How to Get Underage DUIs Expunged in Pittsburgh
Drivers under 21 account for 12% of DUI-related deaths in Pennsylvania. This is disturbing given that this group accounts for less than 10% of PA drivers. Because of this, drinking restrictions and penalties are harsh for underage drivers.
In Pennsylvania, the legal limit for those over 21 is .08% BAC. Underage drivers, however, are not permitted to have any alcohol in their system while behind the wheel.
In other words, there is zero-tolerance for underage DUI in PA.
If you or a loved one has been charged with an underage DUI, you are likely worried and have questions, like “will I be able to keep my driver’s license,” and “can an underage DUI be expunged?”
The Pittsburgh underage DUI lawyers of Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC have years of experience fighting these charges and can provide real answers.
Zero-Tolerance for Underage DUI in PA
When drivers under 21 find themselves charged driving under the influence, they face several penalties for their first DUI.
DUI consequences are broken into:
- Jail time
- Driver’s license suspension
If you are convicted and your BAC was above .10%, first-time offenders face up to 90 days in jail, fines reaching $500, and a one-year license suspension. For repeat offenders, the penalties increase drastically, often leading to years of license suspension and months spent in jail.
Other Consequences for an Underage DUI
Being convicted of an underage DUI also has harsh collateral consequences.
Many colleges and universities have codes concerning alcohol that students must follow. The University of Pennsylvania, for example, has a strict alcohol and drug policy. Students caught drinking while underage will quite likely be served a suspension or expulsion.
Student financial aid may be affected as well. While the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) states that government aid will not be affected by alcohol-related offenses, scholarships fall into a different category. If a private foundation finds out there is a DUI on your record, your scholarship may not be renewed for the subsequent term.
Can Your Underage DUI be Expunged?
In general, Pennsylvania only expunges DUIs for those who are over 70 or deceased. However, underage drivers are the lucky exception. Per 18 Pennsylvania Code Section 9122, an underage driver can petition to have a DUI expunged from their record if they have met all the conditions of their underage DUI sentence. This may include paying fines, substance abuse classes, and completing a driver’s license suspension.
The grace provided by this provision is astounding. There is no waiting period. There is only the requirement that the conditions of their DUI sentence be satisfied.
Why Get an Underage DUI Expunged
In terms of taking action, the importance of DUI expungement cannot be overstated. This is especially true for students who are attending college or who will soon be attending college. Your chance of being admitted to or remaining in school will be much higher if you do not have a criminal record.
How a Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer can Help
If you are facing an underage DUI in the area, an experienced Pittsburgh underage DUI lawyer from Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC can be instrumental in getting your charges reduced or dismissed.
First-time DUI offenders, for example, may be able to completely avoid conviction. It may also be possible to prove that your rights were violated during your arrest, in which case your entire case can be thrown out.
If you have been convinced of an underage DUI, and have completed the terms of your punishment, an attorney can also help you move on by pursuing an expungement. We will evaluate your eligibility, complete the format, and guide you in how to clear your record.
Dealing with a DUI is an emotional experience, especially for underage offenders. Let us take care of your defense.