Pittsburgh DUI Defense Attorneys
Call the Law Office of Melvin L. Vatz
A driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) convictions results in a criminal record, which potential employers and landlords may discover. Whether it is your first offense or third, it is important that you seek skilled representation from the Law Office of Melvin L. Vatz to help protect your future.
A conviction on a DUI or DWI charge in Pennsylvania has serious penalties, including:
- Driver’s license suspension
- The possibility of mandatory jail time
Defense for Serious Drunk Driving Charges
The DUI defense lawyer at the Law Office of Melvin L. Vatz fight to protect your constitutional rights. We have the skills and tenacity to help guide you through the criminal justice system after a drunk driving arrest. We are with you from the preliminary hearing through all court proceedings and advocate to protect your legal rights and to preserve your driving privileges.
We take the time to investigate the results of chemical tests, including blood and Breathalyzer tests, and challenge inaccurate and improperly collected evidence. There can be many legal challenges to your arrest, including determining whether the police had probable cause to stop or arrest you, and we may consult with experts about the accuracy of testing methods.
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition
If you are a first-time offender, you may be able to avoid having a criminal record as a result of a DUI arrest. In many cases, our DUI defense attorney is able to pursue a dismissal under Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, which results in no criminal record and a significantly shorter driver’s license suspension. We always explore alternatives to jail, such as house arrest, work release, and community service.
Police Officers Are Prepared to Build a Case Against You
It is important for drivers to know what to do and what to expect if they are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence. Police officers will be looking to build a case against you and anything that you say to an officer may be used against you.
The officer may attempt to gauge your level of impairment by administering field sobriety tests. These tests are used to determine if chemical testing is necessary. However, tests are often unreliable and are typically used to prove your intoxication, not your sobriety.
What If I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?
In Pennsylvania, refusing a Breathalyzer (or other blood alcohol test, such as a blood draw), can result in significant penalties. If you refuse a test, your license will be suspended for one year if the police had reasonable cause to stop you, even if you are not convicted of a DUI later on. You are also not entitled to an attorney before taking a Breathalyzer or other BAC test. If you are found to be over the legal blood-alcohol limit, you may be arraigned before a magistrate immediately, or you may be sent a summons in the mail to appear for a preliminary hearing.
Should I Answer Questions If I Am Stopped by Police for DUI?
Police officers may ask you questions when you are stopped, and they usually will not immediately advise you of your right to remain silent. Generally, they will ask you whether you have been drinking and you should be aware that your answers usually can be used against you. If police did not have probable cause to stop you, your statements can’t be used against you as evidence.
Contact Us as Soon as Possible After a DUI Stop
Contact an experienced DUI lawyer to protect your rights as soon as possible. At the Law Office of Melvin
L. Vatz, our Pittsburgh criminal law attorney helps identify possible
defenses to your DUI charges and provides cost-effective legal service
to preserve your driving privileges and your record.
Attorney Vatz has over 40 years of experience fighting criminal charges, and has served as a former prosecutor. He uses the knowledge he’s gained in his career to plan a strategic defense, and he has handled hundreds of criminal defense cases. A Pittsburgh native, Melvin L. Vatz is dedicated to helping residents of the local community protect their constitutional rights. He has received an AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating of 5.0 of 5 for his legal service to the community and is a proud holder of a number of admissions, including the Pennsylvania Bar and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar.
Call 412-391-3030 to schedule your free initial case review.