Under 21 DUI Charges in California 

For those drivers who are arrested for a DUI when they are under the age of 21, described under California Vehicle Code 23136 as the "Zero Tolerance" law, probably the worse consequence for them will be that they end up losing their driver's license for one year with no restrictions. It is possible to apply for a hardship license with the Department of Motor Vehicles, but these requests are rarely granted. The California legislature is very tough on DUIs and is especially tough when it comes to underage drivers drinking alcohol and driving.

There are penalties for underage DUI drivers in California, just as they are for adult drivers. An experienced DUI lawyer knows exactly how to defend a minor who has been charged with driving under the influence. Unfortunately, underage drivers cause most accidents on the San Fernando Valley streets. Hence, permitting them to drink alcohol and drive can lead to disaster.

One of my main goals as an underage DUI attorney in defending clients under the age of 21, who drink alcohol and drive, is to try and make sure that their record is protected. They are educated on the potential hazards for them if they drink and drive and end up hurting or even killing someone.

The critical thing we can do to start to turn the tide in favor of the client is to show that their behavior was an aberration that will never happen again and that they are not a danger to the community at large. As an experienced lawyer, i have done this for so many underage drivers over the years.

What Factors Must Be Proven for a Conviction? 

It is not that difficult to prosecute and convict someone for a DUI if they are under 21. The reason for this is the zero-tolerance law. If the police can prove that the person was driving a car, was under the age of twenty-one, and had any alcohol in their blood, they can be found guilty of underage DUI.

Most of the issues related to adult DUI cases center around problems proving that the adult was over the legal limit. Even if they were over the legal limit, they were still safe to operate a motor vehicle. If all the prosecutors have to prove is that the person had alcohol in their system, that limits the defenses, and it all comes down to damage control.

For some reason, the adult prosecutors/police will give a person under the age of 21 the benefit of the doubt under the right circumstances in a DUI case. I see this in applications related to drivers over the age of 18 but under 21 who are stopped for DUI investigations.

Many times the police will target their driver's license versus trying to send them to criminal court. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen the police pull a young person over, realize they have been drinking and driving, take their license away from them, make them park their car and walk home and not give them a ticket to appear in criminal court.

Now, if the same driver had been in touch with an underage DUI attorney, they would know that they can take steps to make things right again.

What is the Best Strategy for an Underage DUI Case? 

For those young people who have to appear in the adult or juvenile court for a DUI case, the best strategy is to sit down with a seasoned DUI defense attorney who has traveled the path you are about to travel and had success defending a similar case.

When I meet with clients and their parents, I aim to map out a plan for success related to their case. We will give you a realistic feel for what you are facing and what you can do to help me achieve the best possible result for you under the circumstances. When you contact our office, you can rest assured that you are in the right hands. Our underage DUI lawyers have handled numerous cases in Los Angeles County and all San Fernando Valley Courthouses over the last 25+ years.

Once we have a plan in place, it is just a matter of executing it and making sure that we are doing things that will make a difference to the prosecutor and judge. There is no reason just to spin your wheels. With a plan in place, you will obtain a sense of control back and be at peace knowing that your case will be handled the right way and put you in a position to be successful and move on with your life! Pick up the phone and give us a call. Our main office is located in Encino, California.

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