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Under 18 DUI Charges in Henrico County

In Henrico County, DUI offenses for those under 18 can be charged if there’s a blood alcohol level of anywhere between a 0.02 to a 0.07 or higher. If it’s a 0.08 or higher, they will often charge it as an adult DUI. If it is between 0.02 to a 0.07, it will be charged as an underage DUI, sometimes referred to in these cases as a baby DUI. These charges will still comes with many of the same, or at least similar, penalties as an adult DUI. Like with an adult DUI, it is important to work with a local experienced lawyer when facing these charges. A Henrico County underage DUI lawyer will know how to prepare and present an effective defense in these cases.

The Process of an Underage DUI Case

A DUI case for someone under the age of 18 is handled much differently from an adult DUI case in Henrico County. It will be heard in the juvenile domestic relations court where there will be a petition filed and where the juvenile will have to appear with their parents. Typically, in juvenile courts, alternative sentencing is more readily available. With a juvenile DUI, there’s a driver’s license suspension of 1 year. It is possible to get a restricted license. There is also a minimum mandatory fine of $500 or a minimum mandatory 50 hours of community service. There is also the possibility of probation as well as the requirement to complete an alcohol program.

Prosecution of Minor DUI Cases

In Henrico County the judges and prosecutors are very strict on juvenile DUIs. There is pretty much a zero tolerance. The judges can be very strict on this, especially if there is been any sort of issue regarding alcohol abuse. They want to send the message to the juvenile and, furthermore, to the public that safety matters. Therefore, the prosecutors in the courts are very strict on juvenile DUI cases.

The sentences with a juvenile DUI tend to be a little less severe than with an adult DUI, in terms of actual jail sentences or detention time. However, the other punishments regarding license suspension, probation, and alcohol counseling, are very similar to an adult DUI.

Questions for Someone Charged With Underage DUI

One of the first things a lawyer will want to ask individuals or minors and/or students who are charged with DUIs is exactly what happened in the incident. They want to find out the circumstances in which the minor was driving and what aggravating factors may have been involved. They also need to determine the blood alcohol level because, the higher the blood alcohol level, the more severe the punishment will be in the court.

Importance of an Attorney

Hiring an attorney when someone under the age of 18 is charged with a DUI is extremely important. An attorney will understand how DUIs are prosecuted and the long term effects of these charges. A primary issue that comes with a DUI is that a DUI offense can not only affect someone’s ability to drive long term, but it can also affect their ability to attend school and could even affect their ability to get into a college or a university as well. There is also the possibility of detention, if it is an aggravated case, and the likelihood of a long-term license suspension.

What Parents Should Expect From the Process

Parents need to be aware that they will have to appear at all the hearings alongside their child. When there is a petition filed against the minor, it is required that the parents appear with their child. The parents also need to be aware of the license suspension implications and the possible implications that could affect their insurance. If their child is covered under their policy, they can expect a significant increase in payments that cover their child. Furthermore, the parents need to be aware of the penalties that are included in a minor or an under 18 DUI, which can include detention, but also include a high fine and mandatory alcohol counseling.

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