DWI First Offense Penalty If You Are Under 21
Teenagers and young college students can find trouble with the law if they drink under the legal age, drive under the influence, or party with illegal substances. It is unlawful to possess or consume alcoholic beverages if you are under twenty-one. In addition, it is unlawful for any driver to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Underage drinking and DUI charges cause many hardships for young individuals, resulting in legal consequences and effects on their career and education opportunities. If you are facing charges for a first offense underage DUI, our legal team at Shepherd & Hayes Law Firm can represent you, protect your rights, and build a strong defense for your case.
What Is an Underage DUI Charge in New Hampshire?
Standard DUIs in New Hampshire occur if an adult driver is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a driver under the age of twenty-one is driving and under the influence, they will suffer the consequences and penalties of breaking the law. When it comes to DUIs in New Hampshire, a BAC level of 0.02% or more while operating a vehicle is against the law for anyone underage. This differs from the standard legal limit of less than 0.08% BAC for adult drivers.
With the dangers and risks of drunk driving being so high, there are financial penalties, license revocations, and additional steps to reinstate a license for any underage individuals with a first offense DUI. In the cases of aggravated DUIs and subsequent offenses, the charges are punishable by additional fines, lengthier license suspensions, drug or alcohol treatment programs, jail time, and other consequences that the convicted individual may face.
Penalties of a First Offense DUI
Mistakes can happen to teenagers and young college students that engage in partying or drinking with friends. The effects of a DUI conviction are more than the legal consequences associated with this crime, as many college students and teenagers find challenges with career or school opportunities. Although juvenile courts handle underage cases, the penalties for a DUI remain the same as in a standard DUI case.
A person convicted of a first offense DWI faces the following penalties if convicted:
- No less than a $500 fine and up to a $1,200 fine
- A mandatory minimum 12-month license loss but no more than two years
- Class B misdemeanor charge
- May be enrolled in an impaired driver care program
If you or your child have been charged with underage alcohol consumption and a DUI, it is important to speak with an attorney who can help. While a first offense charge may not be a felony conviction, it is a serious offense and can lead to a class B misdemeanor on your record. A DUI attorney can review your case and determine the best course of action to defend your rights and attempt to lessen the extent of the consequences you endure after a first offense.
How Does an Underage DUI Charge Affect My Record?
We understand that teenagers and young college students can make mistakes and may even encounter trouble with the law if they are around drugs and alcohol and are led into bad decisions by their peers. If you are convicted of an underage DUI charge, your record will show a class B misdemeanor charge. The ‘look back period’ for DUIs in New Hampshire is ten years, meaning it remains on your record for that long. If you repeat an offense, the charges for subsequent DUIs are punishable by heftier fines, jail time, and other consequences.
Will I Get My License Reinstated?
To have their license reinstated at the end of a suspension period, there are a few steps that the convicted individuals must make. If you are convicted of a first offense underage DUI, the court will take your license for a minimum of 12 months. You will need to schedule a substance use disorder evaluation with an Impaired Driver Care Management Program within 30 days of the conviction, and you must complete this evaluation within 60 days of the conviction.
Additionally, you will be required to complete the Impaired Driver Education Program (IDEP) before getting your license back. The court may also require that you install an alcohol interlock device until you turn 21. An experienced DWI attorney will help you navigate this often confusing terrain and help you regain your driving privileges promptly. You need an experienced lawyer to help you face a DWI charge. Attorneys Shepherd & Hayes have years of experience fighting DWI charges and are available to help you.
Benefits of Hiring a New Hampshire Underage DUI Lawyer
As a teenager or college student, you may be wondering how an underage DUI will affect your life and your record. If this is your first offense, you may be unfamiliar with the court proceedings and what you are responsible for completing as part of your penalties and sentencing.
Here are some benefits of hiring a DUI lawyer:
- Attorneys are skilled in DUI cases and understand your options as an underage individual.
- Our skilled legal team can evaluate every detail of your case and the events that led to your arrest as well as any flaws in alcohol level testing.
- An experienced attorney knows how to defend you and how to strategize a defense for your case.
Since attorneys are knowledgeable defenders and skilled negotiators, your best bet to overturn a conviction and fight a DUI charge while underage is to seek a lawyer who can help. At Shepherd & Hayes Law Firm, our experienced attorneys understand the challenges of facing penalties for juvenile charges. Our legal team can help you make the best legal decisions and defend you in a courtroom.
Call Shepherd & Hayes Law Firm for an Expert New Hampshire DUI Lawyer After an Arrest
If you or your child are facing a DUI charge as a juvenile, it can be very stressful and challenging to deal with the financial consequences and other penalties associated with this charge. In addition, difficulty in a career and education may arise after a conviction. We understand that mistakes and errors can occur for many young individuals, and we are eager to help in a New Hampshire First Offense DUI case. You may contact our skilled attorneys by filling out our contact form or by calling (603) 233-1626 to schedule a free consultation.