People under the age of 21 are not legally able to have alcohol, let alone drink and drive. For individuals over the age of 21, it is illegal to operate a vehicle if their blood alcohol content is above 0.08. However, for someone younger than 21-years-old, it is illegal to operate a vehicle if their blood alcohol content is above just 0.02. Fredericksburg underage DUI penalties are severe, which is why if you have been arrested for such a crime, you should contact an accomplished DUI attorney.
Prosecutors and courts in Northern Virginia treat underage DUI cases very seriously. The penalties are intentionally the same as a DUI with someone of age, whether someone is 22 and has a serious DUI or someone is 20 years old and has a very low blood alcohol content. Fredericksburg underage DUI penalties include license forfeiture for a year, a mandatory minimum fine, and can include up to a year in jail. Someone who is convicted of underage DUI will have to complete the state’s alcohol education class. While in many cases it is not as dangerous of behavior that is being punished, it is further illegal because the person is under the age of 21.
Most of the time, the punishment that is faced by someone convicted of an underage DUI is going to mirror the exact punishment of someone who is convicted of a DUI after having reached the legal drinking age. While there may be fewer charges associated with the behavior of driving with higher blood alcohol content, it is technically more dangerous. Someone who is under the legal drinking age, who is charged and convicted of underage driving after illegally consuming alcohol is punished in the same way. The maximum punishment is up to a year in jail and it is very uncommon for someone in that position to face that full maximum penalty unless there are serious extenuating circumstances like a criminal history. Prosecutors and judges will expect a significant period of jail time and a minimum fine. Also, most people have a year-long suspension of their driver’s license and have to take VASAP Class.
There are several reasons to work with an experienced DUI attorney. They have experience in the person’s locality and dealing with the charges that they are dealing with. Working with a seasoned, local DUI attorney regarding an underage driving under the influence charge is important because that attorney is going to be able to explain the procedure of the local court. When someone obtains legal counsel, they have someone who can also explain exactly what a person’s rights are, the steps of the case as it is being prosecuted against them, and someone who could protect the defendant’s rights. Most of the time in northern Virginia, when a favorable plea agreement is reached, it is because a seasoned attorney is able to present relevant facts to a prosecutor who has experience working with that attorney and mitigating the negative impact of an underage DUI conviction. If you are looking at Fredericksburg underage DUI penalties, contact a lawyer immediately to see what legal options you have.
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