Experienced Defense Counsel Serving Clients Throughout Central Pennsylvania

Photo of Matt M. McClenahen
Photo of Matt M. McClenahen
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DUI Defense

Defending People Accused Of DUI In Central Pennsylvania

Criminal defense attorney Matt McClenahen offers reliable advice and skilled representation for people charged with drunk driving, drugged driving, underage driving under the influence (DU) and other alcohol-related offenses in State College, on the Penn State campus and throughout Central Pennsylvania. If you need to deal with an arrest for drinking and driving in Central Pennsylvania, call the McClenahen Law Firm P.C. at 814-308-0870 for a free consultation about your options.

Working Hard To Minimize The Potential Penalties

Tougher DUI laws implemented on February 1, 2004; improved police training and practices; and technological advances in the toxicology testing that shows blood alcohol content (BAC) have all combined to make a successful trial defense in drunk driving cases harder than ever before. In the early 2000s, groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and other victims’ rights groups successfully lobbied for changes to Pennsylvania’s DUI laws, which would make it more difficult to defend against DUI charges. The extensive revisions of Pennsylvania DUI laws in 2004 closed many of the loopholes and glitches in the old DUI law, which skilled defense attorneys had exploited to win acquittals at trial or have DUI charges dismissed. Nevertheless, some DUI cases are still winnable, and an experienced defense attorney can review your case to see if you have a defense that can lead to dismissal of the charges or a victory at trial.

In some cases, we can challenge whether the police had reasonable suspicion to make the traffic stop. Without reasonable suspicion, any evidence stemming from the traffic stop will be suppressed (made inadmissible at trial) by a Court of Common Pleas judge. In cases where you were not pulled over or the police did not see you drive, we can argue that the prosecution may be able to show you were intoxicated but cannot prove that you were actually driving. In other cases, we may concede that you were, in fact, both driving and intoxicated, but that you were not driving on a public road.

Alternatives To Jail Sentences

In some cases, when you do not have a strong defense, our legal advice will focus on keeping your penalties and license suspension to the most minimum possible. If you are a first-time DUI offender, you will usually be eligible for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, successful completion of which results in no jail time, a lessened license suspension and dismissal of your charges and expungement of your arrest record. Second and subsequent DUI convictions carry mandatory minimum prison sentences. We can advocate that you serve this sentence either fully or partially under house arrest instead of jail, have work release for any time spent in jail or that you receive credit toward your sentence for any time spent in inpatient drug and alcohol treatment.

The length of the mandatory license suspension is generally based on blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the presence of other drugs in your system and prior DUI convictions. We can often find ways to resolve close calls on either of these issues in your favor, either through plea negotiations or by hiring a toxicologist to challenge the accuracy of the BAC test.

We also advise clients facing more serious charges related to DUI, such as aggravated assault or homicide resulting from alcohol-related accidents. In these cases, an important issue will usually be the Commonwealth’s ability to prove the role of intoxication in causing the accident.

Schedule A Free Consultation With A Knowledgeable Attorney

Although it’s difficult to achieve a complete victory on Pennsylvania DUI charges, there are many ways to protect you from the most severe potential consequences. For more information about our approach to client service in DUI defense, contact an experienced lawyer at the McClenahen Law Firm P.C. by calling 814-308-0870. You may also complete the online contact form.