A DUI conviction can be detrimental to your child's life. Learn what steps you can take to help during this trying time.
Has your child just received a DUI? As a parent, this is no doubt a very stressful and scary situation. If you have never dealt with this previously, you are likely wondering what to expect. What kind of consequences will your child face? Will there be jail time? There are a lot of questions likely filing your mind at a time like this. To guide you through such a tough situation, we are sharing some advice on what to do if your child receives a DUI.
Consequences of Teenage DUI Convictions
One of the first things you are probably concerned about is the consequences your child faces as a result of driving under the influence. Penalties for drunk driving will vary state by state and are typically influenced by other factors, such as prior convictions and the blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of the arrest. DUI convictions are taken very seriously, no matter your age, but teenagers tend to face even greater convictions for first-time offenses than adults of legal age do.
If your child was caught driving under the influence, he or she will likely also be charged with underage drinking. There are even other charges teenagers face, including: minor in possession of alcohol, the violation of Child Endangerment Laws, and also the possession of a fake ID if that was the how the alcohol was obtained in the first place. If your child was found to be soliciting alcohol from adults or distributing alcohol to other minors, this can lead to even more charges on their record.
A drunk driving charge will most likely be a misdemeanor on your child's public record. As a penalty for driving under the influence, the completion of community service may be required, as well as the payment of exorbitant fines. Sometimes DUI fines can cost thousands of dollars, which can be difficult for your family financially.
Your child's license will probably be suspended for a period of time determined by the court. This could impact your child's ability to get to school or get to work, making life even more difficult. The car you child was driving at the time of arrest could also be impounded.
Jail Time & Probation
One big question you are probably wondering is whether or not your teenager will serve time in jail for a drunk driving conviction. This ultimately depends on the court and the decision of the judge when the case goes to trial. A first offense could potentially result in up to one year of jail time for a minor, which severely impacts your child's education.
A probation period of up to five years can even be required for teenagers who drive under the influence. They could also be required to complete drug and alcohol classes as well. Any consequences your teenager faces will depend on the details regarding your child's case.
Handling Your Child's DUI Conviction
A child receiving a DUI is no doubt a confusing and troubling time for any parent. Instead of feeling as though you have failed your child, this is a time to be proactive and encourage your child to make better decision in the future. Explain to your child the consequences of his or her actions and why driving under the influence is never the answer. Turn a tough situation into a teaching example so your child can hopefully learn from it and never make the same mistake again.
As a parent, you probably feel stressed and angry over the situation you have to deal with. Remember that you should not take that anger out on your child. Instead, find other ways to let out that frustration. Getting angry with your child will not solve any problems or make the situation better. Talk to your spouse, a friend or family member, or even your attorney to let out any pent up emotions.
Consult with an Attorney
The best thing you can do for your child in a time like this is to find an experienced attorney to take on the case. Many people mistakenly believe they don't stand a chance at fighting a DUI conviction. The truth is, having the right attorney by your side as you go to court can make or break your case.
You will want to choose a DUI lawyer who has years of experience in defending DUI cases and has gotten a positive outcome in court time and time ago. This shows that an attorney is knowledgeable on DUI laws and can put together an effective defensive strategy that gets results.
It is possible to lower the charges your child faces or even get them dropped altogether. You just need the right attorney to help you do it!