Panama City Underage DUI Attorney
Defending Those Who Have Been Charged With DUI in Florida as an Underage Driver
If you are under the age of 21, you cannot legally purchase or consume alcohol, and you cannot legally drive a car with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system. If you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, you may be arrested and charged with the crime. If you are a juvenile or underage driver, you may be charged with DUI even if you are not visibly intoxicated. If you have been charged with DUI, you may be facing serious penalties, including fines, court costs, community service, and even jail time. You should contact a Panama City underage DUI lawyer to discuss your legal options and build a strong defense.
At Lisa Anderson Law, we are committed to defending our clients from the potentially life-altering consequences of a DUI charge. We understand the seriousness of this crime, and we know how to aggressively fight charges and protect the future of our clients. Attorney Lisa Anderson has handled hundreds of cases, and she has achieved favorable results for her clients.
Underage DUI Laws in Florida
In Florida, as in many other states, the legal drinking age is 21. Underage DUI (Driving Under the Influence) laws in Florida are designed to discourage and penalize individuals who operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Florida has a "zero tolerance" policy for drivers under the age of 21. This means that any driver under 21 who is found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02 or higher can be charged with DUI.
Therefore, if an underage driver has a BAC of at least .02 percent, they will be charged with an underage DUI, punishable by driver's license suspension for 6 months. However, if the driver's BAC is at least .05 percent, they will be required to complete a DUI evaluation and course.
If the underage driver's BAC is 0.08 or higher, they may face additional penalties that are similar to those for individuals who are of legal drinking age. These penalties may include longer license suspensions, higher fines, mandatory alcohol treatment programs, and potential imprisonment.
What are the Penalties for an Underage DUI in Florida?
Being charged with underage DUI in Florida can result in a range of penalties that vary based on the circumstances of the case. It's crucial to understand the potential consequences to make informed decisions. The penalties may include:
- License Suspension: A conviction for underage DUI may result in the suspension of your driver's license, affecting your ability to commute to work, school, or other essential activities.
- Fines: Penalties for underage DUI often involve monetary fines. These fines can be substantial and add financial strain to an already challenging situation.
- Community Service: In some cases, the court may require the individual to perform community service as part of the penalty for an underage DUI conviction.
- Probation: Probation is another possible consequence, during which the individual must adhere to specific conditions set by the court.
- Alcohol Education Programs: The court may mandate participation in alcohol education or treatment programs to address any potential issues related to alcohol consumption.
- Criminal Record: A conviction for underage DUI can result in a criminal record, impacting future educational and employment opportunities.
- Ignition Interlock Device: In certain cases, the court could order installing an ignition interlock device in the individual's vehicle, requiring a breathalyzer test before starting the car.
- Increased Insurance Rates: Insurance premiums may significantly increase following an underage DUI conviction, adding a long-term financial burden.
Defenses Against Underage DUI Charges
Some common defenses against underage DUI charges include:
- Lack of Probable Cause: We can thoroughly examine the circumstances leading to the traffic stop and arrest to decide if law enforcement had sufficient probable cause for the stop.
- Field Sobriety Test Accuracy: We can scrutinize the accuracy and reliability of field sobriety tests, as these tests can be subjective and influenced by various aspects.
- Breathalyzer Accuracy: We can assess the accuracy of breathalyzer tests and challenge their reliability if there are doubts about the calibration or proper administration of the test.
- Violation of Rights: We can investigate whether the rights of the individual were violated during the arrest or testing process, which could lead to the suppression of evidence.
- Rising Blood Alcohol Content (BAC): It's possible that an individual's BAC was below the legal limit during the time of driving but increased to an illegal level during the testing process. We explore this possibility to challenge the charges.
- Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions or medications may impact the accuracy of DUI tests. We investigate whether such factors played a role in the case.
Contact Our Panama City Underage DUI Attorney Today
If you have been charged with DUI in Florida, you should speak with an experienced Panama City underage DUI attorney as soon as possible. You may be facing serious consequences and penalties, and you may be required to pay thousands of dollars in fines and fees. You should contact our office to speak with Lisa Anderson about your case. She will listen to your story and discuss your legal options with you. She is prepared to fight for you, and she will work to protect your rights and your future.