What to Expect From Underage DUI Cases in DC

Underage DUI cases in DC are heard in the same place as other adult DUI cases unless an individual is under the age of eighteen, in which case it may be heard in juvenile court. Otherwise, they will be heard in the same courtroom as DUIs involving people over the age of twenty-one. If you or someone you know has been accused of driving under the influence while underage, consult with a DC underage DUI lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.

Treatment of Underage DUI Cases

There is more emphasis on making sure that the individual is taking the charge seriously enough. Unfortunately, there’s a problem with underage drinking and driving in this country and prosecutors and judges take that very seriously. They may impose some additional penalties such as community service to really make sure that this youthful offender is getting the message.

What to Expect

An individual being charged needs to expect that the court will very likely order them to not drive at all during the pendency of their case because the court will have significant concerns that a young person has been arrested for DUI. They can expect the prosecutors to consider giving them a diversion if the individual was cooperative and did not display a significant amount of alcohol in their system.

They should consider serious consequences with the Department of Motor Vehicles in the jurisdiction in which their driver’s license is because the DMV is usually extremely harsh on youthful DUI offenders with increased suspensions or revocations as compared to someone who’s already twenty one years old.

Lastly, they need to be aware that there are very likely going to be some difficulties with their ability to legally drive going forward for a length of time. The prosecution doesn’t have to prove as much against them in the criminal case. If they had any alcohol in their system, then they’re not going to have to prove impairment which puts the defense at a significant disadvantage compared to a case where the government does have to prove impairment.

What Parents Should Expect

Parents should know that the process is going to require that the individual who’s charged with the offense appear in person in court at every hearing. They’re going to be under some level of supervision while the case is ongoing by pre-trial services. If the case does result in a conviction for any alcohol-related offense, then they’re going to be placed on some level of supervision after that point with the probation department.

Parents need to understand that the case can very well take several months. Everyone would like to have things worked out quickly, however working a case out correctly in almost every circumstance trumps working it out quickly.

It’s understood that it’s very stressful and inconvenient to have a case pending over a length of time, but it’s important to make sure that the attorney has time to do all of the litigation and negotiation that needs to be done to get a beneficial result. It just takes time and the parents need to understand that.

In addition, they need to understand that there can be consequences for their insurance. Also, if their child is currently a college student or high school student, then there could potentially be consequences at school for their alleged criminal behavior. Therefore, it’s important for them to know that it’s a process that needs to be handled correctly and will take some time to do.