Driving Under The Influence: What It Could Mean For You If You're A Minor
It isn't at all uncommon for teenagers to do things that they aren't supposed to. They don't always turn in their homework, sometimes they see a boy or girl that their parents forbid them to see, and they can tend to sneak out after curfew. Therefore, it goes without saying that some teens are likely to try alcohol. Eventually, this could lead to some getting behind the wheel after having a drink. While some teens may not think that they've had enough to be impaired or be over the limit, the fact of the matter is that driving under the influence at all is illegal.
Justice for Underage DUIs
Many states have put zero-tolerance laws into place underage drinking and driving. This means that if you are caught behind the wheel with alcohol in your system and you are under the age of 21, then there is a very good chance that you are going to be charged with DUI. For those under the age of 18, they will normally be considered a juvenile and the matter will be handled in the juvenile court system.
What Type of Discipline Will You Face?
If you are charged for an underage DUI, there are a wide range of penalties that you can face. For starters, you will have your license suspended. Depending on the severity of your case and whether this is your first or subsequent offense, this may only be 30 days or it could be much longer. When your license suspension is up, you may be required by the court to have an ignition interlock device installed on your car. This usually won't be required unless you are a repeat offender, but some courts do order these devices in juvenile cases.
Also, it is important to understand that a DUI will likely be on your criminal record for the remainder of your life. In some cases, it may be possible to have it expunged, which means it will not appear on background checks. However, this can be a lengthy and time-consuming process with many factors to be considered. Depending on what your future looks like, such as pre-med or pre-law, having your record expunged if you are indeed convicted will be worthwhile.
Charged with a DUI?
If you are facing DUI charges, particularly as a minor, it is crucial that you speak with a knowledgeable and professional DUI lawyer immediately to discuss the facts of your case and get expert assistance on handling your situation. In some cases, it may be possible to have the charges reduced. Above all, a lawyer, such as those at Pollack & Ball LLC, will be able to protect your best interests and fight for your future.