The Lawyers Other Lawyers Go To To Defend Them (213) 542-0963

Underage DUI

Los Angeles Underage DUI Lawyer

What is your best DUI defense strategy if you have been arrested for an underage DUI under California Vehicle Code 23136 in Los Angeles County?

It is a bad idea to start your life with a criminal record that can stay with you for the rest of your life. If you have a DUI pending in either the juvenile court or even the adult court, you should figure out a way to hire a savvy DUI defense lawyer to protect your record and future.

Most prosecutors and judges will give a young person a break if your DUI attorney can devise a reason for them to do so. A seasoned attorney knows what will make a difference to the prosecutors when it comes time to resolve your case.

If our attorneys can show the prosecutors and judge that you are on the right path, but for this DUI case, they will be much more receptive to a resolution protecting your record and good name.

Also, character letters and examples of you doing the right thing are always helpful. If you have good grades in school, are being accepted to a good college, have a solid job, and have good character, the prosecutors and judge are much more likely to give you a favorable resolution in your case.

DUI Strategies for Underage California DUI Charges

What are some possible resolutions if you have underage drinking and driving charges in Los Angeles County? If you are under eighteen, many diversionary-type resolutions can be used to protect your record from being forever marked.

If this is your first drunk driving offense, you are in an excellent position to obtain a resolution you can live with. Your DUI lawyer will have to meet with the powers that be, armed with the information necessary to convince them that your conduct was an aberration that will not repeat itself.

If, on the other hand, you are over eighteen but under twenty-one, then your case will be heard in the adult court. Los Angeles County prosecutors and judges are particularly concerned about underage drinking and driving.

These drivers account for most of the road accidents and are much more likely to end up in severe accident because of their inexperience. I believe these cases must be handled by the best and most experienced drunk driving attorneys.

Some things can help these particular drivers, but a strategy going into the case is necessary. Your attorney will have to convince the judge that you are not a danger to the community. If the prosecutor and judge feel you are a danger, they will do everything to stop you from driving and severely punish you. 

Your best bet is to get a list of questions together, alert your parents (if you need them to help you with the attorney fees), and choose a DUI attorney you feel comfortable with has been down the road you are about to travel had success.

California's Zero-Tolerance Law

Have you been arrested for underage drinking and driving? California has a “Zero Tolerance“ law for underage drunk drivers. Our DUI lawyers know and understand the specific rules for under-21 DUI arrests, and we will aggressively fight on your behalf if you have been arrested for a DUI and are underage.

If you are under 21 and your blood alcohol level is 0.01% or higher, you will be arrested for driving under the influence; there is zero tolerance for underage drunk drivers, hence the “Zero Tolerance” law.

What Happens to My Driver's License if it's Suspended?

If you are underage and are arrested for driving under the influence, there are three different criminal offenses with penalties:

  • if your blood alcohol level concentration was 0.01% or greater, you may face driver's license suspension for one year;
  • if your blood alcohol concentration is .05% or greater, you may face a mandatory alcohol education/rehabilitation program, as well as driver's license suspension for one year;
  • if your blood alcohol concentration is .08% or greater, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. You may be punished by imprisonment, fines, driver's license suspension, community service, probation, etc.

How to Get the Best Result in an Underage DUI Case?

For underage drivers who pick up DUI cases, it's a horrible start to their driving career because it puts them in a position where they take a conviction on their record.

They also get points on their record, and many times, if someone is underage and gets convicted of a DUI, they lose their driver's license for one year with no restrictions. 

Now they can't go back and forth to school or other activities and have to jump through many hoops to regain their driver's license. So, if you or a loved one is charged with an underage DUI case, you want to get an attorney.  You're fighting two entities, such as the following:

  • One is the court system which can put a mark on your criminal record, can send you to jail, and give you a host of other problems, and
  • The other one, equally important, is that you will have to deal with the Department of Motor Vehicles, which can take your driver's license away.

Meeting to Determine Defense Strategy

What we want to do is get in and find out what happened. How high the blood alcohol level was, and whether any defenses could be asserted.  If there are some defenses, those would be available at the DMV level as well as at the court level.

If, on the other hand, there is no defense, then we're going to try to mitigate the situation at the court level by talking to prosecutors and the judge and see if something that can be worked out to protect your criminal record so you don't start with a conviction that you can't get rid of. 

This is done by looking at your prior criminal record, whether you're attending school, college, or a job.  Any character letters we could get will also be helpful; how your family life is.

Level of Danger on the Road

One of the biggest things they will look at is how dangerous you were on the road. So it's one thing if you get pulled over for some traffic violation, and your blood alcohol level is under the legal limit of .08.

Suppose you're a minor and get busted for a DUI where you're driving 100 miles an hour and over the legal limit.  In that case, it makes you a lot more dangerous in the eyes of the prosecutor and judge. 

So, that's one of the issues we'll have to grapple with – how dangerous was your conduct, and what can we do to ensure the conduct never happens again?

What I have you do is come into the office.  We review all the facts and details, not just of your case, but of your life and where you're headed.  Hopefully, you're headed in a positive direction. 

We can tell the judge and prosecutor about that and get you the best result. So, pick up the phone now.  Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.  I've been doing this for over 30 years and am ready to help you.

Related Content: 

Contact Us Today

Hedding Law Firm is committed to answering your questions about DUI law issues in California and throughout the United States.

I'll privately discuss your case with you at your convenience. All consultations are free, discreet, and confidential. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.