No one under the age of 21 in Anaheim, California, plans to get charged for underage drinking. Teens need the freedom to learn responsibility, and many are capable of making responsible decisions even while out at a party or experiencing peer pressure. However, minors being charged with DUI does happen. Often this is due to a young person’s inability to comprehend the seriousness of their actions or a belief that they are somehow personally beyond the consequences of underage drunk driving. Understanding and facing the consequences of a mistake is often the first step to getting a young person’s life back on track.
It is important to understand that while DUI is a serious crime, not every initial DUI charge will lead to a conviction. With the help of an Anaheim underage DUI lawyer, you can work through your case and potentially have it dismissed or reduced. The first step to getting your charges reduced is hiring a local DUI attorney who specializes in underage drinking cases. At the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, we take underage DUI cases seriously and are here to help you through this stressful time and guide you and your family to the best possible outcomes. We understand that a DUI charge can be extremely scary for teens and their parents, but in most cases, it does not need to be a life-altering mistake. If you have been unfairly charged or incorrectly identified, we will ensure that this mistake does not compromise your reputation or future.
Driving under the influence is a misdemeanor in California and considered illegal when any one of the following four conditions is met:
The specific charge for a DUI depends on a few different factors, including the exact substance the minor driving is under the influence of, impairment to visibility, and whether it is a drug that a legitimate doctor has prescribed them. Here is where we recognize that not every Orange County underage DUI is the same, and a qualified underage DUI attorney is needed to understand the nuance of each case.
In California, someone under the age of 21 qualifies as an underage person. This means that you are not allowed to consume, have in your possession, buy, or be sold any type of alcoholic beverage. As a teen who has been given an adult privilege to drive, it is essential that you are aware of both your rights and responsibilities under the law. An underage DUI arrest can be made when a minor is caught with any amount of alcohol in their system while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. This includes having an open container of alcohol in the car, driving while intoxicated, and drinking any type of alcoholic beverage before or while driving.
The legal limit is .08% BAC (blood alcohol concentration), but as a minor, if you are breathalyzed and caught with anything between 0.01% and 0.07%, you can still be charged with an alcohol-related offense. In California, you must be 21 to legally consume any amount of alcohol. This means that entering a bar, purchasing, or carrying alcohol in public is also prohibited for anyone under 21. Our Orange County DUI lawyers recognize that every case is unique and will listen to your story completely before giving you their professional opinion.
It is sometimes difficult to recognize the dangers of driving while under the influence as a young adult. The risks of getting caught are one thing, but you must understand that drinking and driving can lead to severe life-altering or life-ending consequences for yourself or others.
As you can see, the repercussions of an underage DUI are never worth the risk. However, an Orange County underage DUI lawyer can help you and your family navigate these challenges. A DUI is something that can haunt you for a lifetime if you do not take the legal proceedings seriously and enter court with the right mindset.
The diverse array of penalties for an underage DUI is dependent on a number of factors and nuances. The following are the most common penalties associated with breaking this law:
With all these potential consequences, you must take your charges seriously and look into what you can do to protect yourself. The best possible outcome would be that the charges are dropped or significantly reduced. Only a strong defense can help you to achieve this. An Anaheim DUI attorney can help highlight the facts and decide the best possible direction for your defense to start building a strong case on your behalf from day one.
Probation is a court-ordered sentence that allows you to remain free but under the watchful eye of the courts. You are mandated to meet with your probation officer regularly and comply with any other requirements the court deems necessary, typically involving community service, alcohol education courses, and abstinence from illegal activity. The purpose of juvenile probation is to help you reduce the risk that you will face the consequences for breaking the law again in the future. You will have to undergo difficult treatment and work hard to become a success story.
These probation sentences can last up to three years and include:
Sometimes young people who have been charged with a DUI see juvenile probation officers as an enemy, but this is not the case. Your probation officer is there to help you become a better person and navigate the consequences of your mistakes. They are a valuable resource in the process of putting your DUI behind you. They are mandated to help you make better choices in your life and guide you down a path away from criminal or hazardous behavior. Juvenile probation serves as a wake-up call and an aid in your transition toward becoming a law-abiding citizen.
It is natural to consider representing yourself when you get your first DUI. There is a common misconception that this will be easy to handle on your own and that hiring an attorney will only make the process more expensive. However, there are many benefits to hiring a strong DUI criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can afford it. A skilled California DUI attorney can help you to avoid the negative consequences of having a criminal record.
Without a doubt, hiring a good lawyer to protect your record today can prevent problems in the future. This is especially true for minors who are just entering the legal system and may not know how to handle themselves. Take advantage of all the tools that your Anaheim DUI attorney has at their disposal to minimize your sentence and avoid having a criminal record.
If you are facing a drunk driving charge, it is important that you hire the best Anaheim DUI attorney possible. The heart of your defense case will center around avoiding a conviction for this offense. Your attorney will build a defense with this goal in mind around the following tactics:
These are just a few of the many ways that a good DUI lawyer will build your defense strategy, all with the end goal of helping you avoid a conviction and receiving the least possible punishment.
An Anaheim DUI attorney will have your back every step of the way throughout your entire case. They are well-versed in building a strong defense and will know how to question the procedures, evidence, and conduct of those involved. From establishing reasonable doubt with medical data or showing that proper procedures were not followed to humanizing you with your specific background and unique situation, they are skilled at seeking the right evidence to build a strong case.
Anaheim DUI attorneys know that a conviction can affect you for the rest of your life. A misdemeanor charge may only mean a fine and some community service, but a DUI conviction could result in jail time as well as thousands of dollars in fines. This is one reason why it is so important to have experienced legal representation during your case.
You don’t want to take any chances when facing these charges, which is why you should call the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann right away to start building your case. Not only are they experienced at representing minors, but they are familiar with the specific challenges that this creates for your case. Contact us today, and let’s work together to build your defense.