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Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC (412) 281-2146

    Pittsburgh Underage DUI Attorney

    If you are a college student driving home from a party or bar, and you had several drinks before you got into the driver’s seat, you probably didn’t think you would be pulled over by the police. Everyone makes mistakes. However in Pennsylvania, law enforcement will be unforgiving if they suspect you of underage DUI.

    If you are younger than 21, Pennsylvania’s legal drinking age, you will be judged by stricter blood alcohol standards than older drivers are. Your BAC only has to be .02 percent or higher for you to be charged with DUI, while those over 21 need to have a BAC of at least .08 percent.

    Students who are charged with driving under the influence find themselves in an especially difficult situation. Your driver’s license can be suspended, your insurance rates will increase dramatically and you will be burdened with a criminal record.

    You don’t even need to have .02 percent BAC to face negative repercussions. With the Commonwealth’s “no tolerance” policy, minors caught driving with any amount of alcohol in their system are in jeopardy of having their driver’s licenses suspended for three months.

    Penalties for Underage DUI in Pennsylvania

    If you are convicted of underage DUI:

    • With a BAC of .02 percent or higher, for a first offense you may have to go to jail for at least two days.
    • Your license may be suspended for a year and you will be fined from $500 to $5,000.
    • If it’s your second or third offense, your jail sentence and license suspension will be longer. Additionally, your fine will be higher. The court may order you to take a treatment program or to attend alcohol highway safety school Your car insurance rates, which were higher to start with if you are under 25, are certain to rise.
    • You will have a criminal record that can be seen by people with the power to make decisions that will affect your future, including potential employers and college admissions officers.

    If it’s your first DUI, you might be eligible for Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program (ARD), a diversionary program.

    One of ARD’s chief benefits is that if you take the program you are not pleading guilty to your DUI charge. If you complete ARD successfully, the charge will be expunged from your record.

    Underage Drinking in Pennsylvania

    If you were charged with underage drinking, it’s important to seek legal representation from a skilled Pittsburgh DUI lawyer to prevent your future from being affected. Our attorneys can lead you through the legal process and help you understand your charge.

    What The Law Says About Underage DUI

    In Pittsburgh, an individual under the age of 21 may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the minor’s blood or breath is at least 0.02% within two hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.

    If you are convicted of this offense, you face the following penalties:

    For a first offense, to:

    • undergo imprisonment of not less than 48 consecutive hours;
    • pay a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000;
    • attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
    • comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.

    For a second offense, to:

    • undergo imprisonment of not less than 30 days;
    • pay a fine of not less than $750 nor more than $5,000;
    • attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
    • comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.

    For a third offense, to:

    • undergo imprisonment of not less than 90 days;
    • pay a fine of not less than $1,500 nor more than $10,000;
    • attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
    • comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.

    For a fourth or subsequent offense, to:

    • undergo imprisonment of not less than one year;
    • pay a fine of not less than $1,500 nor more than $10,000;
    • attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
    • comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.

    Steps to Take if You’re Charged with Underage DUI

    If you, or your college-aged child, have been charged with underage DUI, your first step should be to research and hire an experienced Pittsburgh DUI attorney. Before your hearing is even scheduled, a defense attorney can help you navigate law enforcement’s questions and negotiate with prosecutors to have your charges lowered or dismissed.

    As soon as you receive the mailing from the courts that includes the criminal complaint against you, show this paperwork to your attorney so he or she can review the exact information pertaining to your case.

    Fighting Underage DUI – Call a Pittsburgh Underage DUI Attorney Today

    If you or your child is arrested, your defense attorney can evaluate the Commonwealth’s evidence and negotiate for charges to be dismissed or lowered, and the fines reduced. Your attorney will also be with you when you appear in court and be able to defend you to the best possible outcome. If there are witnesses, such as the police, who are brought in to try and prove your guilt, your juvenile lawyer will question them closely to determine the accuracy of their memory and challenge their recall.

    If your case is dismissed, you will be eligible to have your criminal record cleared (expunged). The Pennsylvania expungements process can be tricky to deal with, so having an attorney on your side can be helpful while you look towards your future.

    Questions? Contact me.

    Your rights are at stake and you need the best defense to keep them. I will fight using the strongest defense available to get your Underage DUI charge reduced or dismissed so you can move on with your life.

    (412) 281-2146 or advice@pittsburghcriminalattorney.com