Consequences for Underage DUI: Beyond Fines, Jail Time and More
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Not many of us can say that we haven’t had some cocktails when we were not of legal age. Most of us have attended a high school or college party where alcohol was served. Nothing usually comes of it, seems like a right of passage of sorts. Even though it’s still illegal to drink underage in Nevada, most of the time people accept it for what it is and let it slide.
Drinking and driving underage is another story.
We know drunk driving or DUI is against the law, but it seems to happen every day. Underage DUI has stricter rules and laws since drinking underage is already considered a crime.
DUI’s have many consequences for a defendant who is charged but they can be especially difficult for a person who is under the age of 21. Besides the legal penalties for DUI, there are many other consequences that can have an effect on a young person’s future. Some consequences can be lifelong.
If you are arrested for underage DUI you need to hire an experienced DUI attorney to fight your case.
Most Common Consequences of Underage DUI in Nevada
Not every consequence of a crime is legal. There are some things that defendants don’t take into consideration when a crime is committed. These are not always legal consequences but other side effects or moral clauses that may have an effect on a defendant for years to come.
Some of the most common are:
Jail/ Community Service
In most cases specifically misdemeanor DUI, you are unlikely to go to jail or juvenile hall if convicted.
The sentence may be suspended as long as all other penalties are fulfilled. Community service on the other hand is a real possibility.
Community Service is usually given in lieu of jail or juvenile hall time. Community service is also given as a punishment if you can’t afford to pay your fines.
One hour of community service is equal to $10 in fines.
Jail time will be mandatory for a felony DUI charge where a person is killed or severely injured.
Anyone between the ages of 18-20 will be charged as an adult in the case of a felony DUI and could spend anywhere from 2 to 20 years in state prison.
No matter your age, if you are convicted of a DUI, your auto insurance costs will skyrocket for several years to come. Your insurance premiums may become almost double what they were previously for approximately three years.
Some insurance companies will drop you as a client altogether and you’ll be forced to pay a premium for much less coverage. You will also be required to file for SR-22 insurance with the Nevada DMV.
SR-22 insurance is insurance on your license and is a separate policy that you must carry in addition to your regular insurance. You must carry SR-22 insurance for three years after your DUI. SR-22 insurance can be purchased through the DMV or your insurance carrier can get it for you.
Driver’s License Revocation
Whether you are underage or of legal age, one thing is certain: a DUI will result in your license being suspended. The DUI offense will determine the length of time your license will be suspended.
For example, a felony DUI will result in a license suspension of 3 years. While you may be able to drive to and from work or school with an ignition interlock device placed in all vehicles, you drive for the duration of your revocation.
Most people don’t think about the other consequences of underage DUI besides the legal ones, but there are many other consequences that may not be at the forefront of someone’s mind. Some of these can be life-changing.
Schools, especially colleges, have a clause that you agree to once you accept to attend. These clauses allow most colleges to suspend or expel a student who has been charged or convicted of a crime, including DUI.
In most cases, the same applies to applications to colleges if you have been convicted of DUI.
Most institutions will not accept an applicant even if they are qualified to attend the institution if they have been convicted of a crime including DUI.
If you are convicted of underage DUI as a minor and want to attend college, you’ll need to have your record sealed or you’ll run the risk of not getting into the college or institution of your choice.
This one is very important and perhaps the consequence that is the most overlooked.
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor DUI as a minor, your record will automatically be sealed at the age of 21. If you are convicted as an adult, even if you are between the ages of 18-20, your record can’t be sealed for 7 years.
And yes, it does show up in a background check and some employers will not offer you employment because of it.
Unfortunately, certain positions which involve alcohol or require driving will be off-limits if you have a DUI on your record. If you’ve been convicted of a DUI, driving for companies like Uber or Lyft is off the table.
A felony DUI conviction is a permanent mark on your record and will always appear in background checks. This type of offense can make it almost impossible to find employment, which drastically limits career opportunities.
Let’s face it, we have all seen posters, either in a school or hospitals, telling you that it will cost you around $10,000 for a first-offense DUI.
Well, between the fines, legal fees, court costs, and DMV costs, it can cost much more than that, and if you don’t get a job because of it, then it is much more financially devastating.
Most people who have never been convicted of a crime don’t realize that there is a social stigma associated with a defendant that is charged with or convicted of a crime.
Some of your friends might find it unsavory to associate with someone who might have committed a crime, especially a crime that could potentially harm another like DUI.
How We Can Help
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a DUI, you’re likely frightened, confused, and don’t know where to turn. Who will help fight the charges against you? Who will stand by your side throughout the investigation and the trial? Who has your best interests at heart?
The Defenders are seasoned criminal defense attorneys who understand that each alleged crime has a unique set of circumstances surrounding it, and we are committed to thoroughly investigating each and every facet of the case to build the best defense possible.
We believe every person has the right to an aggressive defense to help protect their freedoms, and liberties and keep their record clear. Whether you’ve been charged with drug crimes, DUI’s, assault, a misdemeanor or a felony, The Defenders will work hard to defend you.
Call our office today for a free case evaluation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a DUI conviction affect me in the long run?
A DUI conviction can have long-term consequences, including potentially being denied access to educational, employment, and financial opportunities. It could also lead to social stigma that could tarnish your reputation.
Can I get a DUI charge expunged?
Nevada does not allow for expungements. It does, however, allow record sealing. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be eligible to have your records sealed. Contact a DUI attorney to discuss your specific situation.
What are the penalties for a DUI conviction?
The specific penalties for a DUI conviction vary depending on the severity of the offense and any previous convictions related to it. Generally, they can range from fines, court fees, license suspension, jail time, community service, and participation in alcohol or drug education classes