1.25.2021

My Child Was Pulled Over and Is Facing DUI Charges. What Do I Do?

Written by: The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata

Experienced Attorney Representing Those Accused of Underage DUI

As a parent, you would do anything to protect your child. What happens when they are pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI) and facing criminal charges? If your child is arrested for DUI, you need an experienced attorney that can help you fight the charges and get a favorable outcome in the case.

Attorney Garrett T. Ogata is a knowledgeable Las Vegas underage DUI lawyer that can help try to get a reduction or dismissal in your child’s case. If your child is facing DUI charges in Las Vegas, call or text the Law Office of Garrett T. Ogata at (702) 840-5062 to speak directly with an attorney.

What Are Nevada’s Underage DUI Laws?

In Nevada, it is unlawful for someone under the age of 21 to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent or higher. According to NRS 483.462, a person under the age of 21 can still be charged with driving under the influence if their blood alcohol level is under 0.08 percent. 

If their blood alcohol concentration is over 0.08 percent, they will be charged under the normal DUI statute, NRS 484C.110. For underage drunk driving cases, Nevada operates under a zero-tolerance law meaning that the prosecutor does not have to prove that the youth was “under the influence” and therefore impaired to drive in order to secure a conviction.

What Are the Penalties for an Underage DUI?

If your child is arrested for an underage DUI in Las Vegas, they will face significant penalties in and out of the courtroom. If they are a college or university student, their school could impose additional sanctions such as a suspension or removal from a sports team for violating their code of conduct. 

Penalties can increase based on your child’s BAC and whether or not there was an injury or death to another person. It is always recommended that you contact a Las Vegas underage DUI attorney immediately after your child’s arrest.

Common penalties for an underage DUI include:

  • Required drug or alcohol evaluation
  • A license suspension
  • A jail or juvenile hall sentence of up to six months
  • An alcohol education course
  • Mandatory attendance at a MADD Victim Impact Panel
  • Required installation of an ignition interlock device
  • A fine of $400 to $1000

Will My Child Go to Juvenile Court After an Underage DUI Arrest?

If your child is over the age of 18, their case will be tried in a regular criminal court. If your child is under the age of 18 and arrested for an underage DUI, in most cases, their case will be heard in a juvenile court. However, if the matter is a felony, the case may get certified to be heard in an adult court.

A juvenile court may “certify” a proceeding for criminal court under NRS 62B.390 if the child was 14 years or older at the time of the offense, and it would have been considered a felony. 

A drunk driving offense may be charged as a felony if:

  • There was substantial bodily harm or death to another person;
  • It is a third or subsequent offense;
  • There was a prior felony conviction for driving under the influence; or
  • It can be charged as vehicular homicide.

Will My Child Go to Jail After an Underage DUI Arrest in Las Vegas?

While even first offense misdemeanor drunk driving offenses can carry with them the potential of jail time, many times, the sentence can be suspended. In order to get a favorable disposition in your child’s case, it is highly recommended that you consult with a Las Vegas underage DUI attorney as soon as possible.

An attorney can help to determine your child’s legal options and may be able to help retain your child’s driving privileges. Without the help of an attorney experienced in handling underage DUI charges, your child may face the maximum penalties allowed under Nevada law.

Will My Child’s License Be Suspended?

Your child faces a potential license suspension if they are pulled over for driving under the influence and have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent or higher. The length of the suspension may depend on their blood alcohol level and whether they have any prior convictions.

Under Nevada law, a person arrested for an underage DUI may face the following license suspensions:

  • BAC of .02 to .08 – A person under the age of 21 who is arrested for driving under the influence with a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.02 percent but less than 0.08 percent may face a license suspension of up to 90 days. Your child may be eligible for a restricted license after 45 days.
  • BAC of .08 or higher – A person under the age of 21 who is arrested for driving under the influence with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher may face a license suspension of 185 days. Your child may be eligible for a restricted license after serving half of the ordered suspension.

In some cases, the judge may order your child to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicle they own or operate. An IID is installed at your expense and will not allow the vehicle to start if there is a measurable (0.02 percent or higher) amount of alcohol on your child’s breath.

Contact Our Office for More Information

If your child has been arrested for an underage DUI, you need an attorney with a proven track record of success. Attorney Garrett T. Ogata has helped thousands of clients receive favorable dispositions in their drunk driving cases. He is a skilled DUI defense lawyer that will fight to protect your child’s rights after an arrest.

Call or text the Law Office of Garrett T. Ogata for a free consultation. Let us help you and your family through this difficult time by providing you the legal advice you need to make the best decisions for your child.

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