Juvenile DUI Attorney
Juvenile Underage DUI Cases in Chester County PA
Responsibility.org reports that underage drinking remains a serious, persistent problem across the nation, and many of those juveniles who drink are also old enough to drive, hence many of the underage drinkers are getting behind the wheel. In fact, according to the Pennsylvania DUI Association, 18 percent of the driver fatalities in the 16-20 age group were drinking drivers, up from 12 percent in 2016 despite the fact that this group accounts for less than 10 percent of the drivers in the state. In Pennsylvania—as in all other states in the nation—the legal blood alcohol content for those over the age of 21 is 0.08 percent.
Seeking the Best Juvenile DUI Lawyers with the Best Options for Your Child
For those under the age of 21 and driving, there is a zero-tolerance policy in Pennsylvania, meaning there may not be any alcohol in the young driver’s system. Drivers under the age of 21 are considered legally drunk when their BAC is 0.02 percent or more—the equivalent of one beer for most people. The consequences of a Pennsylvania juvenile DUI can be severe therefore it is highly advisable that parents or guardians of a juvenile who has been charged with underage DUI speak to an experienced Pennsylvania juvenile criminal defense attorney.
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our determined team of juvenile DUI defense attorneys seek to give our clients and their parents advice, guidance and advocacy so that a juvenile charge of drunk driving or driving while under the influence of marijuana, pot or another drug does not stand in the way of our juvenile client’s future. Learn more by speaking to our team by emailing, chatting or call (610) 692-8700 or (877) 529-2422. We are based in West Chester PA (Chester County) and serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and the greater Philadelphia metro area including but not limited to Lancaster County, Bucks County, Berks County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and Philadelphia.
Consequences of a Juvenile DUI Conviction
It is important to note that an underage driver in Pennsylvania with a BAC of 0.02-0.079 percent will face charges and penalties if convicted, while a 21-year-od with the same BAC range is unlikely to be charged at all. When an underage Pennsylvania driver is charged with a DUI (18 Pa.C.S.A 6308), there can be serious repercussions, including the following:
- Jail time
- Suspension of driver’s license
- Significant fines
Those who are at least 18, but younger than 21 could receive a mandatory minimum prison term of 48 hours for any amount of alcohol in the blood, hefty fines, mandatory attendance at an alcohol highway safety school, and any other type of drug and alcohol treatment the judge decides on. An underage DUI offense is considered a “middle tier” offense in the state of Pennsylvania. A person convicted of underage DUI in excess of 0.02 percent but less than 0.16 percent faces the following legal penalties:
- For a first-time offender with a clean record, an ARD Resolution (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) could be possible, which would result in no jail time, up to two years of probation, and a mandatory 90-day driver’s license suspension with no eligibility for an occupational limited license. Once the ARD Resolution program is completed, there will be a complete expungement of the offender’s criminal record. ARD programs can be expensive and time-consuming, carrying such obligations as court costs and rehabilitative classes, as well as temporary probation. Temporary probation is usually non-reporting or phone reporting, therefore not as intensive as probation for more serious offenses or for those with a prior criminal history.
- If the juvenile is not eligible for ARD, then a first offense DUI could result in two days mandatory jail time, a fine which can range from $500 to $5,000, mandatory attendance at an alcohol highway safety school, and compliance with any mandated drug and alcohol treatments
- A second juvenile underage DUI conviction could bring a mandatory 30 days in jail, fines which can range from $750-$5,000, attendance at an alcohol highway safety school and compliance with any mandated drug and alcohol treatments.
- A third juvenile underage DUI conviction could bring a mandatory 90 days in jail, fines which can range from $1,500 to $10,000, mandatory attendance at an alcohol highway safety school, and mandatory compliance with drug and alcohol treatments.
- A fourth juvenile underage DUI conviction could result in a mandatory one-year jail sentence, fines which can range from $1,500 to $15,000, mandatory attendance at an alcohol highway safety school and compliance with any mandated drug and alcohol treatments.
- For juveniles who have a BAC higher than 0.16 percent, the penalties will be enhanced. As an example, an underage driver who is facing a second offense DUI with a BAC of less than 0.16 percent faces 30 days in jail, while the same driver faces 90 days in jail if his or her BAC is 0.16 percent or higher.
Aside from the criminal penalties, there are a number of collateral consequences including educational progress. Many colleges and universities—including the University of Pennsylvania—have strict drug and alcohol policies. This means a DUI conviction could result in expulsion or suspension. While federal government aid for college will probably not be affected by an underage DUI conviction, scholarships definitely could.
An underage drinker could also be charged with additional charges such as minor in possession of alcohol, distribution of alcohol to other minors (if there were inebriated minors in the vehicle), soliciting alcohol, possession of a false identification if a fake ID was used to purchase alcohol or moving violations, depending on the circumstances of the arrest and what the arresting officers saw. Another collateral consequence of a juvenile DUI conviction has to do with car insurance.
