The majority of people think of DUIs as something that happens to those over the legal drinking age. However, oftentimes drunk driving defendants are under the age of 21. While those under 21 are subjected to criminal punishment, they face different penalties than those over the legal driving age. Anyone facing charges that is under 21 should consult with an attorney immediately and find out what options are available according to their specific circumstances. Many attorneys offer free consultations with no obligation to hire.
Can I Keep My License?
Every case is different, but it is common for an underage driver’s right to drive to be automatically suspended following a DUI arrest. This is because California has a “zero tolerance” law for DUIs, regardless of the amount of alcohol a person who is under the legal age had to drink. If you work or attend class, you can petition the DMV for a restricted license, though the process can be long and costly. Also, the DMV will consider if public transportation or other forms of transportation are available to you, in lieu of giving back your right to drive.
There is an opportunity for some defendants to keep their license by requesting a hearing with their DMV. To request a hearing, you must petition within 10 days of your arrest. The DMV is very strict with this time frame, and the 10 days includes holidays and weekends, so be sure to contact them as quickly as possible. The entire process can be confusing, and it is always best to consult with an experienced attorney before your DMV hearing. Those who take advantage of their hearing are allowed to have their attorney present.
Are Some People’s Suspensions Longer Than Others?
Yes. The normal time frame for a DUI under 21 suspension in California is one year. However, you can petition the DMV to have a restricted license. This of course depends on the circumstances of your case. If it were a simple, first time DUI, you would have a better chance than if it is your second or third. In addition, another factor that comes into play is if you caused an accident, or have a prior record. These factors could extend the time of your suspension as well as add other punishments, such as jail time, community service, house arrest, and drug classes. It is always best to consult with an attorney before heading to court by yourself as an experienced lawyer can quickly and efficiently guide you and your case through the process.
Can An Attorney Help Me Keep My License?
It depends upon the facts surrounding your specific case. Every circumstance is different, and different attorneys can view your case differently. Of course, the more severe the instance, the more severe the penalty (i.e., DUI plus hit and run usually garners a harsher sentence than a DUI), however, your personal circumstances could change this. If you live in a rural area and depend on your vehicle for school or work, or have children that you must take to school, you may have a better chance.
In California, the vast majority of cases will result in a suspension for at least some time, so be prepared. Those facing charges in Orange County, Riverside, Los Angeles, or San Diego that would like to take advantage of a free consultation can call (844) 241-1221. You will receive assistance from an attorney with extensive experience helping those charged with drunk driving that is under 21. Call today to get help today.