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Do I need an attorney or public defender for 2nd DUI charge?

Bethlehem, PA |

Charged in North Hampton county for 2nd DI. First was year ago for prescribed meds. 2nd for alcohol after accident. Not sure if i qualify for county's ASP program seeing that i am not a Resident. I reside in Blair couny. First DUI was in Centre county. Still paying on my fines for that charge. All other requirments completed. Concerned if cnvicted, that will affect professional career. BAC was .19 Aware of poosible consequenses in this situation, but unsure if other sentencing is possible. Seeking advice from local councel in North Hampton county with my situation.

Attorney Answers 6


It sounds like the first case is still open. If you are convicted in the new case, this may be a violation of your original sentence. Not only should you retain a local attorney , you may have to back to your first attorney in the event of a violation.

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First things first, there is hope and there is help.
This is an important moment in your life. There is little doubt that this is weighing heavily on you and I get that.
In my opinion, no competent lawyer should give you advice based upon this little bit of information as to a definitive course of action.
We specialize in substantive DUI defense meaning using science on your side to help you make them go away.
Substantive DUI defense calls for a considerable amount of detailed analysis to see what the best course of action is.

Having said that, you have a legitimate concern about it affecting your professional career. In the post September 11 world a lot of employers are becoming more sophisticated in their employment searches and more stringent in their criteria for hiring. Couple that with a very difficult economy, employers are looking to downsize and or not to hire, rather than hire and keep people on. Why give them the excuse?

Don't give up and think that you have to plead guilty. There are a lot of substantive and technical defenses. There is help and there is hope. Give us a ring. The call is free. We'd like to help. 717-657-3900.

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You need an attorney for a first DUI. Since this is your second and there was an accident, you definitely need an attorney. Two DUIs is indiciative of a drinking/alcohol issue. You should seriously consider being evaluated.

This is not intended as individual legal advice and there is no attorney client relationship established by this answer. It is advisable that you seek individualized legal assistance. This is not a substitute for hiring an attorney.

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first offense resulted from accident. when taken to hospital, presribed medication considered a controlled substance showed up in test results. This incident occured due to alcohol. Rarely drink. I would be open to seeking conseling for alcohol though.

Michael Lawrence Doyle

Michael Lawrence Doyle


Getting an evaluation shows the court you are serious about addressing any potential problem that may exist. It shows the court you are taking this seriously.


First off, a Public Defender is an attorney and if you are unable to afford a private attorney then you should absolutely apply for a Public Defender. A private attorney would give you more "face time" and is usually more available to you to answer your questions.
It seems like you may have 2 problems here - 90 day mandatory minimum for the 2nd and if you are still under supervision for the first then you could be looking at more jail time due to a violation of parole.
You need to immediately consult with a local defense attorney to discuss your options.
My website has a ton of DUI info if you are interested.
Ellis B. Klein, Esquire
137 N. 5th Street
Allentown PA

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Yes. That is the simple answer. I do not recommend that anyone goes into court without an attorney. If you are concerned about your professional career, protect it. Call a lawyer ASAP.

NOTE: This answer is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney with whom you have established an attorney client relationship and all the privileges that relationship provides. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.

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You already have responses from five good Pennsylvania lawyers. I am chiming in because I am someone you cannot hire. You need a lawyer; you need one on both cases.

Often people think that because it isn’t a murder case, a drunk driving case is simple. Nothing could be further from the truth. These cases can be among the most complex a criminal defense lawyer handles. The government is willing to spend an incredible amount of money to convict you though. They will have expert witnesses available for consultation and trial.

That you have been charged or that some contraption says your alcohol level was at a certain level does not mean that you are guilty. It certainly does not mean that you can be proven guilty using competent, valid evidence.

Field sobriety “tests” are designed to give police a reason to arrest. You cannot “pass” them. The police will admit that almost a third of healthy young adults who take these tests without any alcohol will be judged to be “under the influence” – and that assumes they are properly administered!

After even a first drunk driving conviction, you may face employment discrimination. You will certainly be charged higher for insurance. Having such a conviction will also make you a target for drunk driving arrest in future interactions with police. You will automatically become a suspect.

You will want a lawyer who is familiar with field sobriety “tests,” perhaps one who is certified to administer these tests. You will want a lawyer familiar with the weaknesses of the contraptions that are used to report alcohol or drug levels. You want an experienced trial lawyer, used to cross-examining police officers. Police officers are practiced, experienced witnesses.

That is, you want an experienced drunk driving defense lawyer, whether you call the offense DUI, OWI, DWI, OUI, or drugged driving.

If any answer on AVVO helps you, mine or someone else’s, please mark it as "helpful" or "best answer" to help AVVO know which answers to show others.
Thank you.

--- Experienced DUI/DWI/OWI/Drunk Driving Lawyer in Madison, Wisconsin

--- Facebook Page Madison (Dane County) Wisconsin Drunk Driving / OWI / DWI / DUI Lawyer

--- Field sobriety "tests" – Madison (Dane County) Wisconsin DUI / DWI / OWI / Drunk Driving lawyer

--- Drugged Driving/DUI/DWI/Drunk Driving with Prescription Drugs – Madison (Dane County) Wisconsin

--- Which Offenses Count as Priors in Wisconsin? - Madison Dane County Wisconsin DUI OWI Drunk Driving Lawyer answers

--- Ten Days to Save Your License - Administrative Suspension and Refusals in Madison (Dane County) Wisconsin


Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum.

I am an experienced Wisconsin drunk driving (DUI/OWI/DWI) defense lawyer practicing in Madison (Dane County) Wisconsin. The laws in each jurisdiction can be very different. I cannot give legal advice over the Internet nor can I establish an attorney client relationship with you.

If something I say disagrees with what your own lawyer is telling you, you should rely on your lawyer who is familiar with you, your entire case, the local courts and practices.

To deal with a legal problem, nothing is better than to consult with a lawyer who will give you some time and advice. If you cannot afford an attorney, there should be agencies in your area that can provide discounted, or even free, legal services.

This AVVO Answer is provided for general educational purposes only.

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Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum. Click on the "More..." link for IMPORTANT INFORMATION about this AVVO Answer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I am an experienced Wisconsin lawyer. The laws in each jurisdiction can be very different. I cannot give legal advice over the internet nor can I establish an attorney client relationship with you. You should NOT assume or otherwise conclude that there is an attorney -client relationship between any reader and this writer or his firm. These comments are only guideposts. They are not subject to any privilege protections. Indeed, these internet communications are neither privileged nor confidential. Accordingly, those using this form of communication need to be guarded in what they write. Because of the nature of these communications the information is general only and should not be relied upon in any specific case. This internet site is public forum, where the communications are not confidential or privileged. There may very well be merit to your defense or position in this type of situation. However, there are hardly sufficient details for an attorney to provide you with some path to follow. It is imperative that ALL of the facts in a particular situation be examined. No conclusion can be drawn from the communication that you have provided. There are some matters that are just better handled by an attorney familiar with the procedures of the courts in your area. Most, if not all, legal matters should not be handled via internet communication. At best, the responders on this site can give you a few hints and guidance. To deal with a legal problem, nothing is better than to consult with a lawyer who will give you some time and advice. If you cannot afford an attorney, there should be agencies in your area that can provide discounted, or even free, legal services. For a definitive answer you should seek legal advice from an attorney who (1) is licensed to practice in the state which has jurisdiction; (2) has experience in the area of law you are asking about, and (3) has been retained as your attorney for representation or consultation. Your question and the attorney’s answer may be used for promotional or educational purposes.

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