If you are headed to college soon or are currently enrolled in courses, it is essential to know how run-ins with the law affect your ability to receive financial aid and how it affects your education. An underage DUI charge can add stress and trouble to your daily life as a student. You may be wondering if it affects your ability to receive financial aid for college. At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., our DUI defense attorneys understand the legal repercussions of underage drinking and DUIs in Pennsylvania.
The Penalties of Underage Drinking in Pennsylvania
If you are under the age of 21, you are legally unable to drink alcohol in the United States. Many times, people under 21 are caught drinking or purchasing alcohol and face hefty fines for breaking the law.
A DUI charge on your record will not affect your ability to receive financial aid, according to FAFSAs policies. However, charges related to controlled substances affect your record, and you lose the opportunity to receive financial assistance for school. Although your financial aid disbursements are not affected by underage drinking and DUIs, there are legal penalties for breaking the law. Here are penalties for underage drinking in Pennsylvania:
- First Offense: pay a fine of $500
- Second Offense and thereafter: pay a fine of $1000
Here are penalties for underage DUI in Pennsylvania:
- Jail time: A convicted driver will face up to six months of jail time for a first offense and up to five years for a third offense depending on prior offenses within the last ten years.
- Fines: First-time offenders receive a fine between $500 and $5,000, second offenses receive fines between $750 and $5,000, and third offenses receive $1,500 and $10,000 in fines.
- License suspension: First and second-time offenders receive a license suspension of 12 months, and 18 months for third-time offenders. In addition, DUI convictions may include Ignition Interlock Devices (IID) for one year before fully reinstating a driver’s license.
- Community Service: In Pennsylvania, DUI convictions require all first and second-time offenders to finish an alcohol highway safety school program. The judge can also require treatment programs and 150 hours of community service.
Penalties for DUIs are very extensive whether you are underage or not. Contact a Pennsylvania DUI lawyer to learn about what you can do concerning your charge.
How Does a Criminal Record Affect My Education?
Although a charge related to alcohol offenses does not alter your financial aid status, your school may have penalties related to your education for any criminal charges. It is essential to know your school’s code of conduct and disciplinary action policies. Many students have lost scholarships and jobs and been expelled from school due to being convicted of criminal offenses.
A criminal record can alter many decisions in your life, such as a college acceptance, a job offer, and other important life choices. You do not want to enter adulthood with past offenses that occurred while you were underage. If you are under 21 and you are facing the penalties of underage drinking, contacting an experienced lawyer can help you understand your rights and protect your future.
Is My School Notified of My Charges?
An underage DUI is counted as a misdemeanor on your record. When you are charged with a DUI, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is notified right away. Unlike a regular DUI, someone under 21 needs a BAC of .02% to be convicted instead of .08% in a typical DUI case. You will receive notification for any license suspensions and be able to view your record. If you are in college or high school, your school has no legal requirement to be advised of your criminal record or any recent changes.
However, colleges and universities do get reports of illegal activity on campus. Schools can also perform background checks on students and applicants. It is essential to know and understand your school’s policies and code of conduct. If you face underage drinking charges or a DUI case, the penalties and repercussions are not treated the same as a regular DUI. As a student, whether it is a public school or college and university, your school can take action to remove you from campus and enrollment if you break laws.
Call Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. For an Experienced Attorney in Your DUI Case
With underage DUI charges, you will need an experienced lawyer and legal team on your side. An experienced attorney knows Pennsylvania law and the best way to help you better your future after a DUI charge. At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., our skilled DUI defense attorneys have over 65 years of experience that can help you or your child in an underage DUI case. Reach out to us using our contact form or give us a call at (215) 822-7575 to schedule your free consultation.