Hampton Roads Underage DUI Penalties

All DUIs are prosecuted strongly. When dealing with a minor, however, there is less of an urge to get a conviction. The prosecution does not necessarily want to settle with a misdemeanor conviction if they believe the individual involved can make changes in their lives at that age.

If you were charged with a DUI, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Get in touch with a capable legal advocate that could fight on your behalf for fair Hampton Roads underage DUI penalties.

Penalties for Underage DUI in Hampton Roads

If a person is convicted of a DUI under 21, the penalties are in many ways as if the person is convicted of what is called the “underage 21 statute.” For example, if a person has between 0.02 grams of alcohol and 0.08 grams of alcohol, that is considered a DUI. In a Class One Misdemeanor, the big difference is that there is no jail time involved, but the person is going to have a $500 fine and hours of community service, as well as a one-year license suspension.

Prosecutors and judges often see these types of cases as teaching experiences, since they are dealing with young people who do not have much experience with alcohol or with driving. People charged with underage DUIs frequently do not have any sort of criminal record. When experienced defense attorneys have a client that has a good record, especially if they are in school, they are able to leverage that to convince the prosecutors or the judges to show mercy and give them an opportunity to keep this type of charge off their record.

Sentences for juveniles charged with misdemeanors will often be less severe than if they were an adult. Most of the time, the courts want to get a message across to the underaged people that as they get older, they will be expected to behave in a certain way and that they need to make changes. If they can avoid giving somebody a conviction and a lengthy detention sentence when they are minor, they will do that.

Alternatives to Jailtime

Hampton Roads underage DUI penalties typically do not involve jail time, just community service. If somebody under the age of 21 is charged with a standard DUI, oftentimes there is no mandatory jail time required. The court may be willing to consider either a higher fine or community service in lieu of spending time in jail.

Alternative sentences may require that a person has a clean driving record, or that this is the first incident. The court should have no reason to believe that the individual could not complete any sort of alternative sentence and that it would be beneficial to the person to complete this in lieu of a conviction and possible jail time.

Long-Term Impacts of an Underage DUI

An underage DUI is a misdemeanor; it is a criminal conviction. It does not count in the sense of being a DUI if a person is convicted of subsequent charges, and it cannot be used to elevate it to a DUI second offense. However, it will be on a person’s criminal record and it is something that will be taken into consideration by the prosecution and by the judge should they be found guilty.

Long-term implications of an underage DUI conviction can:

  • Lead to an increase in a person’s insurance
  • Impact job applications
  • Impact background checks, because it will show up that they have an alcohol-related offense.

Contacting an Experienced DUI Lawyer in Hampton Roads

If you were charged with a DUI, an attorney could help your case. Hampton Roads underage DUI penalties may not be as severe as adult cases, but they can still have a serious impact on your life. Contact a seasoned DUI lawyer today to discuss your case.