Pennsylvania takes a zero-tolerance position when it comes to people under 21 driving under the influence of alcohol. If you’re underage, the police can and will arrest you for an under 21-DUI if they have reason to believe you are driving while intoxicated. Being convicted of this offense comes with a myriad of serious consequences, including potential jail time, hefty fines, and a lengthy driver’s license suspension.
However, that’s only if you’re found guilty of the charges. A West Chester DUI lawyer from McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. can represent you in court and fight to keep your driving privileges intact. We are a client-focused, responsive law firm that has served defendants since 2010.
Now, we’re ready to fight for you.
Our Lead Attorney Is a Former Prosecutor Who Fights for YOU
After a DUI arrest, police may imply that you have no legal defense, and your best option is to plead guilty and get it over with. This simply isn’t true. No matter what evidence the state claims it has, the fact remains you are innocent until a jury finds you guilty. It’s also true that you have a right to contest these criminal charges and raise reasonable doubt about this evidence.
Our firm was founded by David McKenzie III, who served as a Dauphin County prosecutor before dedicating his career to criminal defense. Attorney McKenzie understands the burden of proof the state must meet, and he knows there are many potential avenues to challenge an under 21-DUI case. Our defense will be carefully tailored to give you the best possible chance at an acquittal or a case dismissal.
We Make Ourselves Accessible to Our Clients Whenever Possible
Having an under 21-DUI charge hanging over your head is a stressful experience. Throughout litigation, it is very likely that you will have questions or concerns that you need addressed. We understand that getting these questions answered quickly and professionally will go a long way toward reducing your stress level and improving our attorney-client relationship. Client service is an essential aspect of putting you in the best possible position to win your case.
That’s why we take so much pride in making ourselves available to our clients. Once you have secured legal representation, you can reach your attorney in whichever method makes you feel most comfortable. We will provide you with everything from your lawyer’s phone number to their email address. The bottom line is that when you have a question, we’re going to be there for you.
Your Criminal Defense Attorney May Employ These Defenses
You can count on our experienced attorney to employ a strong defense against the charges you face in West Chester. Areas where we may attack the state’s case include:
Challenging Forensic Evidence
Breathalyzer and blood test machines are very sensitive. Their results can easily be skewed by several different factors, such as an inexperienced operator or a poorly maintained machine. We will take a thorough look at the forensic evidence in your case. If we locate an error in the process, we could get the forensic evidence dismissed.
Contesting Probable Cause
A police officer must have probable cause to pull you over for driving while intoxicated. We will review the police report and other documentation to determine whether there was reason to pull you over or to conduct sobriety testing. If we can show the judge or jury that police lacked legitimate reason to pull you over, it’s possible the prosecution won’t have enough evidence to secure a conviction.
Your case’s defense strategy ultimately depends on your situation. One fact remains: we do everything in our power to clear your name and give you a second chance.
Your West Chester DUI Under-21 Lawyer Will Explore Alternative Convictions
Sometimes, avoiding a conviction isn’t possible. The prosecution may have compelling evidence or otherwise have a strong case. In that instance, however, you still have options. You don’t have to plead guilty and face the consequences.
As part of your West Chester DUI lawyer’s services, we will explore alternatives to a conviction. If we can reach a mutually agreeable conclusion that allows you to maintain your freedom, we will present that option to you. With that said, our team will continue preparing for the trial and building your defense.
In some cases, we uncover evidence that strengthens our case to such an extent that it gives us an upper hand in pre-trial negotiations. For example, if we find out the arresting officer has a history of misconduct or a poor disciplinary record, we might be able to use that information as leverage to negotiate a reduction in charges before the trial begins. If it’s your first offense, you may qualify for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition.
What Is Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition?
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) is a program that allows some first-time DUI offenders to avoid the worst consequences of a conviction. Eligibility for this program has several different requirements, which include:
- This is your first offense in 10 years.
- No one was injured or killed due to your intoxication.
- You did not have anyone under 14 years old with you in the car at the time of your arrest.
If you complete the ARD program, you may have the charges against you dismissed, and there is the possibility that the conviction may be expunged from your criminal record. Additionally, if your BAC registered less than .10, you could maintain your driver’s license through ARD.
This is an area where Attorney David McKenzie III’s experience as a prosecutor may benefit your case. He understands what information prosecutors want to see in an ARD application, and we will present the strongest application possible on your behalf.
Get Your Free Case Evaluation With Our West Chester Under-21 DUI Team
When the police pull you over and arrest you for an under-21 DUI, it’s perfectly normal to fear for the future. However, it’s important to understand that the arrest itself doesn’t have to be the end of your life as you knew it. An under-21 DUI lawyer from our firm will defend you to the best of our abilities.
If you are not sure about your next step, we offer free case evaluations to anyone in West Chester who is seeking legal counsel after an arrest. Call us today and see how our under-21 DUI lawyer can seek the best possible outcome.