Underage DUI Lawyer in Murrysville, Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge is already a serious matter. However, when that charge is against an underage driver, the repercussions can be even more severe.  

At the Law Offices of James Crosby, we understand the complexities and the serious nature of facing an underage DUI charge. Located in Murrysville, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Harrison City, Greensburg, Latrobe, and Westmoreland County with dedication and a deep commitment to providing the best legal support possible.  

The justice system can be intense, particularly for underage individuals and their families. This is why our DUI lawyer is here to offer our guidance and support every step of the way. 

Zero Tolerance Laws

Pennsylvania, like many states in the US, upholds a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving. This means that anyone under the age of 21 who is found to have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system while operating a vehicle can be charged with an underage DUI. The severity of this law stems from the alarming statistics of road accidents and fatalities attributed to underage drinking. 

For underage individuals, the legal BAC (blood alcohol content) limit is staggeringly low at just 0.02%, which equals about a single drink for many teenagers. If you are underage and pulled over with any trace of alcohol in your system, you can expect the following: 

  • License Suspension: A 12 to 18-month suspension of your license. 

  • Fines: These range from $500 to $5,000. 

  • Possible Jail Time: It might start from 48 hours and can go up to six months. 

The implications of a DUI stretch far beyond the legal realm. Social, academic, and career-related consequences can also be stark, potentially affecting educational opportunities and future employment prospects. 

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But What About Liability?

For an underage individual, determining liability could involve uncovering how they accessed alcohol in the first place.  

In Pennsylvania, individuals can be held liable for providing alcohol to a minor even if they did not directly serve the drink but were aware of or should have been aware of the minor’s drinking. 

Families, establishments, and even older friends can be implicated in allowing a minor to drink and then drive. Understanding and addressing this liability can significantly affect the outcome of the DUI case and any ancillary charges that may follow. 

Ignition Interlock Systems

Issuing an ignition interlock system (IID) is a common measure in DUI cases. These systems are temporarily installed in the vehicles of DUI offenders and require the driver to pass a breathalyzer test before the car starts. They also require breathalyzer tests intermittently while the vehicle is in motion.  

The necessity of having this device installed can hinge on various factors. For underage individuals facing DUI charges, it can lead to complicated logistical and economic challenges. It’s important for parents and teenagers to understand the implications of this requirement, including the costs associated with installation and maintenance. 

Navigating the Road Ahead

Unlike an adult DUI, which typically involves alcohol levels above 0.08% BAC, underage DUI charges are based on any traceable amount of alcohol in the system.  

The courts may also implement "accelerated rehabilitative disposition" (ARD) programs, which would involve further fines, counseling, and rehabilitation efforts. 

The ultimate aim of the justice system is often to rehabilitate offenders, not merely punish them. Therefore, defendants—especially minors—are likely to encounter court-mandated treatment programs and counseling.  

These programs can be tailored to address the specific circumstances and underlying issues of why the underage individual drove under the influence in the first place. 

For minors and their families, seeking out an experienced underage DUI attorney becomes a critical step. A legal professional knowledgeable in DUI law will be indispensable in charting the best path forward and in mounting a defense, especially in cases where there may be means to contest the charges based on the circumstances of the arrest.

How We Can Help

At the Law Offices of James Crosby, we believe in a proactive and empathetic approach to handling underage DUI cases. Our team, led by James Crosby, brings years of experience and a thorough understanding of Pennsylvania DUI laws to the table. Here's how we can assist: 

  • Comprehensive Case Evaluation: We start by thoroughly evaluating your case, considering all the details and circumstances. Understanding the specifics allows us to craft a tailored defense strategy. 

  • Tailored Defense Strategies: We recognize each case is unique and we develop personalized defense strategies aimed at achieving the best possible outcome. Whether it's challenging the validity of the stop, the accuracy of the breathalyzer test, or negotiating for reduced charges, we're committed to advocating for you. 

  • Guidance and Support: Navigating the legal process can be overwhelming, especially for young individuals and their families. We provide clear, step-by-step guidance throughout the process, ensuring you're informed and comfortable with each decision made. 

  • Protecting Your Future: Our ultimate goal is to protect your future. We understand the impact a DUI charge can have on your life and strive to minimize its effects, helping you move forward positively.

Underage DUI Defense in Murrysville, Pennsylvania

A legal advocate experienced in underage DUI cases can help you secure the most favorable outcome and support. The road ahead may be challenging, but with the right guidance, it’s possible to turn this experience into a learning opportunity for a brighter, safer future on the roads. Our defense attorney at the Law Offices of James Crosby is dedicated to providing the support and representation you need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.