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Luzerne County Underage DUI Lawyer

Luzerne County Underage DUI LawyerLuzerne County Underage DUI Lawyer

Juvenile Underage DUI Defense Attorney in Kingston, PA, Represents Youth Accused of Drinking and Driving Under 21 in Luzerne County, Lackawanna County, Columbia County, and Throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania

Charges for driving under the influence under the age of 21 are serious matters. Between Pennsylvania’s zero-tolerance law for minors and a sentencing system that hits underage offenders with harsher penalties, the legal trouble that results from charges of drunk driving under 21 is significant. You need an experienced Luzerne County underage DUI lawyer fighting for you.

Muckler Law, LLC, has a long history of experience in matters of underage criminal offenses, with founder and lead attorney Matthew T. Muckler having been recognized as a leader in juvenile law in Pennsylvania. For a free, confidential consultation, contact us today.

Underage DUI Charges in Luzerne County, PA

Being charged with underage DUI in PA has serious consequences.

Even a small amount of alcohol or drugs in the system can get you in trouble when you’re a minor behind the wheel. Statute 75 Pa.C.S. Section 3718 of Pennsylvania law prohibits minors under 21 years of age from operating a vehicle with “any” alcohol in their system. One drink may not be enough to generally impair an adult’s ability to drive safely, but under PA’s zero-tolerance laws, it’s still enough to charge minors with a crime.

Statute 75 Pa.C.S. Section 3802, which criminalizes driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance generally, applies to underage drivers, as well. In fact, not only does the law against drinking and driving apply to drivers under age 21, but their alcohol content threshold is lower, and they can face a higher tier of penalties just because they are minors.

To defend you against these charges and take steps toward a more favorable outcome, you’re going to need the knowledge and assistance of a seasoned juvenile underage DUI defense attorney in Kingston, PA.

Where Can Our Luzerne County Underage DUI Lawyer Assist You?

Muckler Law, LLC, is here to help you through the legal trouble of an underage DUI. All over Luzerne County, we represent people accused of underage drinking and driving with compassion and empathy for the scary situation you’re going through.

The areas we serve include:

Look no further than Kingston for a knowledgeable underage DUI defense attorney to help you fight charges of drunk driving in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Consequences of Drinking and Driving Under 21

A violation of statute 75 Pa.C.S. Section 3718, which prohibits minors from operating a vehicle with any alcohol in the system, is a summary offense for which the penalty is a $100 fine. It isn’t, however, the only potential consequence of an underage DUI.

If you’re charged with driving under the influence (DUI) under 21, a conviction can result in harsh penalties. Under statute 75 Pa.C.S. Section 3804, minors convicted of DUI can receive the same penalties as adult defenders in the “high rate of alcohol” tier, even if their blood or breath alcohol concentration amounted to no more than 0.02%.

This means you can receive harsher penalties for an underage DUI, even if it’s your first offense.

Penalty for First-Offense DUI by a Minor

The possible penalties for conviction of a first-offense DUI by a minor include:

  • A minimum jail term of 48 consecutive hours and potentially up to six months
  • A fine in the range of $500 to $5,000
  • Mandatory attendance at an approved alcohol highway safety school
  • Compliance with any possible drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed on you

Although you might think there would be some leniency for a first-offense DUI by a minor, the law instead imposes harsher sentences, at least on those age 18 and up. Even for a first offense, you can benefit from having an experienced Luzerne County underage DUI lawyer advocating for you.

Under-21 DUI Consequences for a Second Offense

With one prior DUI offense, your second underage DUI punishment may encompass the following:

  • A minimum jail term of 30 days, with the potential for up to six months in prison
  • A fine in the range of $750 to $5,000
  • Mandatory attendance at an approved alcohol highway safety school
  • Compliance with any possible drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed on you

Sentences for a Third-Offense DUI by a Minor

An underage DUI when you already have two or more prior DUI offenses is punishable by the following penalties:

  • A minimum prison term of 90 days, with the potential for up to five years in prison
  • Fines between $1,500 and $10,000
  • Possible drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed

Sentences for a Fourth or Subsequent DUI When You’re Underage

With three or more prior DUI offenses, the penalties include:

  • A minimum prison term of one year, with the potential for up to five years
  • Fines between $1,500 and $10,000
  • Possible drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed

Underage Drinking and Juvenile Court Systems in Luzerne County

Statute 75 Pa.C.S. Section 3801 defines a minor, for the purposes of drinking and driving offenses, as anyone under age 21. However, there are important differences that can apply when the offender is under age 18 compared to underage DUI offenses involving drivers between the ages of 18 and 21.

If you are under 18, your case will typically be handled through the Luzerne County Juvenile Court system instead of the court system that applies to adults. This may allow for some leniency compared to what offenders between 18 and 21 receive since the juvenile court system generally prioritizes rehabilitation over punishment. In juvenile court, you may be eligible for a Consent Decree agreement. Through this diversion program that suspends charges, you may avoid being adjudicated delinquent or having charges against you prosecuted.

A seasoned juvenile defense lawyercan help you understand the criteria for and conditions of a Consent Decree and evaluate all options for minimizing the consequences of an under-18 drinking and driving offense on your future.

How Can a Luzerne County Underage DUI Lawyer Help?

The potential consequences of a DUI are serious, but with the assistance of a juvenile underage DUI defense attorney in Kingston, PA, it may be possible to minimize the impact of these charges.

Once an attorney is familiar with the specifics of your case, they can help you explore your legal options. These options might include applying for admission into the Luzerne County Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, which may help you avoid jail time if you are age 18 or older, or being considered for a Consent Decree agreement, through which the charges against you are suspended, if you are under age 18. Other options might include pursuing potential plea bargains for lesser charges or introducing evidence of any mitigating factors that could help you seek lighter sentences if convicted.

Hiring an experienced underage DUI lawyer offers you the best chance of getting a DUI infraction as a minor reduced, successfully defending against the charges at a trial, or otherwise attaining a more favorable outcome to your case.

Contact a Luzerne County Underage DUI Lawyer at Muckler Law, LLC, Today for a Free Consultation

If you’re facing a charge of DUI as a minor in PA, you don’t want to go through this difficult legal matter alone. Having an advocate on your side at every turn can make all the difference. Facing serious underage DUI charges is scary, but your attorney can make sure you understand the legal process, likely outcomes of proceedings, and options for moving forward. We can also develop the strongest defense strategy possible for your situation.

For help from an underage DUI attorney in Kingston, PA, contact Muckler Law, LLC, online or call 570-908-4069 today.

Underage DUI Charges Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

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