In Pittsburgh the authorities keep strict vigil on drunk driving. DUI charges are pretty common but what’s alarming is the disproportionate number of underage drunk driving. To prevent such incidents the authorities are keeping an extra vigil on underage DUI and punish such cases harshly. While this may seem as a good approach to curb this menace it can have damaging consequences on the life of the young adults. DUI conviction at an early age jeopardizes everything from college admissions to applying for jobs and can even mean suspensions from colleges for students. You can’t take an underage DUI charge against your son/daughter or anybody close to you lightly and should hire a seasoned Pittsburgh Underage DUI Lawyer to defend him or her.What You Need to Know?
As elsewhere in the state of Pennsylvania a person below the age of 21 who has a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of 0.02% or more while driving a vehicle can be charged with DUI. It is also possible for a person to be charged when there is evidence of intoxication or banned substances while driving a vehicle. Here are the penalties for underage DUI for those aged between 18 and 21 -
First Offense – It invites up to 90 days in jail, between $300 and $500 in fines, community service, mandatory enrollment in alcohol highway safety school, and 12 month license suspension when BAC is over 0.1%.
Second Offense – Minimum 5 days in jail with a possible 6 month sentence, fines between $300 and $2,500, suspension of license for 12 months, enrollment in alcohol highway safety school, and community service.
Third and Subsequent Offense – Imprisonment for one year, fines up to $10,000, community service, enrollment in a rehab and revoked driving privileges.
People under 18 who commit this offense aren’t sent to jail and instead punished under Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Act. Here the offender would be rehabilitated to minimize the damage on the youngster’s career and life ahead. The process includes counseling, community service and treatment for substance abuse.
The insurance premium can increase between $100 and $200 per month as an immediate consequence with repeat offenders often finding it tough to buy insurance.How Can a Pittsburgh Underage DUI Attorney Help You?
If you have been charged with underage DUI for the first time your lawyer would request for the ARD program which allows the charges to be dropped if you successfully complete the program that would make you go through counseling, pay for the damages caused and also perform some community service. After 30 days of successful completion your arrest record and participation in ARD shall be expunged which means your encounter with the criminal justice system is no longer in public domain but shall remain available to the law enforcement agencies and the prosecution.
Multiple violations don’t qualify a person for the ARD program however some first time offenders may also not qualify for this program, if –
- Any person was injured or killed in the DUI related accident
- A child below the age of 14 was in the car at the time of arrest
When ARD isn’t a possibility in your case, an underage DUI lawyer in Pittsburgh could explore other options and these include -
File Motion to Suppress – If your rights were violated by the police while gathering evidence your attorney can have the evidence removed from the case. This includes pulling your vehicle without reasonable suspicion etc.
Take case to Trial – Prosecution would try and plead for your conviction and for this they would need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. So your attorney would try and discredit all evidence that shows that you were about the legal limit while driving the vehicle. He/she would put to question the officer’s judgment and the chemical tests which are presented as evidence.
Negotiate Plea Agreement – There are instances when filing motion to suppress or going for a trial may not be in your interest when the prosecution can prove beyond reasonable doubt that you had committed the crime. In such scenarios your Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer would try and negotiate plea agreement where you would plead guilty in return for lesser penalties demanded by the prosecution.
For a free initial consultation with an experienced underage DUI attorney in Pittsburgh, contact us online or call 1-844-PITT-DUI or 412-389-0805.