Virginia Underage DUI Lawyer Ready To Serve You
In the United States, drinking, possessing, and purchasing alcohol is prohibited for individuals under 21 years of age. Virginia law treats underage offenders very seriously. Because underage drivers are prohibited from consuming alcohol, getting pulled over while intoxicated is likely to result in a DUI charge. An experienced Virginia underage DUI attorney can provide information on what steps you should take next.
Underage DUI Cases in Fairfax, Fauquier & Prince William County
In Virginia, it is against the law for anyone under the age of 21 to drive with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.02 or higher. This is a class 1 misdemeanor, which means it is the most serious type of misdemeanor. If you were stopped by an officer while driving alone or with friends and subjected to a field sobriety test and then arrested for DUI, it is vital that you obtain the assistance of a Virginia DUI lawyer from the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone as soon as possible.
We are devoted to the defense of young people who are facing the consequences of a DUI charge. We know how to defend charges, and the firm knows how to help you. The firm’s Virginia underage DUI attorney is zealous in fighting for any advantage for underage clients and is prepared to evaluate your situation and advise you of the various options that could help.
Charged with DUI While Under 21?
Virginia has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving. If you are underage, you can be convicted of DUI even if your BAC is below 0.08.
The officer conducts a field sobriety test to gather evidence that the driver was impaired. This simply means that the driver’s physical ability to control the vehicle and his or her judgment was affected by drugs or alcohol or a combination of the two. The driver will also be required to take a blood test or a breath test to determine his or her BAC level.
If the BAC is over 0.02 but is below 0.08 the penalties involved can include:
- Mandatory attendance at a Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program
- Fine of up to $500
- Up to 50 hours of community service
- License suspension
Consequences of a DUI Conviction
Along with criminal consequences, DUI convictions alter the lives of individuals in other ways that may not be immediately recognized.
Higher Insurance Rates
Young drivers face insurance rates that are significantly higher than those of older drivers. In Virginia, drivers convicted of DUI often have to get insurance coverage above the standard minimum limits and provide proof of coverage by filing a Financial Responsibility Certificate with the state. Thus, a DUI conviction can result in high out-of-pocket costs that will fall directly on you.
College Applications and Scholarships
Some colleges and universities prohibit students from engaging in specified misconduct out of fear it will reflect badly on the reputation of the institution. Many schools have implemented policies that specifically prohibit their students from engaging in certain activities, such as driving under the influence. Receiving a DUI conviction while enrolled in a college or university with such a policy can lead to severe consequences, including loss of scholarship money, disqualification from extracurricular activities, or even expulsion.
DUI convictions appear on your background check and will be apparent to future employers who perform background checks prior to offering you a job. While you may be able to explain that the conviction occurred when you were underage and you have since matured from such careless behavior, it is not guaranteed that the employer will care.
If you are underage and have been charged with DUI, it is crucial you talk to a Virginia underage DUI attorney as soon as possible. We understand the stress and frustration you are feeling in the face of these charges and are committed to providing you the defense you deserve.
Building a DUI Defense with a Virginia Underage DUI Attorney
An officer must have a valid reason for making a traffic stop and cannot stop a driver for any reason. You cannot be stopped merely because it is late at night or to find out where the driver is going. The field sobriety test, even when conducted precisely, is extremely subjective and these tests have a huge margin of error. The breath test device can be out of calibration and can give an inaccurate reading. The results of a blood test can be inaccurate administered incorrectly, giving a false reading. A resourceful underage Virginia underage DUI lawyer will conduct an intensive examination of every aspect of the traffic stop, the testing, and much more to find grounds for a dismissal of the charges or to have the charges reduced.
It is very important to avoid conviction on a DUI charge which will remain on your record and continue to impact your car insurance and employment opportunities for many years to come. Our Virginia underage DUI lawyer understands the stress and concern that is a result of facing criminal charges. You can be confident that we will fight aggressively in your defense. If you are underage and were arrested and charged with DUI, get help today! We will fight for you.
Our experienced lawyer also handles clients with other types of DUI cases, including:
Call Attorney Michael Pignone to discuss your defense with a highly qualified, experienced Underage DUI lawyer with a long track record of success.
FAQs About Underage DUI in Virginia
Many clients ask us similar questions when they are facing charges for underage DUI in Virginia. Below we respond to some of the most common questions we get from clients who were underage drinking and charged with DUI. Remember that every case is different, so we need to review the details of your case before we give you a specific answer.
What Are the Criminal Penalties for Underage DUI in Virginia?
The penalties imposed for an underage DUI depend on the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of their arrest. Upon conviction for underage DUI with a BAC of at least .02% but less than .08%, the court will suspend your driver’s license, impose a fine, and require you to attend an alcohol course. If your BAC was above .08%, you could face the same DUI charges as an adult. That means you will also face the same penalties for a DUI conviction.
Will I Lose My Driver’s License After an Underage DUI in Virginia?
Most likely, yes. For a first-time DUI conviction, you can lose your driver’s license for up to twelve months.
What Is Implied Consent in Virginia?
Virginia is an “implied consent” state. This means that by driving on a Virginia road, you automatically consent to be tested for drugs or alcohol if you are arrested under suspicion of DUI while in the state. Refusal to comply with the statute will result in a refusal charge in addition to your DUI charge.
What Are Valid Legal Defenses to an Underage DUI Charge?
In some DUI cases, a valid legal defense may help you avoid jail time or lessen your other penalties. We need to review the facts of your case to determine whether a defense applies. Common legal defenses that arise in underage DUI cases include:
- The traffic stop leading to your DUI arrest was illegal,
- You did not receive an advisement of your rights, and
- Errors with blood or breath testing.
Getting your charges reduced or dismissed is a possibility when one of these legal defenses exists in your case.
How Do I Find an Underage DUI Attorney in Virginia?
You can find dozens of underage DUI attorneys with a simple Google search. However, you do not want to trust just anyone when your personal liberties are at stake. Instead, you should look for an attorney with experience handling underage DUI matters. Criminal defense attorney Michael Pignone and his team at the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone have represented clients facing DUI charges for more than two decades.Another way to evaluate potential attorneys is through free consultations. Many attorneys offer potential clients a free initial appointment to review their cases. You can use this meeting to get a feel for the attorney and decide if you are comfortable with them. Your lawyer will stand by your side during some of the most difficult times of your life, so you need to choose someone who is experienced and trustworthy. Contact an underage DUI defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone today for a free consultation.