your future.  

At Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C., I understand DUI charges and the profound effects they can have on your future. I am dedicated to providing robust defense strategies for DUI offenses and working with Pennsylvania DUI laws to achieve the best possible outcome for my clients.  

Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I serve clients throughout Allegheny County and the surrounding areas, including Butler County, Westmoreland County, Beaver County, Armstrong County, and Washington County. 

What Constitutes a DUI in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania law enforcement takes DUI charges very seriously. A DUI is defined as operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.

However, drivers can still face charges with a lower BAC if their ability to operate a vehicle is impaired by alcohol, drugs, or both. Pennsylvania law outlines several classifications of DUI offenses, including: 

  • Standard DUI: Typically refers to drivers operating vehicles with a BAC of 0.08% or higher or showing significant signs of impairment. 

  • Felony DUI: Involves cases where the driver obtains multiple DUI charges over a specific period. 

  • Commercial DUI: Involves those operating commercial vehicles with a BAC of 0.04% or higher. 

  • Underage DUI: College students and those under the age of 21 can be charged with DUI for a BAC of just .02% under the state's Zero Tolerance Policy. 

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Penalties for DUI in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, a DUI conviction remains on your record indefinitely and counts as a prior offense. Adults charged with a first-time DUI offense face a misdemeanor charge that can result in serious legal consequences. These can include: 

  • Jail time of up to six months. 

  • A fine ranging from $300 to $5,000 (depending on your BAC). 

  • Driver's license suspension of 12 months (for a BAC over 0.10).  

  • Possible requirement to attend a safety school or alcohol treatment program. 

  • Possible requirement for an ignition interlock device (IID). 

If you have a BAC of .10 percent or higher or are charged with a repeat offense, you can face more severe penalties. In Pennsylvania, a DUI charge can escalate to a felony if there are aggravating factors such as multiple prior convictions, causing injury or death, or having a child passenger. 

The consequences for a felony DUI charge include: 

  • Jail time between one and five years. 

  • A fine of up to $10,000. 

In addition to these penalties, a DUI conviction also leads to a criminal record that can impact your ability to obtain employment, housing, and other opportunities in the future. If you've been charged with a DUI, reach out to me at Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. 

Consequences for Driving on a Suspended License

If you are caught driving under suspension (DUS) while your license is suspended or revoked due to a prior DUI offense, the penalties can be more serious than the DUI itself.

You could face a mandatory jail sentence of 60 days and a fine of up to $500 on a first offense as well as an additional license suspension of 1 year. These penalties are enhanced if you have virtually any alcohol in your system. 

If you are caught driving under suspension for a non-DUI-related suspension, you will still face stiff penalties. These include both a fine and an additional license suspension of at least 1 year. However, there is no jail sentence associated with this offense. 

Even if you believe your driving privileges have been restored, you can face DUS charges and serious jail time. At Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C., I am familiar with both Pennsylvania DUI laws and the state's traffic code, and I will advocate on your behalf against any type of DUS charges. 

How to Defend Against DUI Charges in Pennsylvania

Defending against DUI charges in Pennsylvania requires an understanding of the law and a strategic approach tailored to the specifics of each case. At Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C., I offer several defense strategies, depending on the circumstances of your arrest and the nature of your charges. 

  • Challenge the traffic stop: Under the Fourth Amendment, police must have probable cause to stop a vehicle. If the stop was without just cause, any evidence gathered during the stop may be deemed inadmissible in court. 

  • Question the accuracy of BAC testing: The reliability of breathalyzer and blood tests can be contested, especially if there were irregularities in the testing procedure, issues with calibrating the device, or mishandling the sample. 

  • Field sobriety test discrepancies: A driver's field sobriety test performance can be influenced by various factors unrelated to intoxication, such as medical conditions, nervousness, or poor weather conditions. These factors can be used to challenge the reliability of these results. 

  • Rising blood alcohol concentration: This defense argues that the defendant's BAC was below the legal limit while driving but rose to 0.08% or higher by the time the BAC test was administered due to the time it takes for alcohol to be absorbed into the bloodstream. 

  • Driving out of necessity: Claiming that driving under the influence was necessary to prevent a greater evil. This defense is applicable in situations where the driver had no choice but to drive to avoid a significant threat. 

Each defense strategy requires thorough investigation and evidence to support it. With a deep understanding of Pennsylvania DUI laws and extensive courtroom experience, I will help you mount a defense that aims to protect your future and minimize the consequences of a DUI charge. 

How Can My Firm Help?

DUI is a serious charge, but it doesn't have to ruin your future. In most cases, I will handle the DMV administrative hearing to protect your driver's license, as well as the criminal procedures without you needing to be in the courtroom.

I work aggressively to protect your driving privileges while doing everything possible to find a solution that avoids the harsh penalties of a conviction. 

I understand that you’re going through a lot, which is why I assure each of my clients that they will receive personal, one-on-one treatment. With years of experience, I have an in-depth understanding of local Pennsylvania laws and regulations, and my firm stands ready to handle complicated or high-conflict cases.

DUI Defense Expertise in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Being charged with a DUI doesn’t have to be the end of the world. While there are serious consequences to driving under the influence, you may be able to fight them. At Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C., I can help you find a resolution that doesn’t involve losing your license and may even be able to reduce your sentence. Contact me to schedule a consultation today.