Warminster DUI with a Minor Passenger Attorney
Drunk driving charges in Pennsylvania are always a big deal because the penalties can be severe. This is especially true if a child’s safety is put at risk. Pennsylvania lawmakers passed a new law in 2012 that imposed enhanced penalties for anyone convicted of drunk driving with a minor passenger in the car. Moreover, you are likely to face the maximum penalties in cases like this because PA prosecutors take child endangerment very seriously and feel a sense of responsibility to protect children against dangerous behaviors.
Warrington DWI Defense Lawyers
Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson is a well-respected law firm with a team of attorneys who are dedicated to defending clients against DUI charges. We have more than 40 years of experience handling DUI cases in Bucks County, including Doylestown, Ivyland, and Perkasie. Our drunk driving defense team understands the nuances of Pennsylvania DUI law because we are constantly litigating these cases and we are committed to learning about changes in the law. Call KCR now to fight your drunk driving charges and begin your defense.
DUI with a Minor Passenger
The DUI with a Minor statute classifies the offense as a first degree misdemeanor. The law was passed with the hope that it would protect young children against being placed in dangerous situations by their parents. However, the law has also had the unintended effect of punishing many young drivers because a “minor” is defined as anyone under the age of 18. As a result, an 18-year-old who is arrested for drunk driving with a 17-year-old passenger in the car can now face even stiffer penalties.
Penalties for DUI with a Minor
The enhanced penalties apply to all DUI offenses involving a minor passenger, regardless of the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The range of penalties expands if the offender has prior DUI offenses:
- First Offense: 100 hours of community service and a fine of at least $1,000
- Second Offense: 1–6 months in jail and a fine of at least $2,500
- Third Offense: 6 months–2 years in jail
These enhanced penalties are in addition to any penalties that stem from the underlying DUI charge. So you may be sentenced for both DUI with a Minor Passenger and First Offense DUI.
DUI with a Minor Could Affect Eligibility for ARD
If you are charged with DUI with a Minor Passenger, you might be ineligible for a diversionary program like Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). Anyone accused of a DUI with a Minor Passenger under the age of 14 is automatically disqualified from the ARD program.
Additional Charges: Endangering the Welfare of Children in PA
Depending upon the circumstances, you could also be charged with Endangering the Welfare of Children. This law applies to parents, guardians, and other persons placed in a position of supervising the welfare of a child under 18 years of age. The law prohibits these individuals from knowingly endangering the welfare of the child by violating a duty of care, protection, or support.
The penalties for this offense include a sentence of up to 5 years in prison and a $1,500–$10,000 fine. If it is determined that the child endangerment is actually part of a course of conduct by you, the charges may be elevated to a third degree felony. If this happens, the offender may be sentenced to up to 7 years in prison and fined $2,500–$15,000.
Contact a Warrington DWI with a Minor Lawyer
The lawyers at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson are prepared to help you fight your DUI with a Minor Passenger charges. We will do everything possible to resolve your case so that you avoid the most serious consequences of a conviction. Call us today to discuss your charges, or email us to schedule a free consultation at our Bensalem office.