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Underage DUIs

Summer parties and celebrations are in full swing, especially for young people. From birthdays to prom nights to graduations, these occasions hold a special place for teens. Get-togethers provide opportunities to bond with friends, create memories, and celebrate milestones. However, when alcohol enters the picture, the dynamics of these events can change dramatically, especially when it involves drinking, as a result, underage DUIs become an issue.

Many teenagers view drinking as part of their social experience or as a way to” fit in,” not considering the dangers associated with underage drinking.  Not only is it illegal for individuals under the age of 21 to consume alcohol, but it also poses significant risks to their health, safety, and others around them. In the event of an accident or traffic stop, a DUI can result in jail time, severe injury, or possibly death.  Statistics show that in June, July, and August, teens have 50% more drunk driving deaths than any other time of year.

Driving Under The Influence (DUI)

If a teen is stopped by law enforcement when driving under the influence (DUI), navigating the legal process can be overwhelming, not only for them but for their parents, as well. Understanding court dates and the potential for expungement is crucial for managing the consequences of a DUI conviction.

Upon being charged with underage DUI, the teen will typically receive a court summons specifying the date and time of their initial court appearance. This is often referred to as an arraignment. During the arraignment, the teen and their family will be informed of the charges against the teen and will have the opportunity to enter a plea, typically guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

Following the arraignment, there may be subsequent court dates scheduled for pre-trial hearings, motions, and, if the case proceeds to trial, the trial itself. The teen needs to attend all court dates as required. Failure to appear can result in additional legal consequences, including a bench warrant for arrest.

Navigating the Legal Process


The teen’s attorney will work to build a strong defense strategy throughout the legal process. It may involve challenging evidence, negotiating plea deals, or preparing for trial. The goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for the teen, whether that means dismissal of charges, reduction of penalties, or acquittal at trial.

If the defendant is convicted of underage DUI, they may face penalties such as fines, probation, community service, alcohol education programs, and license suspension. The severity of the penalties will depend on factors such as their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of arrest, any prior DUI convictions, and the specific laws of the jurisdiction.

A conviction of underage drinking can also have detrimental effects on a teenager’s physical health, mental well-being, and academic performance. Additionally, it often strains relationships within the family, causing emotional distress. Furthermore, it puts a financial burden on the parents, causing residual effects on the whole family.

Expungement


After completing the terms of their sentence, including any probation or other requirements, the teen may be eligible to pursue expungement of their DUI conviction. Expungement is a legal process that allows individuals to have certain criminal records sealed or erased from public view. The criteria for this varies, and the general considerations are the nature of the offense, criminal history, and the amount of time that has passed since the conviction.

Expungement can provide a fresh start for teens with a DUI conviction, allowing them to move forward without limitations associated with a criminal record. It can improve opportunities for employment, housing, education, and other aspects of life.

Underage DUIs 


A knowledgeable attorney, such as Andrew Maze, can evaluate the case, explain the process, and guide the teen and their family through the necessary steps. Court dates play a crucial role in underage DUI cases, including attendance at all required hearings. A teen can have a fresh start after a DUI and repair family tensions. Consulting with a qualified attorney at The Law Office of Andrew Maze can assist with navigating the legal process and providing the necessary information for the teen and their families.

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