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Hamilton, NJ Underage DWI Lawyers
Skilled and Resourceful Underage DWI Lawyers Go to Battle for Clients in Trenton, New Jersey
Underage driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges present a unique set of complications and options that are not at issue when the accused party is of legal drinking age. Further, like any DWI conviction, conviction for an underage DWI in Mercer County can have serious consequences that extend well into the future—in fact, even most colleges require disclosure of any convictions, and landlords and potential employers can also access this information via a simple background check.
The bottom line is that if you or your child have been arrested for an underage DWI, you should contact an experienced underage DWI lawyer as soon as possible. At the Davis Law Firm, LLC, we have over two decades’ combined experience successfully formulating strong defenses for clients who have been arrested for underage DWI, and will evaluate all of the prosecution’s evidence to discover any weaknesses that can help defeat their case against you. We serve clients throughout New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, including in Mercer County, Trenton and Hamilton, and offer a free initial consultation to all of our potential clients.
New Jersey Underage DWI Statutory Scheme
An adult in New Jersey can be arrested on DWI charges when his or her blood alcohol level exceeds 0.08 percent, as measured by the Alcotest breathalyzer machine. For minors under the age of 21, however, New Jersey is a zero tolerance state and DWI charges can apply if the breathalyzer test reveals any alcohol in the minor’s system—meaning that a reading of even 0.01 percent can result in arrest for underage DWI. Minors with blood alcohol levels measuring between 0.01 percent and 0.08 percent while driving, also known as a “baby DWI”, can face substantial penalties, including:
- Loss of driving privileges for up to 90 days,
- Mandatory participation in a program at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center or similar program,
- 15 to 30 days of mandatory community service,
- Up to $500 in monetary fines,
- If the underage driver is unlicensed, his or her license processing will be delayed and any suspension will not begin until he or she reaches age 17.
Although these penalties are serious, a “baby DWI” does not count against the minor if he or she is later arrested for a subsequent DWI as an adult.
When a minor is found driving with a blood alcohol level that exceeds the typical 0.08 percent limit, he or she will face the same serious penalties that apply to adults who are arrested on DWI charges, including:
- Suspension of driving privileges,
- Jail time,
- Monetary fines,
- Participation in alcohol and driver safety programs,
- Potential installation of an ignition interlock device.
Underage drunk drivers can also face a number of additional charges, including charges for possession of the alcohol itself or distributing the alcohol to other minors. If the minor obtained the alcohol using a fake ID, charges for possession of false identification can also apply.
Underage DWI Lawyers at the Davis Law Firm, LLC Fight to Protect Your Future
DWI charges generally cannot be expunged from an individual’s criminal record in New Jersey, meaning that a conviction can impact you or your child’s future well into the future. Although many who are arrested on underage DWI charges in Mercer County might think they cannot fight the charges, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can analyze the evidence to uncover any number of strategies to have the charges reduced or dropped, including evaluating:
- Whether the breathalyzer machine was properly maintained,
- The law enforcement officer’s probable cause for the traffic stop and implementation of the breathalyzer test,
- Whether Miranda rights were properly read,
- Whether the breathalyzer test itself was properly administered.
An experienced underage DWI lawyer can be crucial to avoiding conviction and protecting your future, so contact the Davis Law Firm, LLC, as soon as possible after your arrest to discuss possible defense strategies in your case.
Contact a Seasoned Criminal Defense Lawyer to Discuss Your Trenton Underage DWI Case Today
If you or your child has been arrested for an underage DWI in Mercer County, you need an experienced lawyer who you can trust by your side. At the Davis Law Firm, LLC, our DWI defense lawyers are committed to protecting our underage clients’ present and futures, and take all steps necessary to minimize the damage caused by an arrest for underage DWI. Call our offices or fill out this secure online form, to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys today. Our offices are conveniently located at 2653 Nottingham Way, Hamilton, NJ 08619, and we accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover.
FAQ: How will a conviction for underage drunk driving impact my child’s insurance costs? The impact of a conviction for underage DWI will depend upon the insurance company itself, and potentially your child’s previous driving record. Some insurance companies will refuse to provide coverage after a conviction, while others will only raise the rates—by as much as $100 to $200 per month.
FAQ: Can I plea bargain with the prosecution to have charges for an underage DWI reduced? No. New Jersey’s attorney general has directed that prosecutors are not permitted to plea bargain in any DWI case. This makes it even more important to hire an experienced DWI lawyer who can explore options to argue that the arrest itself was not warranted, or that proper procedures were not followed in your case. In the face of a strong case against your conviction, the prosecution is entitled to use prosecutorial discretion to reduce or drop the charges against you.
FAQ: Didn’t my child have the right to speak to an attorney before submitting to the breathalyzer test itself? No. After being stopped for driving under the influence, the right to an attorney does not apply until after your child has submitted to a breathalyzer test, or a blood test at the police station—or until he or she has refused testing, in which case an additional charge of refusing to submit to a breath test can apply.