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What to Do If You’re Facing an Underage DUI Charge

Underage DUI charges are serious legal matters with potential consequences that can significantly affect a young person’s future, impacting everything from education opportunities to employment prospects. Given the gravity of such charges, it’s important to be aware of your legal rights and the critical steps necessary for navigating this challenging situation effectively. 

Here’s what you should do following an underage DUI:

Remain Calm and Cooperative

Receiving an underage DUI charge can be both startling and scary. Nevertheless, it’s essential that you remain calm and cooperative with law enforcement officers throughout the arrest process. Panicking or reacting aggressively can compound problems, potentially leading to additional charges and worsening your situation. Make sure you comply with the directives given by the arresting officers while also being mindful of your rights.

Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent

One of those rights is your right to remain silent after being arrested for a DUI. By speaking without legal counsel, there’s a risk of inadvertently incriminating yourself or providing statements that could negatively affect the outcome of your case. 

It’s best to politely decline to answer questions until after consulting with an attorney who is qualified to guide you through the process following an underage DUI charge.

Contact a Parent or Guardian

If the defendant facing a DUI charge is a minor, one of their first steps should be to inform a parent or guardian about the situation. This can lend emotional support and provide help when making decisions regarding legal representation and other necessary actions throughout the process.

Securing legal representation is a crucial step after an underage DUI charge. An attorney who specializes in DUI cases can offer assistance through the complex legal journey ahead and will ensure that your rights are fully protected throughout the proceedings. 

A lawyer will also be able to help you understand the charges against you, explore potential defenses, and work toward achieving either a more favorable outcome or a possible dismissal of charges when feasible.

Do Not Discuss Your DUI Case on Social Media

In our highly connected digital world, the urge to share experiences publicly online can be strong. However, when dealing with an underage DUI charge, it’s crucial to maintain silence about your case on social media platforms – this includes posts, pictures, comments, or even private messages. 

Information shared digitally can easily become accessible by prosecutors and might inadvertently damage your defense. Your best bet is to just stay off of social media entirely until your case is over.

Be Completely Honest With Your Lawyer

Transparency with your attorney is critical. Full disclosure allows your lawyer to build the strongest defense possible and anticipate any challenges that could arise. This includes sharing details that you may find uncomfortable or assume are damaging or inconsequential.

Remember, the relationship between an attorney and a client is privileged; this means what’s discussed in private cannot be divulged without express consent. Being completely honest gives your lawyer all the tools they need to protect your rights effectively.

Consider Drug or Alcohol Treatment Before Going to Court

Proactively engaging in drug or alcohol treatment before your court date can significantly influence the perception of the judge and prosecutor regarding your willingness to take responsibility. It demonstrates a commitment to making positive life changes and can be an important mitigating factor when it comes time for sentencing if convicted.

Attend All Scheduled Court Appearances

Making sure you attend all scheduled court appearances is non-negotiable. Each hearing is critical, and missing even one can result in a warrant for your arrest and be seen by the court as a lack of respect for the seriousness of your situation.

Prepare for the Impact

Despite your best defenses, underage DUI charges can carry substantial repercussions, including driver’s license suspensions, fines, increases in insurance rates, and mandated community service. It’s important to brace yourself emotionally and financially for these potential impacts while consistently seeking guidance from your lawyer as each decision is made.

Learn from the Experience

Regardless of the outcome of an underage DUI charge, take it as a learning experience. Reflect on your choices and use this as an opportunity to grow and make better decisions moving forward. 

Navigating an underage DUI charge can be an overwhelming process with serious implications. It’s essential to get in touch with a skilled legal professional immediately to ensure that you are properly represented and your rights are protected.

If you or someone you know is facing charges, contact our california law firm of Ahmed & Sukaram, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense lawyer.

Ahmed & Sukaram, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys – San Jose Office
1625 The Alameda, Suite 405, San Jose, CA 95126
(408) 217-8818

Ahmed & Sukaram, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys – Redwood City Office
600 Allerton St Suite 201G, Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 299-0500

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