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Norfolk Under-18 DUI Lawyer

An under-18 DUI charge in Norfolk is still treated the same way as any other DUI. Sometimes these particular DUIs are called baby DUIs but the process of the stop and how they’re treated when they’re pulled over is exactly the same as it would be for an adult DUI. The case will be heard in a juvenile and domestic relations court instead of the general district court. In terms of how the case is handled, that’s really the only difference which makes it all the more important to have a dedicated Norfolk under-18 DUI lawyer to help you build the a quality defense for your case.

Norfolk Prosecution of Under-18 DUI Charges

A DUI sentence for someone under the age of 18 are generally the same as they would be for someone who’s under 21 years of age. The Juvenile and Domestic Relations (JDR) court in general has a much stronger interest in rehabilitating defendants. The judges and prosecutors there will generally be more open to counseling and treatment programs.

First Steps

For anyone who’s charged with an under-18 DUI, it’s important for a Norfolk under-18 DUI lawyer to find out why they were stopped by a police officer in the first place and then have them go through all of the steps of what happened.

Because the process of defending these cases is the same regardless of someone’s age this should be done for every single defendant that’s charged with a DUI. If someone is under the age of 18, the only real difference is that the court is going to be different, but the process is just slightly different based on the different courts because of the different priorities of the court. If someone is under 21 in general, then the threshold is going to be different because it’s 0.02 instead of 0.08. So some of the things that maybe someone would have gotten away with as an adult is a much more serious situation for someone under 21.

Parental Expectations

Parents should expect to take this charge seriously. Lots of parents don’t think getting an attorney is a priority because the charge is just going to go away anyway. You shouldn’t take chances with your child’s future and parents should know that oftentimes a conviction is entirely avoidable with a good lawyer. The process of their child’s DUI in Norfolk is almost identical to the process of an adult DUI, but is handled in a different court.

If your child needs the ability to drive to get to work or school, then they will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their car in Norfolk. It is one of few treatment programs in Virginia. Some of the treatment programs require people to submit to urine tests on occasion but in general, there isn’t really any type of other monitoring device besides the ignition interlock system.

If Charged as Adult

In many cases, a minor will be charged as an adult for DUI if their blood alcohol level is .08 or higher. In these cases, this level is beyond what is called a “baby DUI” and is now considered an adult charge. In particular, a minor can be charged as an adult if the case involves aggravating factors such as an accident or involvement with other minors.

If a minor is charged for an adult DUI, the state is required to show that the individual’s BAC was at .08 or higher in order to convict.

The penalties for a child or for a minor convicted of an adult DUI are the same as they would be if he or she were an adult. The minor could face up to twelve months in jail, up to a $2,500 fine, and up to a twelve-month loss of license.

It is very important for a child charged as an adult to hire an experienced lawyer for many reasons. The individual will need an experienced attorney that knows how to talk to the prosecutors involved in such cases. It is also important to hire an attorney who understands how the judges typically rules in these sorts of cases and the possible penalties the individual could face in the Norfolk system.

Role of BAC

BAC is an individual’s blood alcohol content or blood alcohol level, which is what is typically used to determine intoxication in DUI cases. If an adult has a BAC of .08 or higher, he or she is presumed to be intoxicated in the state of Virginia. However, a minor only needs to have a BAC of .02 or higher in the state of Virginia for the same presumption, so there is a big difference between DUI charges for minors versus adults.

Importance of Hiring an Attorney for an Under-18 DUI

It is important to seek help from a Norfolk under-18 DUI lawyer because someone charged should be doing everything possible to keep it off their record. It’s a very common misconception that a conviction won’t matter when someone is an adult; that is not entirely true. Juvenile charges stay on someone’s record either until they turn 19 or until five years have passed since the final hearing, whichever happens to be later.

The file isn’t public but it is still visible to law enforcement officers, judges, the DMV, probation officers and certain other individuals and agencies or with a court order. If the person later goes on to commit another crime then their juvenile record comes into play again. It does not just go away entirely and can still have a strong detrimental effect on somebody’s future. A lawyer can help someone fight the charge and potentially have it either dismissed or reduced to something that isn’t a criminal charge. They can help someone prepare for court so that they’re in a good position to have a good result.