In Pennsylvania, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving After Imbibing is treated as a criminal offense. The Pennsylvania court process usually begins with an arrest. Typically, persons arrested for DUI are released on their own recognizance (R.O.R.) or a nominal bail is imposed. In county courts outside of Philadelphia, DUI charges are routinely sent by mail in the form of a criminal complaint and a summons to appear in a Pennsylvania district court.
Contacting the Officer
An experienced DUI attorney, such as Kevin Leckerman, may attempt to contact the arresting officer. This is often done in order to convince the arresting police officer not to file a DUI charge. Other times, contact is made in order to convince the officer not to notify PennDot of a refusal to submit a breath, blood or urine sample. If successful, a lengthy license suspension due to the refusal may be avoided.
The Preliminary Hearing
The first court appearance is known as a preliminary hearing. At the preliminary hearing, the arresting police officer testifies before a district justice. The district court justice, who is normally not a lawyer, decides whether there is enough evidence for the DUI charge to proceed to the county court of common pleas. An experienced DUI attorney should be able to point out any weaknesses in the Commonwealth’s case, which could lead to the district justice dismissing some or all the charges.
If the DUI charges are not dismissed, the case is sent to the Pennsylvania court of common pleas where an arraignment or formal presentment of the charges is held. Moreover, the arraignment begins the process of evidence discovery. Only a certain period of time is available to request discovery and make specific legal motions to the court.
The Discovery Process
For DUI prosecutions, specific requests for evidence relating to blood, breath or urine testing must be made. Otherwise, valuable information that may lead to those tests being challenged may never be obtained. After the information is received, Kevin Leckerman talks to his clients about obtaining DUI experts to review any scientific data related to the testing. Those experts may be able to offer written opinions that could aid a favorable resolution of the case.
Once the discovery process is completed, a trial date is scheduled. Mr. Leckerman will make the client aware of all of the options available prior to going to court.
No matter what, Kevin Leckerman will aggressively and creatively defend his clients in order to get the best possible outcome.
Serving the following areas in PA:
Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties, Doylestown, West Chester, Norristown, Media, Philadelphia and all surrounding cities and towns.