West Chester, PA 19380
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Lee Ciccarelli is the founder and managing partner of Ciccarelli Law Offices with over two decades experience as a practicing attorney.
Joshua Tebay is an experienced attorney and former prosecutor licensed to practice in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Michael E. Houghton brings both passion and enthusiasm to criminal defense through his extensive knowledge and experience.
Timothy Kraeer is a highly experienced traffic attorney who handles related criminal and civil matters across the state.
Since 1992, Ann has been advocating for her clients both in and out of tough courtrooms of Philadelphia, which has cultivated her craft.
David Strenfel is a highly experienced attorney who focuses on trial advocacy, constitutional law, and criminal defense.
Jonathon Luff has successfully represented countless clients and gain freedom for many wrongfully accused individuals.
These locations are available by appointment only
Our firm provides excellent services at reasonable fees and accepts a variety of payment methods, including most major credit card providers.
Lee Ciccarelli has received a 10.0 (Superb) rating on Avvo, the highest possible rating for attorneys on the site. This rating is given based on client reviews, peer endorsements, and professional experience and credentials.
Every state in the country not only prohibits operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, but each state also has “implied consent” laws. These laws state that by driving an automobile you automatically agree to submit to any chemical testing of your blood, breath, or urine for drug or alcohol content if asked by a law enforcement officer.
Pennsylvania requires drivers to submit to blood alcohol content (BAC) testing if suspected of driving under the influence (DUI), and the punishments can be severe if you refuse. While refusing to undergo chemical testing may make it more difficult for a prosecutor to convict you of DUI, you will have to defend yourself against two charges instead of one: not only DUI, but also refusing to submit to the chemical testing.
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution clearly states that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” An experienced criminal defense attorney can invoke your constitutional rights protecting you from self-incrimination when you have been accused of DUI.
Ciccarelli Law Offices represents clients in Chester County, Lancaster County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Philadelphia County who have been accused of drunk driving and refusal to submit to chemical testing. We can provide a complete review of your case when you call (610) 719-3200 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Every driver signs forms agreeing to implied consent laws when they apply for or renew their driver’s licenses. Pennsylvania’s implied consent law requires police officers to advise suspects that they do not have the right to speak to a lawyer or remain silent when asked to submit to BAC testing, and refusing will result in an automatic suspension of driving privileges.
If you are stopped for suspected drunk driving, the police officer is required to read you the implied consent warning known as the DL-26 form. This is also referred to as the “O’Connell Warning,” in reference to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department Of Transportation, Bureau of Traffic Safety v. Patrick M. O'Connell. In that case, O’Connell successfully argued that he refused to submit to a breathalyzer test because he mistakenly believed he had the right to speak with an attorney before taking the test.
When a police officer in Pennsylvania now issues the O’Connell Warning, it reads as follows:
Please be advised that you are under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance in violation of Section 3802 of the Vehicle Code. I am requesting that you submit to a chemical test of blood, breath or urine. It is my duty as a police officer to inform you that if you refuse to submit to the chemical test, your operating privilege will be suspended for at least 12 months, and up to 18 months, if you have prior refusals or have been previously sentenced for driving under the influence. In addition, if you refuse to submit to the chemical test, and you are convicted of or plead to violating Section 3802(a)(1) (relating to impaired driving) of the Vehicle Code, because of your refusal, you will be subject to more severe penalties set forth in Section 3804(c) (relating to penalties) of the Vehicle Code, the same as if you would be convicted of driving with the highest rate of alcohol, which include a minimum of 72 consecutive hours in jail and a minimum fine of $1,000.00, up to a maximum of five years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000. It is also my duty as a police officer to inform you that you have no right to speak with an attorney or anyone else before deciding whether to submit to testing and any request to speak with an attorney or anyone else after being provided these warnings or remaining silent when asked to submit to chemical testing will constitute a refusal, resulting in the suspension of your operating privilege and other enhanced criminal sanctions if you are convicted of violating Section 3802(a) of the Vehicle Code.
Pennsylvania uses a tier system for DUI offenses. The three levels of DUI are:
The levels of punishments increase for DUI convictions with higher BAC levels, but it is important to understand that refusing to submit to chemical testing can make you subject to the highest BAC penalties. If you have no prior DUI offenses, penalties can include:
If you have one prior DUI offense, penalties may include:
If you have two or more prior DUI offenses, penalties can include:
While charges for DUI and refusing to submit to chemical testing may feel daunting, there are several defenses that can result in those charges being reduced or even dismissed. Such defenses may include, but are not limited to:
If you were arrested for DUI and refused to submit to chemical testing, you should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Ciccarelli Law Offices defends clients against drunk driving charges in such Chester County communities as West Chester, West Goshen, Phoenixville, Coatesville, Easttown, and West Caln.
We also help people in surrounding area like Lancaster County, Montgomery County, and Delaware County as well as the greater Philadelphia area. You can call our firm today at (610) 719-3200 to receive a free consultation.