What Happens When You Get a DUI for the First Time?

A Picture of an Arrested Man in Handcuffs.

What’s a DUI Charge?

When you are faced with your first DUI charge, it can be a really scary thing to deal with. Not only because it can involve an arrest but because the entire process can seem completely alien. If you have been arrested for a DUI for a the first time, you probably have a ton of questions that you need answered. Luckily, we have put together answers for commonly asked questions about DUIs and DUI bail.

How Long Do You Have To Stay in Jail for a DUI?

If someone is tried and convicted of a DUI offense in the state of Pennsylvania the amount of jail time for a DUI is going to be based on your blood alcohol content. A first time offender with a BAC of .08 to .099% won’t have any jail time, but they can have up to six months of probation. For first time offenders that have a BAC of .10 to .159%, they can expect prison time for either two day or six months. The highest BAC is .16% and more, so if someone has a .16% and it’s their first offense, they can be in jail for three days or be in prison for six months. In order to get out of jail to prepare for your case, you will need bail for DUI charge. DUI bail will be based on the discretion of the court or the judge presiding over your case.

How Much Does It Cost If You Get a DUI?

Again, if you live in Pennsylvania, the way that the fines or fees are determined if how high your blood alcohol content is. A first offense with a .08 to .099% blood alcohol content is going to be $300. With a blood alcohol content of .10 to .159% on a first offense, that is going to be $500 to $5,000 in fines and fees. When your blood alcohol content is .16% or higher, the total amount of fines is anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000.

Can You Get a DUI Dropped?

For first time offenders, it is very common to ask whether or not a DUI can be dropped. These types of charges can stay on your permanent record, so wanting to get this kind of charged expunged is pretty reasonable. Each DUI case is going to be different, so depending on the particulars of your specific case will determine whether or not you can have your DUI charge dropped. There have been cases where a person with multiple DUI charges have had at least one dropped, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility to have a first time DUI offense dropped. Again, it is really going to depend on the specifics of your individual case whether it will be dropped or not.

What Is a DUI Bail?

DUI bail is when someone who has been arrested can pay money in order to be released from jail. The DUI bail amount is based on certain criteria that are placed by the court or the judge. There many factors that determine the bail amount which are

  • The seriousness of the offense.
  • How many DUIs this person has had.
  • What type of criminal record they have
  • If the person is considered a flight risk.
  • If the person is considered a danger to the community.

Once those factors have been considered, a bail amount will be decided and posted. A lot of times people are unable to afford the bail amount, which is why many people bail services. Getting bail bonds through a bail bond agency can lessen the financial burden that bail can put on someone. There are times when someone can be released from jail without DUI bail or have DUI bail denied. People who have a first DUI offense are more likely to have DUI released without bail if they didn’t crash their car, hurt someone, or have a BAC that is higher than .08%. When DUI bail is denied for a first time DUI offense, the courts or judge could deny someone bail because of their past criminal history or because they think the person is a flight risk.


A Picture of a Shot of Whiskey with Car Keys and Handcuffs.

Whats Worse a DUI or DWI?

While typically, DUI and DWI are used interchangeably a lot of the time, they are actually quite different. The biggest difference that these two crimes have is what the abbreviations of the term mean; DUI is driving under the influence, while a DWI is driving while intoxicated. If you have been drinking and get pulled over and have a BAC of over .08%, you will more than likely be charged with a DWI. If you are driving and have taken illegal substances and have a BAC of over .08%, you will be charged with a DUI. However, there are some states that have a zero tolerance, which means that whether you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, if your BAC is over the legal limit, you will be charged with a crime.

The state of Pennsylvania has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drinking or being under the influence while driving, so they don’t really distinguish between a DWIs and DUIs because they are both crimes which involve high BAC levels. If you are needing DUI bail in Lebanon and Reading, PA, the bail bond agents at Bail Shop, LLC can help! Whether you are in a position where you need felony or misdemeanor bail, our team is ready to help you out. Give us a call at 888-224-5711 to learn more about how we can help you.