It may not be necessary to hire a paid attorney to represent you in the matter:
1. If you have been injured previously, and are out of work, you may qualify for a free attorney through the Office of the Public Defender. The Public Defender’s Office provides legal representation, at no cost to you.
2. If you are unemployed, on disability, a full-time student, or simply financially unable to afford to pay for a private attorney, the Public Defender’s Office will schedule an appointment to determine whether you are “financially qualified” for their services. If the determination is that you are financially qualified, the Public Defender’s Office will provide legal representation at no cost to you.
Where a first offense case (where ARD is unavailable) has a BAC Greater than 0.10%, the mandatory minimum jail sentence is 48 hours in prison. Where the BAC is greater than 0.16%, the mandatory minimum jail sentence is 72 hours. Because DUI in Pennsylvania is what is referred to as an “enhanced penalty statute”, each time a person is charged with a DUI, the punishment increases, from 30 days, to 90 days, to one year in prison.
Clearly, with offenses calling for imprisonment, you should consult with and attorney before going to court. When imprisonment is the likely result, you need the assistance of experienced criminal defense attorney, who can negotiate the most favorable terms possible for the disposition of your case.