Alexandria Underage DUI Penalties

If you’re convicted of an underage DUI in Virginia, you are facing a class 1 misdemeanor, which means you can be punished by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Additionally, there are certain mandatory minimums, such a $500 fine or 50 hours community service, license suspension, and the completion of the Alcohol Safety Action Program that you will face no matter what if convicted. For this reason, it is important to consult with an Alexandria underage DUI lawyer to ensure you are putting forth the strongest defense possible to avoid a conviction altogether.

Long-Term Consequences

A conviction for underage DUI is like any other criminal conviction on your record: anytime you apply for job in the future, you have to say that you’ve been convicted of a crime—specifically a DUI offense—and that obviously can be a disadvantage for you. That can affect your driver’s license, your insurance rates, your employment, your educational opportunities, and even your immigration status. These charges also don’t go away over time, which means even if you got your charge while underage it could still stay with you for the rest of your life.

Alternative Sentences

If you’re convicted of underage DUI, you won’t necessarily have to go to jail, often because you’ll have suspended jail sentence instead of an active jail sentence. Instead of serving your sentence in jail, you will be required to attend an alcohol program, complete community service, pay a fine and lose your license. All of these are alternatives to jail.

How Do You Qualify For Alternative Sentences?

There’s no set of requirements to qualify for any alternative sentences, and in truth, it’s not an alternative sentence as much as it is staying out of jail. The ultimate penalty comes down the facts of the case, who is charged and the judge or prosecutor’s ultimate decision to offer alternatives to jail.

Restricted Licenses

After receiving any type of DUI conviction, you will often be permitted to have a restricted license that will allow you to drive to and from work, medical appointments and court appearances. Typically, you have to have an ignition interlock for any restricted license, whether or not you’re over 21. It’s ultimately at the court’s discretion whether to grant you a restricted license and what terms to set.

What Parents Should Expect

Parents should know that if their child is charged with a criminal offense, the outcome will seriously affect the child’s future. Prosecutors take it seriously, judges take it seriously and a conviction will be applied to the child’s criminal record. Parents of a child charged with DUI should get an attorney right away in order to protect the child’s interests.

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