Being charged with a DUI is a serious matter at any age, but when the situation involves an underage driver, the consequences can be even more severe. It is important that the situation be taken seriously at all points of the case, as it can have a lasting impact on the underage driver’s future. An experienced Virginia Beach underage DUI attorney will be able to help you navigate the charges and inform you of your rights.
An underage DUI can have a harsh effect on an individual’s future. It is a criminal conviction, which means that on job applications and college applications, they will most likely have to disclose it.
For someone under 21 who is still in school, there could be additional consequences that their school imposes, such as the ability to participate in certain programs or to apply for some scholarships or grants due to a conviction. There is also the added inconvenience of a suspended license, which lasts for at least a year, in addition to increased insurance rates and court-imposed requirements.
The alternative option of jail time is generally community service. This is usually an option the majority of the time, unless the circumstances that surround the incident were negative enough, or the BAC (blood alcohol content) of the person charged was highly elevated. If the driver has a prior record, then it is unlikely they will get community service instead of jail time.
In general, if someone was doing everything else right, then there is no reason the judge should have an issue with a person doing community service instead of issuing jail time.
To qualify for community service instead of jail time, a person should have a clean prior record and a BAC below 0.08. Once 0.08 is hit, or the reading is higher, it is unlikely that the judge is going to be understanding and allow someone to do community service.
Likewise, if this is not the first time the defendant has been before the court for a similar charge, then community service will not be an option.
It is important for parents to know right from the beginning what the implications of an underage DUI in Virginia Beach are for their child’s future, as well as the immediate implication. It is not uncommon for parents to view these charges as a minor occurrence because the driver is underage and will not have a large impact.
But in reality, any type of criminal record is important, whether it is obtained when one is 19 years old or 35 years old.
The consequences of a Virginia Beach DUI conviction, underage or not, will follow anybody for the rest of their life. In the short term, the penalties are very harsh, with jail time being a possibility, hefty fines, time commitments of community service, and treatment programs. It also carries an effect on insurance in the form of increased premiums that last for years and a license suspension for at least a year.
Parents should be aware that their child does not have to just accept all of these consequences and take it as a learning experience. There is the possibility of getting a lawyer who can help reduce the charge or have it dismissed altogether.
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