The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

DUI Cases in Philadelphia

DUI cases generally follow the same procedure. After a person is arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, he or she is usually booked, placed into a holding cell at a local jail, and then released after posting bail. Similar to other criminal proceedings, the DUI case begins with an arraignment where the defendant states his or her plea to the charges. If the defendant pleads not guilty, a DUI attorney will have the opportunity to defend the client at trial. If a defendant pleads guilty, a judge will determine the type of punishment at the sentencing hearing.

A Philadelphia DUI attorney can help guide you through this sometimes complicated process and develop a defense strategy if you decide to plead not guilty. You can find a Philadelphia DUI attorney by looking through FindLaw’s directory.

Recently in DUI Cases in Philadelphia:

Use Your Smartphone, Avoid a DUI

Smartphones are truly the do-it-all product -- they may even help you avoid a DUI.

While your phone won't be able to physically drive you home, it can allow you to find a ride or even act as a Breathalyzer.

Here are some ways your smartphone can help you avoid a DUI:

Penn. Dad Faces DUI After Daughter Killed

A Pennsylvania father has been charged with a DUI after his SUV drifted backward and ran over his daughter as he was getting out the car to take photos of her on her first date.

While Richard Benton, 53, wasn't driving at the time of the accident, police report that he was visibly intoxicated when they arrived at the scene, reports CBS News.

In addition to the emotional gravity, his daughter's death may affect the severity of Benton's DUI charge.

Do You Need an Attorney for 1st DUI?

Do you need an attorney for your first DUI? Not only is the answer to that question a resounding yes, but it also applies to everyone -- civilians and officers alike. For narcotics officer Levaun Rudisill, after failing a field sobriety test and being charged with DUI, this means that he may have to look into lawyering-up soon, Philadelphia's KYW-TV reports.

Rudisill, 42, was leaving an Eagles game when he allegedly collided head-on with another vehicle. The 18-year-old driver had to be taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries. Rudisill is currently waiting to face his charges at a preliminary hearing in late October.

In the meantime, however, should he look into getting an attorney?

What Happens After a DUI Arrest?

A DUI case officially begins after prosecutors decide to file charges against you. The steps of a DUI case are similar to the steps of any criminal case. However, it's typically rare for a DUI case to actually go to trial.

If you have been busted for a DUI and are now facing the prospect of criminal charges, it's a good idea to work with an experienced Philadelphia DUI attorney. The criminal process can be confusing and complicated, and an attorney can help guide you through the process while advocating for your rights.

Here is a general overview of what you can expect if you are formally charged with drunken driving:

Judge Finds Alcohol Breath Tests Unreliable; Lawyer Calls for Ban

How accurate are alcohol breath tests?

They've been conduced for years but now, a Dauphin County judge's opinion on these tests is taking center stage in the debate on DUI breath testing, as numerous DUI convictions are now under scrutiny, reports The Patriot News.

Last month, Judge Lawrence F. Clark Jr. threw out nearly two dozen drunken driving cases, citing bad science. He claimed in his Dec. 31 opinion that the methods used to calibrate the Intoxilyzer 5000EN machine raised some concerns about the accuracy of the machine's results, reports The Morning Call.

4 Days Later, Sotomayor Arrested Again, Gets 5th DUI in 5 Weeks

This man is the gift that keeps giving to legal bloggers. Seriously though, his consistency is remarkable. We just covered the extensive track record of Anderson Sotomayor yesterday. Today, just four days after his last arrest for DUI,Sotomayor, 45, of Vineland, NJ, got popped AGAIN.

For those keeping score, that's five DUIs in five weeks and six total traffic arrests since the beginning of April, including an alleged hit and run of a school bus that was unloading children.

Who is going to be the lucky attorney who gets to represent this guy? 'Ummm, Your Honor, the officers didn't have probable cause for the third arrest and the sixth confession was coerced but the second one was okay, but the first hit and run wasn't him ..."

Man Gets 4th DUI in 34 Days, Plus Bonus Hit and Run

It may be fair to state that Anderson Sotomayor, 45, of Vineland, NJ, is a terrible driver. He also may have another problem. Based on his recent newsworthy driving offenses, he certainly has a problem with getting on the wrong side of the law. Sotomayor's rap sheet since the beginning of April, courtesy of The Daily Journal, is impressive.

  • April 2, 2012: Sotomayor allegedly swerved his 1998 around a school bus that was unloading kids. He is reported to have blown through a stop sign and collided with another vehicle. He then took off. The woman in the other car ended up in the hospital. The police found part of his handicapped license plate and combined that with witness testimony to track him and his broken vehicle down.
  • April 9, 2012: Sotomayor is arrested for DUI.
  • April 11, 2012: Sotomayor is arrested for DUI.
  • April 25, 2012: Sotomayor is arrested for DUI.
  • May 12, 2012: Sotomayor is arrested for DUI.

This is a DUI blog, not a math blog, but that seems to make five arrests or summonses and four DUIs in a little more than a month, which is astounding.

Former FAA Chief's DUI Case Tossed; Unconstitutional Stop

The word out of Fairfax, Virginia today was positive for former FAA Chief Randy Babbitt, reports The Associated Press. The judge in Babbit's case, Judge Ian O'Flaherty, tossed the case before the prosecution even had the chance to present evidence of intoxication.

Why was Randy Babbitt so lucky? The judge ruled that the stop was unconstitutional and based on an officer's hunch. A video showed Babbitt making a proper left turn prior to being pulled over.

Rhoades Case: Penn Supreme Court Rejects Senavitis' DUI Appeal

Just when we thought we were out, they pulled us back in.

Thomas Senavitis, also known as the "redneck who killed a senator," escaped a homicide conviction for the DUI crash that claimed the life of State Senator James Rhoades. The trial and sentencing all took place back in 2010, so why are we bringing it back up now?

Fire Chief Yuknavich's DUI to be Extinguished?

Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Chief John Yuknavich has not had a good year, but things might be turning in his favor legally, reports Yuknavich recently received a year of probation for an assault incident. In addition, he is facing unresolved charges on theft incidents stemming from alleged misappropriation of fire department funds as well.

To top it all off, Chief Yuknavich was charged with driving under the influence when he was pulled over for violating a restraining order by driving near a woman's home, who just happened to have a protective order against him. That's a bad year for a Fire Chief.