DUI charges can result in serious consequences, and such situations may become even more complex when they involve teenagers. Understanding the implications of an underage DUI charge on your teen’s permanent record is important. This knowledge can help you to make an informed decision about how to move forward.
If your teen gets arrested for a DUI, they will be booked into the system, and relevant information will be recorded. Legal proceedings may then follow, which can involve arraignment, hearings and potentially a trial. If convicted, their sentencing may include fines, community service and other penalties, depending on their circumstances, including whether they’re tried as a juvenile or an adult.
What is an underage DUI?
An underage DUI refers to the act of driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol by an individual under the legal drinking age of 21. The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is significantly lower for individuals under 21, typically 0.0%. The legal consequences for underage DUI can include:
- Criminal penalties: If your teen is convicted of an underage DUI, they may face criminal penalties such as fines, community service and even probation
- Driver’s license consequences: The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety may suspend your teen’s driver’s license for a specified period.
- Educational programs: In some cases, the court may mandate your teen to attend educational programs or counseling related to alcohol and substance abuse.
Many parents are understandably concerned about the long-term consequences of an underage DUI on their teen’s permanent record. This is because an underage DUI conviction may impact their teen’s educational and/or career journey. Sometimes, college admissions officers consider a student’s criminal record, meaning a DUI may raise red flags. Furthermore, future employers may scrutinize an individual’s criminal record during the hiring process. A DUI on a permanent record could affect your teen’s ability to secure certain jobs in the future. Not to mention that certain professions require a clean record, and a DUI conviction may hinder your teen’s ability to obtain professional licenses in the future.
Can an underage DUI be expunged?
Expungement can be a saving grace for your teen because it can remove a criminal record from public view. The possibility of expunging an underage DUI depends on various factors, including the outcome of the case and any subsequent legal developments.
Your teen may be eligible for expungement if they meet specific criteria, such as completing probation and preserving their clean record for a specified period.
As a parent, it’s crucial to acknowledge that an underage DUI charge can have far-reaching ramifications for your teenager. This way, you can engage in timely defense strategies to help protect your child’s future.