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So I got my first DUI, I am still waiting on my paper wrk. Not sure of my bal, think i should still get a lawyer?

New Kensington, PA |

Not sure of my bal yet. Never got in trouble before so I don't know if I should get a lawyer. Im just freaking out about everything. Please give me some advice. Also I cant afford to spend a ton of money on the lawyer do any of them take payment plans.

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Attorney answers 5


I always recommend that you get a lawyer. Otherwise, you are going to be taking advise from the officer or the DA, which are the people that are responsible for prosecuting the case. If the officer made a mistake with the case that could lead to the dismissal of the charges, do you really think that either the officer or the DA is going to tell you. An attorney is your advocate, so his/her role is to get the best possible resolution for you. Most criminal defense lawyers offer free consultations, so it won't cost you anything to have an attorney review your case and tell you what they can do for you.

I also recommend that you consult with an attorney in your area. This is a great website on which to ask general questions about DUI cases, but you should not discuss details of your case here as you do not have attorney/client privilege. Talk to a local, experienced DUI attorney. A local attorney is likely to know the tendencies of the officer and DA and thereby can provide better representation.

If you wanted to check out some general questions that many people have with regard to DUI charges, I recommend clicking on the DUI Questions & Answers section below.

Jason S. Dunkle, Esquire
JD Law, P.C.
State College, PA 16801
(814) 954-7622

The responses provided on this site are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal advice regarding an individual situation. No attorney-client relationship is created between the reader and JD Law, P.C.


Yes you should get a lawyer. It is never a smart idea trying to navigate the crimi al justice system alone. A lawyer can advise, guide and defend you and negotiate the best possible disposition if necessary.


You should hire a lawyer that you feel comfortable with. Most lawyers accept payment plans. Ask if the price includes just the preliminary hearing, which most lawyers will waive to try to get you into ARD, which can keep your record clean. If you feel like this is something worth taking to trial, make sure you get all the price options from the lawyer. Most lawyers wont do a DUI jury trial for anything less than a lot of money. With most first timers, your best bet is the ARD program which carries no license or limited license suspension, probation and then after a year you can expunge it. Either way, be sure to call around and find someone you are comfortable with that will answer all your questions. Good luck!

(215)564-1634 work (215)849-2173 cell Montoya Shaffer, LLC 100 S. Broad Street, Suite 1216 Philadelphia, PA 19110


Although you have not received any paperwork regarding this incident yet, you should consult with an Attorney immediately to discuss your options and be prepared for what to expect once receiving documents from court. It is likely that charges may have already been filed and are in the process of being entered into the system. If this is the case, you may not have paperwork yet but your case may be in the docket and have a court date scheduled. By consulting with an Attorney, they should be able to check the docket for you and provide you with any information that is found. Once the charges have been filed, the court will send you two copies of your paperwork, one regular mail and once certified mail.

Again, it is important that you contact an Attorney to discuss this matter in further detail even though you do not have any paperwork yet.

Responses provided by Joseph A. Paletta, Esq., and the members of this lawfirm are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal advice regarding an individual situation. No attorney-client relationship is created by answering this question. If you would like to consult with this office, please feel free to contact us at 412.391.7999 or by sending an E-Mail to & we will contact you.


I agree with what everyone has said. As a first time offender your may be eligible for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) probation program, so your attorney will definitely want to start there. But going that route should not be the only option. I agree with my colleague's assessment that your attorney should press for every advantage, perhaps even challenging the traffic stop. You won't be able to get much in the way of a "How To Fight a DUI" education on Avvo because of the specific facts of your case are important, and you should only divulge those details in a private consultation with an attorney.

On another matter, if you are anxious for your paperwork, Pennsylvania's Unified Judiciary website,, may be useful to track your case information before you receive it in the mail. That site is available to the public to access criminal dockets by county.

Best wishes in handling this matter.

The following response is for informational purposes only. The information provided is available to the public, and it does not constitute legal advice. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should be made after considerable thought. This response is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. I only provide legal services on behalf clients after I have received a written, signed fee agreement.

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