West Chester Underage DUI Attorney
One of a parents’ worst nightmares is getting the call their child is in legal trouble. Such trouble can lead to feelings of anxiety and helplessness and can leave the parent unsure of how to handle the situation. When the legal trouble involves underage DUI charges in the state of Pennsylvania, there are immediate actions a parent can take in order to lessen the long-term effects of the charges.
Underage DUI Laws in Pennsylvania
Alcohol cannot be legally purchased or consumed in the state of Pennsylvania for those under the age of 21. If convicted of underage drinking, the fine could be as much as $300, there could be jail time up to 90 days, and the convicted person could lose their license for 90 days. If convicted of underage intoxication with a BAC between 0.02 and 0.159 percent while driving, a first offense can result in a jail sentence of two days to six months, a 12-month license suspension and a fine from $500-$5,000. A second offense has similar penalties, however a third offense can bring a prison sentence as long as five years, an 18-month license suspension and up to a $10,000 fine.
If the person’s BAC is more than 0.16 percent, a first offense could result in jail time from three days to six months, a fine as large as $5,000 and a 12-month license suspension. The second offense could bring an 18-month license suspension and a fine as high as $10,000, and a third offense could result in a prison sentence from 1-5 years, an 18-month license suspension and a fine as high as $10,000. Pennsylvania has a Zero Tolerance Law which allows those under the age of 21 to be charged with a DUI, if there is any measurable amount of alcohol in their system.
Additional Consequences of an Underage DUI Conviction
In addition to the legal penalties an underage DUI conviction will bring, there are additional consequences. Auto insurance may be denied to the underage driver who receives a DUI, and a license suspension can make it very difficult to get to and from school, college and/or work. A college student who is convicted of underage DUI could lose college scholarships and could face university disciplinary actions. A DUI conviction stays on a criminal record forever—every potential employer will be able to see that record and may refuse to hire because of it. A student who is planning to go to college will have to disclose the DUI on their college application. A DUI conviction could potentially jeopardize eligibility for federal grants or student loans.
Obtaining Experienced Legal Representation
Finding the best solution to a young person’s Pennsylvania underage DUI charges can be very frustrating, particularly because young people are rarely able to fully realize the impact a conviction could have on their future. The sooner a parent speaks to an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney, the greater likelihood of a positive outcome. An attorney who recognizes that one moment of poor judgment or one bad decision should not be allowed to alter the entire course of a young person’s life is the best advocate that young person can have during this difficult time.
Contact Our Experienced West Chester DUI Defense Lawyers
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our Underage DUI lawyers are experienced and ready to assist you or your child after they have been arrest for dui before they turn 21, and contest their dui stop, dui arrest and the enhanced dui penalties for an underage drinker.
Our Chester County based law firm is based at 304 North High Street, West Chester PA 19380. Our attorneys serve clients in Kennett Square, Downingtown, West Chester, Coatesville, Exton, Chester Springs, Chadds Ford, Landenberg, Honey Brook, Oxford, Malvern, Parkesburg, Phoenixville and Paoli.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Underage DUI Attorney at Ciccarelli Law Offices, by contacting us at (610) 692-8700 or toll free at (877) 529-2422.