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If you have been arrested for a DUI and you are under the age of 21 different laws and rules will apply, along with different punishments.  Although I went through this in a previous article I would like to address these issues again.  Having been in Criminal Defense and DUI defense for more than 13 years and having personally handles many hundreds of DUI cases as both a Deputy District Attorney and a Defense Attorney I have the knowlege to help you with your case.  If you have any questions do not hesitate to give us a call.

 

HOW DOEST THE DRIVERS LICENSE RESTRICTION DIFFERENT FOR SOMEONE UNDER 21?

 

The main differenes are two-fold the length of the revocation is longer 1 year as apposed to 30 days with a suspension period for someoen older than 21. 

For Exampl:  If you are over the age of 21 and you are arrested for driving under the influence you have a period of 10 days to make an appointment with the DMV to schedule a hearing with the DMV this is completely different than your criminal Court hearing. 

If you lose this hearing your license will be revoked for a period of 30 days.  Some Attornys call this a hard suspension meaning no driving is allowed.  After, that revocation period is over you can get your license back on a restricted basis if you 1, sign up for a 3 6 or nine month DUI ecucation class.  (you don't have to complete just sign up), 2 Pay $125.00, 3, obtain an SR 22 from your insurance company. Than you will be able to get your license back albeit on a suspended status meaning you have to drive back and forth to work and your DUI class.  for a period of up to 4 months then your restriction ends and you can drive again.

The difference is you are under 21 is that your license is revoked for a period of 1 year absent a critical need.  That means you cannot drive for a period of 1 year with no exceptions again unless there is a critical need. 

 

WHAT IS A CRITICAL NEED?

 

If you can convince the Judge, not DMV, that you have a critical need to drive you can get your license back.  That means you are a student and must drive to school because it is to far, and there is no alternative method of getting to schoool.  In other words there is no bus or other public transport systems that are available in your area. 

Or it could be you need to transport a relative to a Doctors appointment and you cannot get them to the appointment any other way. 

The Judge will then order your license to be given back to you and you can drive for that purpose.

 

WHAT IS THE LEGAL BAC LIMIT FOR SOMEOEN UNDER 21?

The so called legal limit or the per se limit can be as low as .05 this is called the "zero tolerance policy" for driving under the age of 21 with a bac over .05.  You can also be charged under either 23152 a or b counts.  or you can be charged with an infraction.  This infraction offense still counts as a 2 point violation on someones driving record.

 

The best case scenerio would be to get the infracation and a critical need exception found by the court that way you could keep your license and drive a vehicle with a critical need and only face a court punishment for an infraction rather than a misdameanor. 

If the minor is a Juvenile, usually under the age of 18 the case must be handled by the Juvenile Cour which is usually a much better place for Juvenile offenders and reaches results that could lead to sealing of records.

 

Again if you have any questions about an underage DUI in Fresno or anywhere in California don't hesitate to call 559-441-1418.

 

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Gerald Schwab, Jr.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & DUI ATTORNEY SERVING ALL OF CALIFORNIA

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Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
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Fresno, CA 93704
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