Best Delaware County DUI Attorney

One moment, you are driving home, believing you are safe on the road. Next, you have been stopped by a police officer, and after a test, you may have been arrested. That is a frightening situation, and it can have an ongoing impact on your quality of life, the comfort of your loved ones, and your criminal record for years to come. 

If you have been pulled over and charged with a DUI, the penalties can be harsh, but you do have grounds to fight back against those penalties before you face a conviction. Attorney James H. Bonner at Bonner Law is here to represent clients like you, defending you in the courtroom and pursuing justice that can help you get your charges reduced or dismissed. When you are ready to pursue a powerful defense with a Delaware County DUI lawyer who can protect your future, do not hesitate to reach out for help.

What Happens in the Wake of a DUI Arrest 

Being tested at a traffic stop can already be an uncomfortable or even frightening situation, but what happens afterward? Following a DUI arrest, there are certain steps to be taken by the police to prepare you for your court date. You can expect most or all the following steps to be taken during this process:

 

  • You are brought to the police station 
  • The police station begins the booking process, including taking your fingerprints
  • You are brought to a cell, where you wait for the booking process to complete 
  • You are given a hearing date 
  • Your bail is posted
  • You have a chance to contact your attorney for your defense

 

In the wake of your arrest, you can contact an attorney when you are prepared to speak with them about your arrest and your rights. In fact, it is often best not to say anything to the police until your DUI lawyer is present. While you may be required to give basic identifying information, you do not have to admit to anything without a DUI attorney present.

You Have a Chance to Fight Back after Being Charged with a DUI

After a DUI arrest, you may be sure you do not have a chance to fight back. However, this is far from the truth. Attorney James H. Bonner is prepared to take on cases like yours and fight for your recovery. 

 

Even if the evidence against you seems significant, an attorney can always pursue a strong defense. For example, the police may have made mistakes in collecting your sobriety test results, leading to evidence being dismissed. In other cases, they may have violated your rights protecting you against searches without probable cause under the Fourth Amendment, which can help strengthen your defense. 

In other cases, even if the evidence against you is strong, you may be eligible for a reduction of charges. If this is a first-time offense especially, we can use the tools at our disposal to pursue a reduction of the charges you face. Even if you are certain you will face penalties, you can avoid harsher sentences with our help.

Penalties for a DUI Can Be Harsh 

The specific penalties you face following a DUI can vary significantly depending on the severity of the blood alcohol content (BAC) level recorded. In Pennsylvania, these are known as general impairment, high BAC, and highest BAC, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles. If you are convicted of any DUI, however, you may face penalties that vary depending on your impairment level and any past DUI offenses.

 

Depending on where you fall within these levels, your penalties may be especially harsh, or you may receive less severe penalties. However, just because the penalties for a misdemeanor like a DUI can be less severe, that does not mean they cannot have an outsized impact on your life or that they cannot become felony charges. Below are just a few of the types of penalties you may face if you do not seek out a DUI lawyer in Delaware County to help reduce or dismiss your charges.

You May Face High Fines 

Fines can vary depending on how severe your charges are and the specific sentence the judge orders. For example, for a first-time general impairment DUI, you may face only a $300 fine. However, even under the general impairment DUI offenses, two or more prior offenses can lead to a maximum $5,000 fine. 

 

In high or highest BAC cases, you may face up to $10,000 in fines. That is a significant financial burden, and it is one you may not be able to cover on your own, as you may have lost your job or may be in prison for some time following a conviction. That can completely flush your family’s savings or leave them in significant debt that you may be unable to work off during your imprisonment.

You May Face Years of Imprisonment 

Likewise, the jail or prison sentence you may face can vary significantly depending on the charges. In the least severe cases, where you have no prior DUI offenses, you may face up to 6 months of probation, alcohol highway safety school, or potential rehabilitation treatment if ordered by the judge. While these can be severe, even a single prior DUI offense can lead to up to 6 months of jail time, and further offenses can lead to up to 2 years in prison. 

 

Note that habitual offenders or high and highest BAC penalties can leave you in prison, not jail. This is reserved for more severe charges, which can impact your quality of life as you serve your sentence if you do not fight back. Your Delaware County DUI attorney is prepared to fight back, reducing or dismissing these harsh sentences through a powerful defense.

License and Driving Penalties 

If you accept a DUI conviction, your license may be in danger. Typically, for most convictions, you can face a license suspension from 12 to 18 months. If you also refused a breath alcohol test, you may face another automatic suspension in addition to this conviction. 

 

Drivers may also be required to install an ignition interlock device. These devices restore driving privileges, but the driver must complete a breath alcohol test before the vehicle will start. This allows those facing financial hardships without a vehicle to be able to go to work or otherwise live their lives. However, any violations against the ignition interlock device can lead to an extended sentence or even suspension of driving privileges.

Your DUI Conviction May Impact Your Record 

In some cases, you may believe that the simplest option is to simply accept the penalties and complete your sentence, but this is not always true. While you may have already expressed remorse for the situation, accepting a conviction can lead to penalties on your driving and criminal record. Those records can haunt you potentially for the rest of your life if you are convicted. 

