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If you are a juvenile facing a DUI charge or a parent of a child who was arrested for driving under the influence, you probably have many questions about the charge and the impact that it could have on the future. Just like a regular DUI charge, a juvenile DUI charge can have serious consequences that can alter your life path. There are personal and professional consequences associated with a DUI charge for adults and minors, and teenagers may also face consequences for their academic opportunities. At the Law Office of A. Dale Naticchia, our Cleveland juvenile DUI lawyers have provided reliable legal counsel to people facing DUI charges in Cleveland, Akron, and elsewhere in Cuyahoga County. We can ensure that you understand the full scope of your rights and that you leave no stone unturned in your defense.Ohio's Approach to DUI Offenses Involving Minors
If you are under the age of 21, you are not legally allowed to consume alcohol in Ohio. As a result, individuals who are charged with driving under the influence who are under 21 years of age face different consequences than other individuals who are charged with drinking while driving. The blood alcohol content limit for people ages 21 and over is 0.08 percent. But if you are under 21, the limit is 0.02 percent.
If an officer encounters an underage drunk driver, however, the investigation process is largely the same as with an adult drunk driver. He or she may conduct a field sobriety test and breath testing to determine whether the juvenile is intoxicated behind the wheel. If the juvenile is charged with an offense, they will be charged with Operating a Vehicle After Underage Consumption. If you are found guilty of committing this crime, you face a jail sentence of up to 30 days, a fine of $250, and a suspension of your license for up to two years. You may also be required to affix a yellow license plate to your vehicle and undergo a rehabilitation program, as well as being subject to probation. Another reason to consult a juvenile DUI attorney in the Cleveland area is that, if you receive a second conviction, your conviction will be processed through adult court, and the fines and penalties that you face will be doubled. This means that your license could be suspended for up to five years.Options to Consider When Facing a Juvenile DUI Charge
If you are facing a DUI charge, you should be aware that there are many recognized legal defenses to the crime of driving under the influence in Ohio. As knowledgeable criminal attorneys, we have assisted many teenagers and their parents with evaluating their case and coming up with a solid defense strategy. Even if a defense does not result in the charge being dismissed entirely, it could mitigate the consequences that you face and help you return to normal life sooner rather than later. Our Cleveland juvenile DUI attorneys understand how much is at stake when young people are facing criminal charges, since their whole future is still ahead of them.
One of the most common arguments that defendants raise in a DUI case is that the evidence against them was obtained in an unlawful manner. The police must have a reasonable suspicion that you are engaged in misconduct before they can initiate a traffic stop. If the police stopped you without this reasonable suspicion, they have carried out an unreasonable search and seizure. According to the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, any evidence obtained as a result of the unreasonable search and seizure must be suppressed and cannot be used against you. Another possible inquiry that your attorney might explore is whether the breathalyzer equipment used to test your blood alcohol level was calibrated appropriately. If the machine was not in good working order at the time of the sample, the results may be incorrect.Contact a Juvenile DUI Lawyer in the Cleveland Area
The first step in taking control of how a DUI charge can affect your life is meeting with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. At our firm, we treat each client with the personal attention and dedication that they deserve. We represent people in Cleveland, Akron, Parma, Bedford, Berea, Rocky River, Garfield Heights, Stow, and Barberton. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 216-520-5297 or contact us online.