If you were arrested on an under 21 DUI charge in Montgomery County, PA, you must plan your next move carefully. Pennsylvania takes driving under the influence very seriously, especially when it comes to minors. Being convicted could harm your reputation and financial future. However, you have the right to contest the case. Our Montgomery County under 21 DUI lawyer can fight the charges and help keep your record clean.
McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., has focused on criminal defense, including under 21 DUI, since opening our firm in 2010. As a leading Montgomery County Defense Lawyer for Criminal Cases, we understand the complexities and nuances of the local legal landscape. We have helped numerous defendants win their cases or reduce their charges during that time. Our firm’s founding attorney, David C. McKenzie III, is a former Dauphin County Assistant District Attorney. He has experience on both sides of the criminal justice system that he can put to work for you.
What Is an Under 21 DUI?
Anyone caught driving in Montgomery County, PA, with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of over .08% will be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. However, the minimum drinking age in Pennsylvania is 21, which means the legal threshold for DUI drivers under 21 is stricter.
In fact, as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) explains, Pennsylvania has a “zero tolerance” policy concerning minors driving under the influence. Any minor caught driving with a blood alcohol content over .02% can result in criminal charges for an under 21 DUI. Potential penalties for under 21 DUI include:
- A driver’s license suspension of 12 to 18 months
- A jail sentence ranging from a minimum of 48 hours to a maximum of six months
- A fine ranging from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $5,000
Other Potential Consequences of an Under 21 DUI Conviction
The license suspension, jail sentence, and fines that come with an under 21 DUI conviction are not the only potential consequences. Your insurance rates will likely increase, and your conviction could prevent you from holding certain professional licenses or certifications. These are the kind of outcomes an attorney from our firm will try to help you avoid after being arrested for under 21 DUI.
How Can Our Montgomery County Under 21 DUI Lawyer Help You?
Simply being charged with an under 21 DUI doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted. A Montgomery County under 21 DUI attorney from our firm can fight the charges against you. Sometimes officers make mistakes in the application of Breathalyzer or blood tests while making DUI arrests. In other cases, they may not have had probable cause to pull you over in the first place.
Our team will look at all the evidence and the circumstances that led to your arrest. We could uncover errors in evidence collection, expose weaknesses in the prosecution’s case that result in the dismissal of the charges, or give us leverage to negotiate a deal for reduced charges or penalties.
We’re also going to be with you every step of the way. Our firm prides itself on being responsive to our clients and available when they need us. You can reach out to us via telephone, email, and text message. We’re never too busy to explain where we are in the process and how we’re fighting for your best interests.
We Will Fight to Help You Keep Your License
Montgomery County may charge you with under 21 DUI, but your driver’s license is issued by PennDOT. Contrary to what many think, it’s not the county that suspends your license for under age 21; it’s PennDOT. Our traffic DUI attorneys can file an administrative appeal with PennDOT and fight for you to keep your license.
You Might Qualify for Accelerated Rehabilitative Discharge
Although Pennsylvania takes DUI and under 21 DUI very seriously, Montgomery County has an Accelerated Rehabilitative Discharge (ARD) program for some first-time offenders. If you qualify for this program and complete the required steps, you may receive several important benefits, including:
- Dismissal of the charges against you
- The possible expungement of the case from your criminal record
However, participation in the ARD program is not automatic. An under 21 DUI attorney must apply for the ARD program on your behalf and convince the prosecutor that you would be a good candidate. Our team can explore this option if you meet the county’s eligibility requirements.
We can negotiate to reduce the charges against you even if you don’t qualify for ARD or the prosecutor rejects your application. Our Montgomery County under 21 DUI lawyers will leave no stone unturned in our effort to fight your case or mitigate the negative impact a conviction can have on your life.
Under 21 DUI Lawyers Rated Highly by Peers and Clients
Choosing a lawyer after being arrested for under 21 DUI is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Your case’s outcome will have a lasting impact on your life. Everything matters when the stakes are this high, including your lawyer’s reputation.
Our firm is highly rated by our former clients and our peers in the legal profession. David C. McKenzie III earned a “preeminent” rating for professional excellence in 2022 from Martindale-Hubbell legal rating service, which also recognized him for his “high ethical standing.”
Talk to Us Today and Learn How Our Montgomery County Under 21 DUI Attorney Can Help
Facing an under 21 DUI charge is a serious matter in Pennsylvania, but it doesn’t mean you’ll face a conviction. Instead, you can challenge the state’s case against you and protect your rights while preparing your case. If you’re in this situation, it’s important to understand all your options. A Montgomery County under 21 DUI lawyer from McKenzie Law Firm can review the facts and circumstances and offer guidance at this critical time.
That’s part of why we offer free consultations to prospective clients. You can talk to us, and we can advise you on the potential steps you can take moving forward. It won’t cost you a thing, so why wait? The sooner we talk, the sooner we can plan how to help you. Call our office today to learn how we could represent you and seek the best result for you.