As a teenager, it is easy to feel as though you are invincible, but when it comes to the law — this mindset is false. If you are arrested and charged with a DUI, even as a teenager, you can face legal consequences. It is important that you work to protect yourself as you face this challenge.
Crime is Crime
An important thing for teenagers charged with DUI, and their parents, to understand is crime is crime. The law provides very little distinction when it comes to age, in that any person who violates the law puts themselves in a situation where they can be penalized. It is essential that the matter is taken seriously, as a result. For parents, it is very important that you sit down with your child to discuss the severity of the matter.
Jail as a Consequence
In many states, the first offense of an underage DUI may not mean a jail sentence but remember that it is possible. Again, the court will often offer teenagers the opportunity to participate in diversion programs, such as driver's license suspension or the completion of an alcohol awareness program. However, in some states, if the teen is closer to the legal age of 18 or has a blood alcohol level that is significantly over the limit, the court has the right to bypass these diversion consequences and sentence the teen to jail.
Criminal Record Impact
Even if the teen is able to bypass a jail sentence, they will not be able to escape the impact of the criminal record. Depending on local laws, even though the conviction occurred as a child, it can still become a permanent fixture on your criminal record. Whether it is enrolling in college or applying for a job years later as an adult, people will have access to this information and can use it to make important, life-impacting decisions.
Any teen facing an underage DUI charge needs someone on their side. A DUI defense attorney can be this support. An attorney will work on their behalf to establish a defense that will help keep you, or your child out of jail, and instead, put him or her on the path to recovery. Even if a harsh sentence could be ahead, an attorney will work to ensure your child is treated fairly.
If you are a teen, or the parent of a teen, that has been charged with DUI, make it a point to speak with an attorney at your earliest convenience.Share
13 January 2022
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