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Joseph Paletta helped me finish a long time case I’ve been trying to wrap up for years. He was completely understanding, professional and worked very diligently to the end and I’m so grateful! Highly recommend!!
Great experience overall having Joseph Paletta as my attorney. Joseph understands his client, very insightful and is an expert in his field. Truly a professional and marvelous individual. I would'nt hesitate to use Paletta again for future legal needs.
Paletta law is a super focused and knowledgeable attorney. He is true to his client’s mission and desired outcomes. A great listener when it comes to gathering information from his client and honest about the direction of the case he is working on.
Following a vehicle stop, Field Sobriety Tests and chemical testing of breath or blood, a DUI prosecution can begin with handcuffs and processing through the Allegheny County Jail. Or you can be released from custody and the prosecution can begin by the mailing of official paperwork in the form of a Summons.
You will 1) receive a copy of the charging document, the “Police Criminal Complaint”; 2) a Magisterial District Judge will set your “Bond” to assure your appearance at all the following steps in the prosecution process; and 3) you will be notified of the date of the next step, the Preliminary Hearing. Regarding the Bond, you can simply be released on your promise to appear at all future Court hearings (R.O.R.), or a monetary Bond can be set that you will be required to post before you can be released from Jail.
The first Court hearing where evidence is presented, witnesses testify, and argument made by your lawyer, perhaps even for dismissal of the prosecution. This Hearing can be also be “Waived” in order to proceed to trial in exchange for amendments to the charges.
In Allegheny County, this step is usually administrative wherein additional paperwork is received and application for “Discovery” is made. However, if Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (A.R.D.) is an option in your case, this deal can be concluded at this stage.
In Allegheny County, you and your attorney appear in the trial courtroom and select a trial date in the case. In addition, this is a first opportunity for your lawyer to meet with the District Attorney assigned to your case in order to discuss charges and possible Plea Bargains.
The time at which your D.U.I. prosecution is resolved on the basis of a Jury Trial, Non-Jury Trial or negotiated Guilty Plea.
Sentences in D.U.I. prosecutions are to a significant extend determined by the Pennsylvania legislature in the form of “mandatory minimum” sentences. You can see what your sentence will be by looking at the D.U.I. Sentencing Matrix by looking for the number D.U.I. You receive your sentence as set by the judge.
A person may not drive a vehicle after drinking alcohol to the extent that the person is not capable of safe driving. Police are trained to look for signs that a driver may be impaired by alcohol or drugs, and will make the decision to charge based upon observations, Field Sobriety Testing (FST) and sometimes a Portable Breath Test (PBT). In addition, a driver is also subject to this offense if the alcohol content in blood or breath is at least 0.08% but less than 0.10% within two hours after driving.
If you are driving with an alcohol concentration in your blood or breath of at least 0.10% but less than 0.16% within two hours after driving, you are subject to a high rate of alcohol charge.
If you are driving with an alcohol concentration in your blood or breath of 0.16% or higher within two hours after driving, you are subject to the highest impairment charge.
A person may not drive if under the influence of a drug or combination of drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol to a degree “which impairs the individual’s ability to safely drive”
A minor may not drive under the influence of alcohol if the amount of alcohol in the minor’s blood or breath is 0.02% or higher within two hours after driving.
If you are interested in reading the entire statute, you may do so by reading our blog with it here.
When you are charged with DUI, your freedom, employment, and money are on the line, so do not hesitate to contact Attorney Paletta at (412) 391-7999 or by emailing Joseph@PalettaLaw.com for a free initial case assessment to determine what options you have. Depending on the facts of your particular case, your options may include defenses to the DUI, or a defense to the stop, or the option of a pre-trial diversion program. You can read about the many cases in which Attorney Paletta has achieved Not Guilty verdicts in DUI trials, and achieved the suppression of evidence due to an unlawful stop or seizure which caused the dismissal of DUI charges.
Everyone at Paletta Law is professional, knowledgeable and kind. I highly recommend this firm.