 

One of the most important penalties you may face for accepting a conviction is that future convictions will be much harsher. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s law is more forgiving of first-time DUI violations, but those who habitually offend may face longer sentences and higher fines. Contacting us for help with your DUI case can help reduce the charges to a lesser penalty, reduce your charges to reckless driving, or even get your charges dismissed.

How We Set Bonner Law Apart from the Competition

In Pennsylvania, you may have potential options for your Delaware County DUI case. So what sets attorney James H. Bonner at Bonner Law apart? Below are some of the key differences that set us apart from the competition and how we can help get your charges reduced or even dismissed.

We Have Valuable Experience in the Courtroom 

If this is your first time facing a DUI, this may be the first time you have ever been to court. Without a DUI attorney in Delaware County, that can be a difficult position, and you may be unsure how to tackle your case. Fortunately, we provide an experience that not every law firm has in their arsenal. 

 

Attorney James H. Bonner once acted as assistant district attorney in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. That gave him insight into exactly how prosecution works, what they may pursue, and what defendants can do to protect themselves. With this insight and experience, attorney James H. Bonner provides an exclusive look into the opposing side through his experience.

We Take Time to Prepare 

While tackling your case in the courtroom may be the focus of most people, we know that your case begins weeks or more before you ever set foot in a courtroom. Bonner Law focuses on preparation, ensuring that all evidence and potential defenses have been thoroughly investigated before we begin arguing your case. By taking this extra time to prepare, we help prevent surprises that can impact the outcome of your case.

We Are Passionate About Your Case 

Sadly, some law firms treat their clients like case numbers. When we take on your case, you are a client who we know is facing a potentially harsh series of penalties that can change the course of your life. That is why we strive to provide not just an aggressive defense for our DUI clients but also a compassionate approach so that you always know we care about your case.

Seek a Top-Tier DUI Defense with an Experienced, Passionate Defense Attorney in Delaware County 

In the aftermath of a DUI arrest, you may be unsure where to turn and how to avoid more severe penalties. You may face harsh penalties that impact your quality of life, and can even damage relationships with your family and loved ones. Fortunately, everyone has a right to defend themselves with a Delaware County DUI attorney, giving you a chance to pursue freedom.

 

Attorney James H. Bonner at Bonner Law is here to help get your DUI charges reduced or dismissed, protecting your license, your finances, and even your freedom. If you are facing DUI penalties, reach out for a consultation on our legal services, where we can discuss what defenses we may use for your case and how we can get started. When you are ready to talk with us, reach out by calling or filling out our online contact form.

Delaware County DUI FAQ 

As you pursue a strong defense following a DUI arrest, you may have many questions specific to your case. While we cannot cover every situation on a single page, we always take time to answer client questions and consult with potential clients who need help understanding the details of their charges. While you wait for your consultation, check out the following frequently asked questions to better understand the charges you are facing. 

What is Pennsylvania’s “lookback period” and how can it impact me? 

When making decisions on mandatory sentencing, Pennsylvania prosecution takes a look at any DUIs on your record. In Pennsylvania, there is a 10-year look-back period for DUI offenses, which starts at the conviction for the previous DUI, following the court case Commonwealth v. Mock. That means, even if you had a DUI a decade ago, mandatory sentencing can be harsher and treat your case as a second-time offense, even if a significant amount of time has passed.

What is Pennsylvania’s 2-hour rule? 

According to Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code Title 75 section 3802, police officers must test you for alcohol or drugs within 2 hours of your driving. Any tests taken after this may not be admissible in court, as this law intends to protect the integrity of the results. Reach out to an attorney If you believe the police have made a mistake and waited too long to administer these tests.

Is jail time mandatory for a DUI conviction if this is my first conviction? 

While a first-time DUI conviction typically has lower penalties, Pennsylvania has three levels of DUI, which are general impairment, high BAC, and highest BAC. If you have been convicted of the highest BAC, the penalties may be much more severe, meaning you may have mandatory jail time. We strive to lower the impact of a DUI conviction, especially for those charged with higher levels of DUIs.

What happens if I refuse a sobriety test? 

When you accept your driver’s license, you agree to implied consent laws, meaning you imply that you have consented to take a drug or alcohol blood or breath test during a traffic stop if the officer has reasonable suspicion that you are impaired. If you refuse this test, even if you are sober, you will face an automatic license suspension in addition to any penalties you may face for drunk or reckless driving. However, you have no legal obligation to agree to a field sobriety test.

What are Pennsylvania’s zero-tolerance laws? 

Those under 21 may face harsher penalties for a DUI conviction, even if they were not over the legal limit for adults over 21. In Pennsylvania, their zero-tolerance policy states that driving with more than 0.02% BAC while under 21 can incur harsh penalties. These include a licensed suspension, 48 hours to 6 months in jail, and fines of up to $5,000.

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Office Location

1210 N. Middletown Road, Glen Mills, PA 19342

8 West Front, Media, PA 19063

610-450-4555

833-438-6881

Bonner Law

Bonner Law