When dealing with a DUI arrest in Pennsylvania, mistakes can prove incredibly costly. If you aren’t careful, you could end up facing unnecessary penalties—or you could even end up facing a conviction when you were entitled to walk free. All DUI defendants in Pennsylvania have defenses available, and failing to defend yourself effectively could have drastic and long-term impacts on many aspects of your life.

As a result, it is critical to familiarize yourself with the mistakes you need to avoid.

From the moment you get a DUI arrest through the final resolution of your DUI case, unnecessary mistakes can expose you to unnecessary consequences. To protect yourself, you need to ensure that you are making informed decisions, and this starts with putting an experienced DUI defense lawyer on your side.

What Not To Do When Facing a DUI Arrest in Pennsylvania

What are the mistakes you need to avoid after a DUI arrest in Pennsylvania? Here is what not to do when you have a DUI charge pending:

Mistake #1: Assuming You Will Be Found Guilty

First and foremost, you should not assume that you will be found guilty. Regardless of whether you were driving under the influence when you got arrested, prosecutors must still be able to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If prosecutors don’t have the evidence they need to convict you—or if their evidence isn’t admissible in court—you are entitled to receive a “Not guilty” verdict, or maybe even to have your DUI charge dismissed before trial.

Mistake #2: Assuming Everything Will Be Fine

While you shouldn’t assume that you will be found guilty, you also shouldn’t assume that everything will be fine. Facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania is a very serious matter, and it can have very serious consequences. You need to be proactive about protecting yourself—because if you aren’t, you could face the life-altering consequences of a DUI conviction unnecessarily.

Mistake #3: Posting About Your DUI Case on Social Media

While it may be tempting to post about the night of your DUI arrest on social media, it is important that you refrain from doing so. No matter what happened, no matter how the police treated you, and no matter what you think about the charges against you, you should keep the details between yourself and your DUI defense lawyer.

Mistake #4: Missing a Court Date

After you get arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania, you will be required to appear in court multiple times (unless your lawyer helps you resolve your case before any of your court dates arrive). It is extremely important that you make plans to be in court on time. If you miss a court date, you could be charged with failure to appear, and this could potentially result in being taken into custody before your trial date arrives.

Mistake #5: Getting Arrested Again

When you have a DUI charge pending in Pennsylvania, you need to do everything you can to avoid getting arrested again. The judge won’t look favorably on another arrest; and, if you get another DUI arrest, you will be charged as a repeat offender. Repeat offenders face enhanced penalties under Pennsylvania law.

Mistake #6: Failing to Request Discovery

As a defendant in Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system, you have the right to know what evidence the prosecutor’s office intends to use against you at trial. You can exercise this right by requesting discovery at the appropriate time. Not only is requesting discovery critical for developing an informed defense strategy; but, if the prosecutor’s office withholds any exculpatory evidence—whether intentionally or inadvertently—this could provide you with additional grounds to seek dismissal of your DUI.

Mistake #7: Overlooking Potential Defenses

This brings up another important point: When facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania, you need to give due consideration to all potential defenses. There are several ways to fight a DUI charge in Pennsylvania, and determining which defense (or defenses) you can use in your case is critical for avoiding unnecessary consequences.

Mistake #8: Ignoring Options for Resolving Your Case Without a DUI Conviction

While fighting the prosecution’s evidence against you is one way to avoid unnecessary consequences in a DUI case in Pennsylvania, there are other possibilities as well. For example, if avoiding a conviction entirely is unlikely, then negotiating a plea bargain that reduces your charge to a “wet reckless” might be the best option. Or, if you qualify for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD), entering into the ARD program could allow you to avoid a conviction regardless of the facts underlying your DUI arrest.

Mistake #9: Ignoring the Consequences of a DUI Conviction

Another important mistake to avoid when facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania is overlooking the consequences of a conviction. While DUI charges always carry steep penalties in Pennsylvania, various circumstances can make the consequences of a conviction even more severe. To ensure that you are making informed decisions about your defense, you need to start by gaining a clear understanding of everything you have to lose.

Mistake #10: Choosing Not to Speak with a DUI Lawyer

Finally, due to the risks involved with facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania, it is critically important to put an experienced DUI lawyer on your side. From obtaining the prosecution’s evidence to helping you pursue a resolution that avoids the inherent uncertainty of trial, there are numerous ways an experienced DUI lawyer will be able to help you. Hiring an experienced lawyer can be the least expensive way to resolve your case by far, and you can get started with a free, no-obligation consultation.

Request a Free, No-Obligation Consultation with Philadelphia DUI Lawyer Brian Fishman

Are you facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania? If so, we strongly encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation at The Fishman Firm. To speak with Philadelphia DUI lawyer Brian Fishman in confidence as soon as possible, call 267-758-2228 or tell us how we can reach you online now.