Over the past 15 years, Hark and Hark has represented more than 1,000 individuals charged with drinking and driving in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
We are the DUI lawyers who know the judges, the police officers, the prosecutors, and the drunk driving laws in all the jurisdictions we serve. Our knowledge and experience is of great benefit to our clients because the laws involved are not simple or straightforward in driving while intoxicated cases but require complicated analysis of all angles.
Most impaired driving cases will have both civil and criminal aspects; it is important that your legal representation remain balanced and account for both when evaluating your options.
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The Name of the Charge: DWI, DUI and DAI
Driving under the influence (DUI) charges have different names in different states. In Pennsylvania, it is "driving after imbibing" (DAI). In New Jersey, the term for drunk driving is "driving while intoxicated" (DWI).
The Consequences: Fines, Jail and License Suspension
Whatever it is called, drunk driving in Pennsylvania and New Jersey has severe consequences — even for a first-time offender. There are mandatory minimum sentences for first-time, second-time, and third-time offenders based on blood alcohol content (BAC).
If you are charged with violating any state's DUI, DAI, or DWI law, your driver's license may be suspended or revoked. You may have to pay both substantial fines and increased insurance rates. Your freedom may be in jeopardy.
Our Defense: Aggressive and Dedicated
At Hark and Hark, our lawyers begin protecting your rights immediately after you retain our services.
Our first goal is to get your charges dismissed at the preliminary hearing by thoroughly cross-examining the police officer who claims he saw you drive illegally or concluded you were drunk.
The following factual and legal issues are extremely important:
- Was the traffic stop necessary? Was there reasonable suspicion for the police officer to stop you? Did the officer personally witness you driving poorly? Did you commit any traffic violations?
- Did the officer have probable cause? Was there good cause to subject you to field sobriety or breath tests?
- Was your breath test performed properly? Did the officer use the Breathalyzer correctly? Was the Breathalyzer machine calibrated?
- Was your field sobriety test administered properly? Did you pass the field sobriety test but were still arrested? Are there health issues that factor into the field sobriety test results?
- Were drugs found in your blood?
- When did the blood test occur?
- If you refused a blood test, when did you exercise your right to refuse?
If the officer or breath machine operator made mistakes in your arrest or when testing your blood alcohol content, we will move to dismiss the charges. We will file pre-trial motions to suppress the illegal car stop, illegally taken statements, and faulty blood or breath tests.
In cases where the driver refuses to submit to a blood test, it is especially important to have experienced counsel because a refusal is a separate proceeding from any criminal case and can result in a one year license suspension. Any driver who refused blood testing during a DUI/DAI/DWI car stop needs an attorney familiar with the license suspension proceedings.
First-Time DUI, DAI or DWI Offenders
If you have been charged with DUI, DAI or DWI for the first time and have no prior criminal record, you may qualify for a first-time offender Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) program. In Pennsylvania, your eligibility for ARD or pre-trial probation is determined immediately upon your arrest or at your initial court appearance.
Having a DUI lawyer to advocate for your rights at that first appearance is crucial to successful legal representation against drunk driving charges. It is important to understand that you have no right to ARD, it is a privilege and, at times, convincing a prosecutor to permit entry into the program requires skillful and aggressive negotiation.
Drunk Driving is a Serious Charge. We Take it Seriously and So Should You.
Contact Hark and Hark online or call our 24-hour DUI defense hotline at 1-877-4-HARK-LAW (1-877-442-7552).
Free initial consultation. Reasonable rates and payment plans. Major credit cards accepted.