Many insurance companies will terminate a policy after an underage DUI while others may simply refuse to renew. Still other insurance companies will raise the cost of the monthly premiums—sometimes as much as $200 per month. These high-risk insurance policy premiums can stay in force for three to five years, then the juvenile will be required to furnish the DMV with an SR-22 certificate to reinstate a license following the driver’s license suspension.
Can a Juvenile DUI Conviction Be Expunged?
As per 18 Pennsylvania Code Section 9122, an underage driver can petition to have a DUI expunged from their record provided they have fully met all the conditions of their underage DUI sentence, including classes, proof of insurance, paying all fines, and completing the license suspension period. So long as all the conditions of the juvenile’s DUI sentence are satisfied, there is not waiting period prior to applying for an expunction. For any juvenile, but particularly those who plan on attending college or joining the military, having a juvenile DUI conviction expunged can truly be a godsend.
The Process for Juvenile Underage DUI Court
The juvenile court system in Pennsylvania—as in most states—works quite differently than the adult criminal justice system. The overarching theme in juvenile court is rehabilitation rather than punishment, although there are certainly penalties associated with juvenile criminal offenses. The juvenile is issued a delinquency petition which “accuses” them of committing a delinquent act. The juvenile will appear before a juvenile judge who will listen to the evidence against them. Juveniles are entitled to have an attorney for juvenile court, just as an adult is entitled to have an attorney. If the juvenile has an attorney, that attorney will present evidence in favor of the juvenile during the hearing. Following the hearing, the judge will determine whether the juvenile did, in fact, commit an illegal act. There is no jury in the Pennsylvania juvenile court system. If the judge believes the juvenile did commit an illegal act, the juvenile will be judged a “delinquent child.”
The judge will then announce the date and time of the disposition (42 Pa.C.S. §§ 6352) hearing, during which the consequences of the juvenile’s act will be handed down. Juveniles who are judged guilty of committing an illegal act can face probation which comes with strict rules, including regular school attendance and possibly completing community service. Usually only older teens who commit a violent, delinquent act, have no parental support, or are repeat offenders will end up in a juvenile detention facility, although jail time is mandatory for juvenile DUI cases. Spending time in jail could prevent a teen from graduating or playing an active role in school or their community.
How a Pennsylvania Juvenile Underage DUI Attorney Can Help
If your child is in trouble, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced Pennsylvania juvenile underage DUI attorney as quickly as possible in order to minimize the consequences of the DUI. Of course, as parents, we want our children to suffer some level of consequences for their actions, and you do not want your child to think that driving while intoxicated is okay under any circumstances. By the same token, you do not want this one mistake to completely alter your child’s future, making it difficult for him or her to attend college, get a job or join the military. Because of this, you need a Pennsylvania juvenile attorney who will fight hard for your child’s rights and future. The juvenile justice system can be rather complex, and most parents have no idea what will happen at any given stage.
This is yet another reason to have a knowledgeable Pennsylvania juvenile attorney on your side and in your child’s corner. Your child has an automatic advantage when he or she appears before the judge with an attorney. It tells the judge that you, as parents, are taking the situation seriously and working with an attorney on your child’s behalf. Further, with an attorney by your side, there is no chance you will make a mistake simply because you do not understand the system. Your child’s attorney will aggressively work to ensure your child does not spend many years in the future paying for this transgression.
Find Top Rated Juvenile DUI Lawyers Now
If your child has been arrested and charged with a crime, the highly experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Ciccarelli Law Offices can help. We will fight aggressively for your child’s rights and their freedom. We will protect them during this difficult time and represent them aggressively throughout the criminal process. Contact the Ciccarelli Law Offices today by email or by phone at (610) 692-8700 or (877) 529-2422 immediately to begin building a solid defense against these serious charges.
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our Juvenile DUI lawyers are both passionate in what they do and compassionate in their treatment of their clients facing a dui stop, dui arrest and dui penalties. You deserve a Juvenile DUI lawyer that is available when you need him, treats you with respect, and protects your rights vigorously.
Based in suburban Philadelphia at 304 North High Street, West Chester PA 19380, we make your choice all the clearer with locations throughout the metropolitan Philadelphia Pennsylvania, including Center City Philadelphia, West Chester PA, Malvern (serving Downingtown/Exton PA), Kennett Square PA, Lancaster PA, King of Prussia PA, Plymouth Meeting PA, Radnor and Springfield PA.
We serve Downingtown, Paoli, Media, Norristown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, Reading and Allentown. For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Juvenile DUI Attorney at Ciccarelli Law Offices, by contacting us at (610) 692-8700 or toll free at (877) 529-2422. We represent juvenile clients in Chester County, Berks County, Bucks County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and Philadelphia.