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Underage DUI

Underage DUI Offenses

Experienced San Diego DUI Lawyers Available 24/7

California has distinct and separate DUI charges for minors under 21, and may also prosecute minors for standard “adult” DUI offenses depending on the circumstances. Regardless of the charges you or your child faces, all underage DUI allegations have the potential to result in serious penalties and repercussions, including those which can threaten the futures of young adults who are just beginning to explore their options in life.

Premier Criminal Defense is a proven criminal defense law firm that fights for clients charged with crimes throughout San Diego and the surrounding communities of Southern California. This includes fighting on behalf of clients charged with all types of DUI offenses. Because we understand the unique laws and issues young motorists face when accused of DUI, we are aggressive in protecting their rights and privileges during both criminal proceedings and administrative DMV hearings.

Why Premier Criminal Defense?

  • Proven Experience Defending Against DUI Allegations
  • Led By a Former Prosecutor (Founding Attorney Thomas Slattery)
  • 24/7 Availability and Personal Attention
  • Aggressive Defense During Criminal & DMV Proceedings

Call (619) 374-1268 24/7 to discuss your case with a member of our team. We offer confidential, no-cost case evaluations.

DUI Charges for Minors Under 21 in California

California has a “zero tolerance” policy for underage drivers, which means minors under the age of 21 can face penalties for driving a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system. Because California has distinct and separate laws for underage DUI offenses, prosecutors may bring any number of charges against an underage motorist. Depending on the circumstances, these may include:

  • Zero Tolerance DUI – Under California’s Vehicle Code (§ 23136) it is against the law for minors to drive with any amount of alcohol in their system. Even a .01 BAC level can result in a one-year driver’s license suspension. This offense is considered an infraction, but is still included in an offender’s criminal record.
  • Underage DUI – State law also makes it a crime (VC § 23140) for minors to drive under the influence with a BAC level of .05 or greater. As a California infraction, this charge can impose penalties that include fines, a one-year license suspension, and court-ordered completion of DUI school.
  • Standard DUI – Minors arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol with a BAC above the standard “adult” legal limit of .08 can be charged with a standard misdemeanor DUI. This can result in serious and long-term penalties upon conviction, including up to six months in a county jail, probation, fines, DUI school, and driver’s license suspension.

While these are common DUI allegations brought against underage drivers, there are other related charges prosecutors may file if circumstances allow. These can include:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs, including marijuana DUI
  • Possession of alcohol in a motor vehicle by a person under 21
  • Charge and penalty enhancements for aggravating factors (including prior DUI convictions, high BAC levels, etc.)
  • Felony DUI (for DUIs resulting in accidents, injuries, or death)

Because DUI convictions can subject minors to harsh and burdensome penalties, especially when aggravating circumstances are involved, working with an experienced defense lawyer is critical to protecting one’s rights, freedom, and future. Our DUI lawyers leverage our experience and insight – as well as the insight of a former prosecutor turned defense lawyer – to guide clients and their families through all stages of their legal journeys. This includes representation during criminal proceedings, which concern criminal guilt and impose penalties, and administrative DMV hearings concerning driving privileges and license suspensions.

Call For a No-Cost Case Evaluation

Premier Criminal Defense is available 24/7 to help the accused and their families. Because time is a critical factor in meeting important deadlines (such as requesting a DMV hearing) and exploring your options for a defense, we strongly encourage prospective clients to reach out to our experienced team as soon as possible after an arrest. Call (619) 374-1268 or contact us online to get started with a no-cost case evaluation.

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