Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Allegheny County DUI Lawyer

5 DUI Tips In Pennsylvania

If you are stopped for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, illegal drugs, or controlled substances, protect your legal rights by following these five tips:

  1. Treat the Officer with Courtesy and Respect: Behaving badly when you’ve been stopped can only make your case worse.
  2. Answer Questions Directly Without Volunteering Additional Information: Do not hurt your case by giving information to the officer that could later be used against you.
  3. Politely Decline Any Field Sobriety Tests: Field sobriety tests are not mandatory in Pennsylvania.
  4. Allow the Police to Administer Breathalyzer or Blood Test: If you decline to take one of these tests, your driver’s license may be suspended automatically for one year, even if you are not criminally convicted.
  5. Call a DUI Lawyer: Having an experienced lawyer on your side can help your case.

Spivak Law Firm strongly defends people arrested for DUI.  If you face DUI charges, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.


Warning: Use of undefined constant php - assumed 'php' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c04/h07/mnt/79928/domains/spivaklawfirm.com/html/wp-content/themes/spivaklawfirm-2.22/loop.php on line 164

DUI Law: Blood Tests

 

200274121-001The U.S. Supreme Court in Birchfield v. North Dakota recently declared warrantless blood draws made during DUI arrests unconstitutional. The Court reasoned that a blood draw poses substantial privacy concerns because a blood test reveals more about a person than simply blood alcohol levels.

However, because of the less intrusive nature of breath tests, warrantless breathalyzer tests are still permissible.

Prior to Birchfield, defendants who refused blood testing were regarded as having the highest level of impairment and faced the most severe penalties associated with a DUI offense. But now DUI offenders who previously refused blood testing may now be charged and sentenced as having the lowest level of impairment.

To speak with a Pittsburgh DUI and criminal defense lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.


Warning: Use of undefined constant php - assumed 'php' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c04/h07/mnt/79928/domains/spivaklawfirm.com/html/wp-content/themes/spivaklawfirm-2.22/loop.php on line 164

DUI and Driver’s License Suspension

200274121-001If you’re pulled over for drunk driving, you may decline to take the roadside sobriety tests. That’s right, you don’t have to stand on one foot or touch your finger to your nose.

But you should take a Breathalyzer or blood test, and here’s why:

Under Pennsylvania laws, refusal to submit to chemical testing will result in suspension of your driver’s license.

So even if you weren’t drinking and you beat the rap on the DUI, you still could lose your driving privileges for a year for refusing to take the chemical test.

To speak with an experienced DUI attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.


Warning: Use of undefined constant php - assumed 'php' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c04/h07/mnt/79928/domains/spivaklawfirm.com/html/wp-content/themes/spivaklawfirm-2.22/loop.php on line 164

DUI Hotel Gains Popularity in Allegheny County

200274139-001The Allegheny DUI Alternative to Jail Program, known as DUI Hotel, has recently celebrated its third year. Started in October 2010, the program offers first-time DUI offenders the option of spending four nights in a hotel taking educational classes and group therapy sessions rather than up to 72 hours in jail.

Since its inception, more than 1,500 people in Allegheny County have chosen DUI Hotel. The program enables participants to complete their sentences in just four days without having to serve any probation. Participants pay $500 for the program; the hotels contracted to house the participants are located in Oakland and West Mifflin.

To speak with a Pittsburgh DUI lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.


Warning: Use of undefined constant php - assumed 'php' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c04/h07/mnt/79928/domains/spivaklawfirm.com/html/wp-content/themes/spivaklawfirm-2.22/loop.php on line 164

DUI Carries Minimum Sentences in Pennsylvania

200274121-001Pennsylvania law carries a mandatory minimum sentencing requirement for all DUI convictions. This means that judges may have little or no discretion in sentencing decisions.

In most cases, a first-time conviction for DUI requires several days of jail time, DUI hotel, or house arrest with electronic monitoring. Additionally, offenders must pay a fine, forfeit their driver’s license for one year, complete Alcohol Highway Safety School DUI classes, and submit to drug and alcohol screening.

To speak with a Pittsburgh DUI attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.


Warning: Use of undefined constant php - assumed 'php' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c04/h07/mnt/79928/domains/spivaklawfirm.com/html/wp-content/themes/spivaklawfirm-2.22/loop.php on line 164

DUI Penalties in Pennsylvania Prove Costly

200274139-001DUI penalties include Alcohol Highway Safety School classes designed to educate participants on the consequences of driving while intoxicated – including the safety, legal, physical, and economic costs of that decision. The goals for the participants of these mandatory classes include:

  • Understanding the relationship between substance use and highway safety
  • Recognizing that driving, after using substances, is dangerous behavior
  • Recognizing the broader implications of a DUI arrest in relation to family, job and friends
  • Identifying realistic strategies to avoid future DUI behavior
  • Learning how and where to obtain help for substance abuse problems

In one exercise, participants complete a worksheet assessing the total cost (not only fines and program fees, but also medical, court, time and other related costs) of their DUI. Estimates ranged from the low five-figures to the mid six-figures, the latter involving hospital costs from injuries sustained during a DUI-related incident.

To schedule an appointment with a Pittsburgh DUI attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.


Warning: Use of undefined constant php - assumed 'php' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c04/h07/mnt/79928/domains/spivaklawfirm.com/html/wp-content/themes/spivaklawfirm-2.22/loop.php on line 164

Jail Alternatives in Allegheny County

200488043-001Allegheny County has six specialty courts that offer intensive treatment as an alternative to jail for repeat criminal offenders. These courts, which generally handle non-violent offenders only, often require longer time commitments than typical incarceration. The main purpose of specialty courts is rehabilitation not punishment. Allegheny County’s specialty courts are described below.

DUI Court is available to defendants who have been arrested at least two times on misdemeanor counts of drunken driving and have not been convicted of a violent crime for at least ten years.  DUI Court requires monthly progress hearings, electronic home monitoring, and breathalyzers before entering the courtroom.

DUI Hotel, an alternative to the mandatory minimum jail term for persons convicted of DUI, involves four days of intensive programming, classes, and therapy at a specific location in Allegheny County. The sentence is completed at the end of the program, which is paid for by the defendant.

Drug Court is available for repeat drug offenders who have not been convicted of a violent crime in the past ten years. All defendants entering the program must plead guilty to the charges, be placed on electronic monitoring, and complete all treatment requirements recommended by the Drug Court Specialist.

Mental Health Court is available to misdemeanor and non-violent felony offenders with a documented diagnosis of a mental disorder. Defendants may be released from jail and placed in mental health treatment as part of probation.

Veterans Court is available for veterans of the United States Armed Forces with substance-abuse issues and mental-health disorders. Like Mental Health Court and Drug Court, Veterans Court meets monthly and undertakes regular progress reports, treatment plans, and probation.

Prostitution Court is mandatory for most defendants charged with prostitution crimes. Like Drug Court and Mental Health Court, it requires therapy and monthly progress hearings.

To discuss whether you may be eligible for a specialty court as an alternative to jail, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.


Warning: Use of undefined constant php - assumed 'php' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c04/h07/mnt/79928/domains/spivaklawfirm.com/html/wp-content/themes/spivaklawfirm-2.22/loop.php on line 164