A Knowledgeable Somerset DUI Lawyer
Learn about DUI and what to do if you’re charged in Pennsylvania
The night started out simply enough — good friends, good music, good beer.
Then you were pulled over, and the night became complicated.
If you have been charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI), you’re probably feeling scared, frustrated and angry. But the best thing you can do is to stay calm and contact an experienced Somerset DUI attorney.
Matthew R. Zatko has been representing clients charged with DUI since 1997. I know how the system works and can personally guide you step-by-step through the options available to you based on your circumstances.
A three-tiered approach to DUI
Pennsylvania’s tiered approach toward DUI enforcement and treatment takes into consideration prior offenses and your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level at the time it’s measured.
- General Impairment (.08 to .099 percent BAC)
- High BAC (.10 to .159 percent)
- Highest BAC (.16 percent and higher)
Each category is then broken into three sub-categories based on whether you have zero, one, or two or more prior DUI offenses. Penalties range from up to six months of probation and a $300 fine for General Impairment with no prior DUI offenses to 1–5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines for Highest BAC with two or more prior DUI offenses. Qualified DUI defense attorneys can provide more details on the penalties.
Minors, commercial drivers, school vehicle or bus drivers, and those involved in accidents that injure someone or cause property damage may be subject to penalties related to the high BAC category even if their BACs aren’t in that category. Individuals who decline breath or chemical testing may be subject to the highest BAC penalties available.
Somerset DUI lawyer can explain Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition
For some clients charged with DUI, Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) is an option. ARD isn’t a conviction, doesn’t require you to serve what would have been a mandatory jail sentence and allows for your related criminal record to be expunged.
To be eligible for ARD you must:
- Be a first time offender
- Not have been involved in an accident where someone other than yourself was seriously injured
- Not have left the scene of an accident
- Not have had a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle that you were operating
- Have a valid license at the time of offense
You also may have to pay fines and complete educational and treatment programs. Somerset DUI attorney Matthew R. Zatko will know whether you’re eligible for ARD and how best to proceed with the case.
Contact me today for aggressive DUI representation
DUI charges are serious, but they don’t have to be the end of the world.
If you’ve been charged with DUI in or near Somerset County, call Matthew R. Zatko, Attorney at Law at 814-483-7075 or contact me online for a free consultation. I serve clients throughout Somerset County, Bedford County, Cambria County, and Indiana County.
“Attorney Zatko handled my complex case in a very professional, courteous, and competent manner. He was able to obtain a settlement for me that was far in excess of what the insurance company was originally offering me. I would HIGHLY recommend him for your case!”
–Anonymous, 5.0 Rating ★★★★★ Review From Avvo
“I was having no success locating a lawyer to help me with what I felt was an unfair speeding citation on the PA Turnpike. My Dad found Mr Zatko through the Bar Association and suggested I talk to him. From the first contact, he was professional, friendly and honest about my situation. To make a long story short, he was able to resolve the situation for me in a most favorable manner. And I feel at a very reasonable fee. Many thanks are due!”
–Jolene, 5.0 Rating ★★★★★ Review From Avvo
“Mr. Zatko took the time to answer all of my questions thoroughly and kept me well informed of the process. I live out of state so he was able to represent me without requiring me to drive 5 hours to appear in court. He successfully negotiated the best possible scenario for my case and I couldn’t be more happy with the result. If you are looking for an Attorney that truly knows every subtle nuance of the law and has strong working relationships to ensure that your case is treated objectively and fairly, then the only choice is Matthew Zatko. I typically never take the time to write reviews, but when someone goes above and beyond my expectations to achieve a successful outcome for me, I am compelled to share that information with other people that are in need of solid representation.”
–Scott, 5.0 Rating ★★★★★ Review From Avvo
“Attorney Matthew Zatko’s management and personal assistance in the administration of the completion of the family estate legal matters was greatly appreciated.”
–Anonymous, 5.0 Rating ★★★★★ Review From Lawyers.com