A DUI charge is already quite worrying, but an accusation of driving under the influence with a minor passenger in the car needs to be taken especially seriously. You are likely to face harsher penalties, especially if you have a record already. That’s why you need to prepare properly and fight this charge. A DUI lawyer in Montgomery County, PA can help you do that.

Are the Penalties Worse For a DUI With a Minor Passenger?

If you have a minor passenger in your vehicle, the mandatory penalties will increase. A conviction will result in:

  • A fine of not less than $1,000 and 100 hours of community service for a first offense
  • A fine of $2,500 and at least one month of jail time for a second offense
  • Six months to two years in jail for a third offense

You could also end up getting your license suspended for up to 18 months. The state sees this as a more serious offense because you were putting a minor passenger in danger. The usual penalty for a first-time DUI would be a fine of $300 and six-month term of probation. Punishments for someone who drove drunk or high with a minor in their car are going to end up on the harsher side of the scale if the prosecution gets a conviction.

It’s also important to note that having a child in your car could prevent you from seeking out other methods of restitution. A good example of this is the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, or ARD, diversionary program. Some first-time offenders can qualify for this program and less severe punishments. Someone who got a DUI with a minor passenger does not get the chance to participate in such programs and reduce their sentence.

How Can I Defend Myself Against a DUI With a Minor Passenger?

Our lawyers can look at your case and help you figure out the best way to defend yourself from these charges. Popular methods for fighting DUI accusations include:

  • Questioning the constitutionality of the stop
  • Pointing out issues with how the field sobriety test was conducted
  • Questioning the calibration or use of the breathalyzer
  • Arguing that a medical condition caused your BAC reading

Should I Talk to the Police?

You should not try to talk to the police or explain yourself. The punishments for a DUI with a minor passenger can be quite severe, but having such a conviction on your record can also impact you for a long time. You should call for an attorney right away and avoid the possibility of giving the police any ammunition against you.

Contact a DUI Lawyer Today

Even if it seems like the deck has been stacked against you, a good defense can make all the difference. Contact Mudrick & Zucker and schedule a consultation with our team. We can go over the specifics of your case and help you figure out the best way to fight any of the charges against you.