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Norfolk Underage DUI Lawyer

If someone is under the age of 21 and suspected of driving under the influence, they are still charged with DUI. These charges are officially called underage DUIs and unofficially called a baby DUI. The laws in Norfolk are a little bit stricter to underage drivers. Underage DUI charges in Norfolk can bring very serious consequences for a person, potentially jeopardizing their education and future employment opportunities. Get in touch with an experienced lawyer to discuss options and how to proceed.

Acceptable BAC Levels for Underage Drivers

The BAC limit is lowered to 0.02 rather than 0.08, which essentially makes it so that almost any amount of alcohol in somebody’s system who is under 21 is going to be enough for a DUI charge. If the driver is under 21 and their BAC is 0.08 or higher, then they would be charged with a regular adult DUI.

How Norfolk Prosecutors Treat Underage DUI

Prosecutors and judges take underage DUI cases in Norfolk very seriously and are not likely to be lenient on somebody that young who’s drinking and driving. They don’t like to let anyone slide because the goal ultimately is to teach people a lesson so they don’t ever have to appear in court again for something similar. The sentences are similar for adult DUI and underage DUIs but there are some additional consequences for anyone underage. There’s a mandatory license suspension for 12 months with a possibility for a restricted license and the possibility of a treatment and education program.

Those consequences are the same as an adult DUI, but then for underage DUI there’s also either a mandatory minimum fine of $500 or more or 50 hours of community service that needs to be completed. For someone looking to keep their driving privileges or mitigate punishments, they should contact an underage DUI attorney in Norfolk to discuss their options.

Case Process for Underage DUI Charges

Someone under 21 years old can expect that the process of their DUI case will be pretty much the same as it would be if they were 21 or older. Underage DUI cases are heard in the Norfolk General District Court, just like they would be for a regular adult DUI. Unless someone has been charged for driving under the influence while under the age of 18, their case will be heard at the General District Court.

Impact of Underage DUI on College Students

This is going to depend on the university, but in general a lot of them have policies in place that come down really hard on someone convicted of a DUI. It can result in being placed on probation for a loss of certain privileges or even a loss of certain scholarships and grants.

Criminal charges and convictions are public so it’s possible that a student’s university will find out, but it is unlikely that most universities will be checking up on this sort of thing routinely. There may be a requirement in the school code of conduct that a student must disclose any charges or convictions as well.

How Colleges Handle These Charges

Most universities have a hearing process where any matter that happens to be a violation of the school’s code of conduct is discussed. Many times the issue is heard by a panel of students who decide what should be done after gathering information from a convicted or a charged student about the matter. The best thing to do to prepare is to have a strong list of positives to counter the negative which was a conviction. This positive list includes things related to the DUI itself, such as enrolling in a treatment or counseling program, but it also includes other things such as contributions that student has made it to the community and to the school.

Most universities have a hearing process which is where they would discuss the violation generally by a panel of students who would gather the information from the convicted student about the matter and then they would decide what needs to be done.