Posts Tagged ‘Berks County DUI case’

Spotlight Issue: Should I plead guilty to my DUI charge?

Friday, June 12th, 2015

If you’ve been charged with a DUI you might be feeling like it is pointless to try to fight your case. You may feel this way because you believe that you were driving badly or failed your Field Sobriety Tests (FST’s) or had a blood draw that shows your blood alcohol content was over the legal limit. Does that mean that a conviction for DUI is automatic? NO.

While it may be true that the police follow all of the rules in a majority of DUI cases, that doesn’t mean that the rules were followed in your case. The only way for you to make sure that your DUI stop and arrest were handled properly is to have your case reviewed by one of our Berks County DUI attorneys. If a mistake was made by the police, then our attorneys will file the appropriate motions in court and, if necessary, represent you at a pretrial hearing or trial.

Our DUI attorneys will examine your case and looked for mistakes made by the police. Here are examples of some common mistakes:

- Illegal stop of your vehicle – police need to have reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence (or committing another crime) before they can pull you over to investigate. If the police pulled you over without reasonable suspicion that a crime was being committed, the evidence obtained after that traffic stop may be thrown out.

- FST’s not administered correctly – there is a specific way that the tests need to be explained and demonstrated by the police officer. Further, there are only certain types of FST’s that can be admitted into court. If there were mistakes made in the administration of the FST’s, that evidence may be thrown out.

- Video of FST’s – sometimes the video doesn’t show the poor performance on the tests that the police officer reported. Some police cars in Berks County have dashboard cameras that will record a traffic stop and FST’s. You may also be asked to perform the FST’s at the DUI Processing Center, in which case there will almost always be video of you performing the tests. While a police officer may report that you failed to walk straight or maintain your balance, the video may not tell the same story. In addition, a video may show that roadside FST’s were done under bad conditions such as poor light and uneven surfaces.

- Implied consent warnings must be given – before a police officer can request that you submit to a blood draw or breathalyzer (chemical testing), he or she must read you the implied consent warnings. These warnings inform you of your right to refuse the chemical testing and the consequences for that refusal. If the warnings were not read to you, the chemical testing results or your refusal to submit to the testing may be thrown out.

- Police officer lacked reasonable suspicion to request chemical testing – an officer needs to have reasonable suspicion that you were driving under the influence before he can request that you submit to a blood draw or breathalyzer. If the officer lacked reasonable suspicion before he made the request, then the results may be thrown out.

- Chemical testing must be done within 2 hours of the vehicle stop – the Pennsylvania DUI statute indicates that chemical testing needs to be done within 2 hours of the traffic stop. There is an exception to this rule, but the Commonwealth has to show that there was good cause for the time requirement not being met AND establish that the driver did not imbibe or ingest any alcohol or controlled substances between the time of driving and the testing. If the 2 hour rule is not followed and the Commonwealth is not able to prove an exception, the chemical testing results may be thrown out.

- Breathalyzer calibration not documented – the Pennsylvania DUI statute requires that breathalyzer machines be properly calibrated before their results can be used in court. If you were given a breathalyzer rather than a blood draw then the Commonwealth has to be able to establish the accuracy of the machine that was used to test your breath. If they are not able to do so then the test results may be thrown out.

A DUI can have a big impact on your life. Before you decide to plead guilty to a DUI you should have your case reviewed by an experienced DUI attorney. Our attorneys will examine whether any mistakes were made in your case and advise you as to the best way to proceed. If you’ve been charged with a DUI call us at 610-372-5128 or email us info@enmlaw.com

Berks County Drunk Driving Attorneys

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious offense with serious consequences. Police in Berks County, Pennsylvania are aggressive with their enforcement of drunk driving laws. If you find yourself charged with DUI in Berks County you need an experienced and skilled courtroom advocate who knows how to get results.

Attorney Dan Nevins has successfully represented several hundreds of clients charged with Driving Under the Influence in Reading, Berks County over the past 9 years. Attorney Nevins has fought and won motions to suppress evidence in DUI cases and won jury verdicts for drunk driving defendants. Attorney Nevins has also negotiated hundreds of ARD placements for individuals seeking to have their cases dismissed and expunged.

The law firm of Ebner, Nevins & McAllister has a well earned reputation in the community for zealous and effective advocacy in all manners of criminal defense and DUI law. It is crucial to have an attorney experienced in Pennsylvania DUI law and well versed in local Berks County procedure. The attorneys of ENM Law can navigate you through the DUI process and achieve the best result for your individual needs. With offices directly across from the courthouse and Spanish speaking staff we are uniquely suited to serve the needs of any person charged with DUI in Berks County. We offer free initial consultations in all DUI and Criminal matters.

DUI Charges Reduced in Berks County

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Attorney Ryan W. McAllister recently represented a client in Berks County who was charged with a second offense DUI. Our client had refused the blood test at the hospital, so he was looking at the “highest rate” penalties if he was convicted, which would include a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 90 days in Berks County Prison, followed by a five (5) year period of supervision. Our client was employed full-time at a local Berks County company, and he was have undoubtedly lost his job if he received a 90 day jail sentence.

Attorney McAllister fought the case on behalf of our client by filing an omnibus pretrial motion, which would then be followed by a subsequent bench trial. On the day of the hearing, the District Attorney’s office offered up a “plea deal” to Attorney McAllister’s client based on the fact that there was a chance they would lose the case. The plea deal was for a second offense “general impairment” DUI, which carries reduced penalties of five (5) days in jail and a maximum supervision period of only six (6) months.

Our client thought long and hard about whether or not to take the deal. In the end, he decided to go for the “sure bet” and lock in the reduced jail sentence of only five (5) days compared to 90 day jail sentence he would have faced had he went to trial and lost. Additionally, Attorney McAllister negotiated to have all the other charges are client was facing dropped in exchange for the plea agreement, which saved our potentially hundreds if not over one thousand dollars in fines and costs. In the end, our client was very happy with the outcome of his case.

If you or someone you know is facing a driving under the influence case or DUI charges in Berks County, PA, or Reading, Pennsylvania, please call our office right away at 610-372-5128. One of our experienced criminal trial attorneys will be happy to sit down with you and discuss your case in more detail at no initial cost to you.

DUI Second Time Offender Program in Berks County PA

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

This morning I represented a client charged with a second offense DUI in Reading, PA.  Under Pennsylvania’s DUI sentencing law an individual charged with a second DUI within ten years faces a 90 day mandatory prison sentence if the BAC at the time of the DUI was above a .16.  In Berks County a special program, known commonly as STOP, has been created for the benefit and rehabilitation of offenders.

This particular case involved a rather high BAC as well as a single vehicle accident. After consulting with my client initially several months ago, we made the determination to begin the STOP application process. Today, several months later, he formally entered a plea and was sentenced to the term of the program. Rather than a 90 day jail sentence he recieved 5 days in jail and the additional 85 days on house arrest with supervised release to follow. Additionally, he will be able to take advantage of ongoing treatment and counseling as directed.

If you or a loved one is facing a second or third DUI in Berks County, Pennsylvania please contact our office to discuss the options. I have successfully represented over a hundred people who have taken advantage of either the STOP or DUI Treatment Court program in Berks County over the last 6 years. Call now for a no cost consultation.