Florida is a state that takes driver safety very seriously. It also has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving. This means that law enforcement has the authority to take legal action as soon as they have even a slight inclination that a young driver could be under the influence while operating a motor vehicle.
Not only can an underage DUI land you in prison and force you to pay hefty fines, it will also lead to a driver's license suspension, which can have broad negative effects, considering the states reliance on its roads and highways.
Because this legal situation can be both stressful and difficult to handle on your own, it is important that you work with a qualified Florida DUI defense attorney who can represent you in a productive and professional manner. With such serious allegations, a swift and effective legal approach is necessary in solving this problem and moving on with your life.Jacksonville Underage DUI Attorney
The attorneys at Roelke Law, P.A. have been representing Florida residents accused of DUI-related criminal offenses for over a decade and can be counted on to provide the excellent legal counsel and courtroom efficiency that has developed through hundreds of similar case hearings.
William Roelke and staff are staunch advocates for a fair and just legal process and are committed to protecting your rights at a time when law enforcement and the prosecution are likely to act aggressively. As a proactive and comprehensive practice, you can be confident that the firm will conduct every step of your case in a timely, yet measured fashion.
They will investigate the allegations, interview witnesses and make certain that law enforcement followed correct procedure. Even minor mistakes or omissions in the legal process has the potential to decide the outcome of a case, and the attorneys at Roelke Law work extremely hard to identify these and use them to your advantage. This detail-oriented approach allows the firm to provide smart and exhaustive representation that leaves no stone unturned.
William Roelke and staff are conveniently located to represent individuals throughout the cities of Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Baldwin, St. Augustine, Orange Park, Keystone Heights, Fernandina and Hilliard, among others.
To schedule a free initial consultation to go over your case and discuss your legal options, please call (904) 354-0333 or send an online message today. The firm adheres to a quick response, and they will immediately get started on your case after the initial interview.
Underage DUI Laws in Florida
The law concerning DUI in Florida (§316.193) states that an individual can be charged with their first driving under the influence (DUI) offense if their blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the legal limit OR their normal faculties are impaired, and they are in actual physical control of a vehicle on a Florida road.
For juveniles and young people under the age of 21 charged with DUI, Florida has enacted a zero tolerance legal limit of .02. For DUI cases involving a driver under the age of 21, this policy means that even one drink can put the driver over the legal limit.
A young person charged with underage driving under the influence can face severe sanctions including jail time or incarceration, probation, fines, court costs, community service hours, a driver's license suspension.
The potential criminal penalties for a DUI in Florida may include up to six months in jail, fines up to $1,000, vehicle impoundment, probation and a drivers license suspension.
The indirect consequences of an underage DUI can be even more expensive, including an increase in insurance premiums that can last for more than 3 years after the conviction. Perhaps most importantly, the DUI conviction can limit the young person's future employment and educational opportunities. High school and college students may also face disciplinary actions including the possibility of being expelled or suspended from school.
Administrative License Suspension
In addition to criminal charges, you may also face civil charges in the form of an Administrative License Suspension. After a person under the age of 21 is arrested for DUI, the officer is required to take the young person's Florida driver license and issue a temporary driving permit (assuming the driver is eligible) which is valid for only 10 days after the DUI arrest.
During those ten days, the juvenile or driver under 21 should file for a formal review hearing to attack the administrative suspension of the driver's license. At the hearing the DUI defense attorney can subpoena and cross-examine witnesses and explore possible defenses that can be used to fight the charges in the criminal case.
If no request is made following the DUI arrest or if the driver's does not prevail after the formal review hearing to invalidate the administrative suspension, then the following suspension will occur for any person under the age of 21 who took the breath test and blew over the .02 legal limit:
- First under age 21 DUI Suspension: 6 months; or
- Second or subsequent under age 21 DUI suspension: 12 months.
Roelke Law, P.A. | Duval County Underage DUI Arrest Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been charged with an underage DUI, the process of defending your name, freedom and driving privileges must begin right away. With a 'zero tolerance' stance on those under 21 driving under the influence, navigating the difficult legal environment must be undertaken by an experienced and knowledgeable professional.
William Roelke and staff are ready and willing to begin the process of defending you in court, and will take every opportunity to help put you in a favorable legal position. A strong comprehension of Florida laws and the nuances of the courts allow Roelke Law, P.A. to develop a defense strategy that systematically refutes the prosecutions allegations while articulately arguing to get the charges reduced or even completely dismissed.
The firm proudly serves residents of Greater Jacksonville and the rest of Northeastern Florida, including Duval County, St. John County, Clay County and Nassau County. If you would like to schedule a time to meet with an attorney in the form of a free initial consultation, please call (904) 354-0333 or send an online message today.