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DUI   5/01/2024

What to Do if Your Child is Arrested for an Underage DUI

As a parent, there's nothing more frightening than hearing your child has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). When the charge involves an underage driver, the situation becomes even more stressful. Nevada has strict laws against underage DUI, and a conviction can have serious consequences that can impact your child's future.

Miley Law is here to guide you through this difficult time. We understand how daunting it can be to face these kinds of charges, especially as a teenager. We will discuss the steps to take after an underage DUI arrest, potential consequences in Nevada, and how a criminal defense attorney can help protect your child's future.

Steps to Take After an Underage DUI Arrest

If your child is pulled over for suspicion of DUI and is under 21, there is a bit more to consider than a traditional moving violation. Here are some things that you should do to best protect yourself and your child after an underage DUI arrest:

  • Stay Calm: The situation is stressful, but panicking won't help. Remain calm and collected as you gather the necessary information.
  • Contact an Attorney Immediately: Underage DUI charges are serious and can have a huge impact on your child’s future. Don't wait to seek legal counsel. An experienced DUI defense attorney can advise you on your rights and explore the best course of action.
  • Gather Information: Find out where your child is being held and any details regarding the arrest such as why they were pulled over, if there was any kind of accident or injury leading to the arrest, what their BAC was, etc. 
  • Avoid Discussing the Case: Do not talk to law enforcement or local media outlets and make sure to advise your child not to discuss the arrest with anyone except their attorney. Anything you say about the case, however unintentional, can be used against your child in court. 

Potential Consequences of an Underage DUI in Nevada

Nevada has a zero-tolerance law for underage DUI. This means that anyone under 21 can be arrested for DUI with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .02 or higher despite the BAC limit for adults over the legal drinking age being .08. 

The consequences of an underage DUI conviction can be severe, including:

  • License Suspension or Revocation: Your child's driver's license could be suspended or revoked for a significant period.
  • Fines: Underage DUI convictions often come with hefty fines.
  • Required Alcohol Education Courses: Your child may be mandated to complete alcohol education or substance abuse programs in order to avoid the charge appearing on their record, losing their license, or even jail time. This is typically offered to minimize their sentence altogether and to get them the help they need. 
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): The court might require your child to install an IID on their vehicle, which prevents them from starting the car if they have been drinking. An IID might be required for any amount of time from 90 days to 36 months, depending on the recorded BAC and the circumstances of the arrest. 
  • Potential Jail Time: In some cases, depending on the severity of the offense and any potential property damage or injuries, jail time might be a possibility.

How an Underage DUI Charge Can Affect Your Child's Life

Beyond the immediate legal consequences, an underage DUI charge can have a lasting impact on your child's life, the most obvious being academically. A DUI conviction can jeopardize scholarships or financial aid for college and any missed days for court hearings or lawyer meetings could put them behind in their studies. It can also lead to disciplinary action from their school.

A criminal record can also affect your child's future employment opportunities and limit housing options just like with adults. When potential employers run background checks before hiring  a candidate, a past criminal conviction can eliminate them from the running for that position. 

There is also the social stigma of being arrested. In some schools and peer groups this may not seem like a big deal but in others, your child's reputation could take a major hit and cause social isolation among peers.

How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

An experienced DUI defense attorney can make a significant difference in your child's case. Consulting with a legal team you can trust can be the difference between jail time and case dismissal.

A good attorney will thoroughly investigate the arrest details, looking for any potential errors made by law enforcement and use anything they find in defense of your child. Juvenile defense attorneys understand better than anyone that people make mistakes, especially when they are young. This does not mean they should not still have the same opportunities as other young people. 

Another benefit of having a dedicated attorney on your side is their knowledge of the legal system and common defense strategies. Depending on the circumstances, there might be grounds to challenge the stop, the field sobriety tests, or the BAC results.

If dismissal is not an option, they can negotiate with prosecutors to negotiate a favorable plea bargain that minimizes the consequences for your child or even represent them in court if it comes to that.

Miley Law: Your Nevada DUI Defense Ally

Facing an underage DUI charge is a frightening experience for both you and your child. Miley Law understands the complexities of DUI laws and is dedicated to protecting your child's future. 

Our experienced Nevada DUI defense attorneys will fight for the best possible outcome in your child's case. Give us a call today at (702) 942-0600 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced juvenile defense attorneys. 

Contact Miley Law today for a free consultation. Don't wait! The sooner you have legal representation, the better chance you have of navigating this challenging situation effectively.

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Las Vegas Criminal Defense and Family Lawyer Provides Strong Counsel

The Miley Law Firm, P.C. in Las Vegas represents Nevada clients in criminal defense and family law matters. To discuss your situation and legal options, please call (702) 942-0600 or contact us online by filling out an online form.

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Las Vegas, NV 89106
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a client relationship.
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