If the police arrested you or your loved one for underage drunk driving, you may be at a loss for what to do next. Driving under the influence (DUI) charges are serious, but the situation can prove even more dire when the driver is under 21.
A Norristown DUI lawyer from McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. can provide support, legal representation, and advice during your DUI case. We know that the situation isn’t easy, and we’re committed to providing the legal assistance you want. Attorney David C. McKenzie III is experienced in criminal defense matters. He can protect your rights and fight against severe penalties.
How Our Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You
You must be at least 21 years old to legally drink in Pennsylvania, but many young people experiment with alcohol before that. If an underage person is caught driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances, they can face criminal charges––even if they’re driving under the legal limit. Depending on the circumstances, the driver can face fines and other legal penalties. In some cases, they can even be sentenced to jail time.
Attorney David C. McKenzie III is the founder and partner of McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. He covers all different types of criminal defense cases, providing trustworthy legal advice to those going up against the criminal justice system. His services include:
Protecting Your Legal Rights
Did you know that you have certain rights protected by the United States Constitution? For instance, you are innocent until proven guilty. Still, many people accused of drunk driving or other offenses are treated as if they are automatically guilty, complicating matters further.
Our law firm is committed to protecting the rights of individuals accused of drunk driving and other offenses. We will not let you be taken advantage of.
Explaining Your Legal Options
If you were accused of drunk driving while underage (or you’re reading this because your child was accused of drunk driving), you may have questions and concerns about your legal options. Will I have to go to jail for a first-time DUI in PA? Are there any diversion programs I can attend to reduce the penalties?
Working with our experienced DUI defense attorney in Norristown, PA, can help you explore and understand all your legal options in this situation.
Fighting to Reduce the Penalties You Face
Under 21 DUI lawyer David C. McKenzie III aims to eliminate or reduce criminal penalties whenever possible. In some DUI cases, he is able to get the charges dropped entirely. If it’s not possible to get the charges dropped, Attorney McKenzie will advocate for the lowest penalties possible.
Fighting for Your Innocence in Court
Attorney McKenzie is also equipped to represent you during a DUI trial. During the trial, he will advocate for your innocence by presenting strong evidence and arguments in court.
DUI Penalties in Norristown, PA, for Under-21 Drivers
Usually, the legal limit in Pennsylvania is .08 blood alcohol content (BAC). If somebody operates a vehicle with a BAC over this limit, they’re at risk of being arrested for DUI. However, the standard is much lower for people under 21 years old. There is a zero-tolerance policy for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol if you are under the legal drinking age.
Under 21 DUI is punishable by the following penalties, per the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PDOT):
- Driver’s license suspension
- Jail time of up to six months
- Maximum fine of $5,000
- Required alcohol addiction treatment (if there is an indication of an alcohol dependency)
- Community service
The penalties for DUI increase if the person has previous DUIs on their record or had a high BAC at the time of the arrest. Typically, the higher the person’s BAC upon arrest, the harsher the penalties they face.
Minors Accused of Drunk Driving Have Legal Options With Our Team
If you or your child was under 18 and arrested for DUI, it is important to know what to expect. 75 Pa. C.S.A. § 3718 explains that DUI involving a minor is punishable by a fine. As noted, we do everything possible to protect your child’s future and fight the consequences of a conviction.
You Could Get Charges Dropped Through the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program
The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program may allow an under-21 DUI offender to avoid incarceration. Pennsylvania lawmakers introduced this program to give DUI offenders a second chance. Many people accused of drunk driving are good people who made a mistake. This program can help them avoid a permanent criminal record that negatively affects their future.
Benefits of the ARD Program in Norristown, PA
The ARD program requires you to meet certain criteria and avoid reoffending. If you follow all of the directions and complete the program, you gain many benefits, including:
- Dismissal of your DUI case
- Avoiding a DUI trial
- Expungement of the record of your arrest
- Avoiding jail time
Do I Qualify for ARD?
To qualify for ARD, you must be at least 18 years old and a first-time offender. So, minors and those with previous DUIs cannot participate. However, if you were between the ages of 18 and 20 when you were arrested for DUI, and you’ve never been charged with DUI before, ARD is definitely something to look into.
Our Norristown under 21 DUI attorney can explain more about the ARD program and help you apply. The district attorney’s office only accepts certain people into the program, so it’s important to have someone on your side advocating for you if you want to participate in ARD.
Contact Our Norristown Under 21 Lawyer for Legal Help
If you or a family member was arrested for drunk driving while underage, you want a qualified legal representative on your side. Norristown PDUI lawyer David McKenzie has experience in underage DUI cases. He can provide the legal help and guidance you want during this challenging time.
Call McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. today to begin an initial consultation.