Warwick Underage DUI Lawyer
Providing Aggressive Defense for Underage DUI Charges in RI
Many high school and college students in Rhode Island and other states throughout the country engage in underage drinking. Since these individuals may not be of legal drinking age, getting caught with any amount of alcohol in their system when they are behind the wheel can lead to harsh consequences.
At the Law Offices of Thomas H. O'Brien, our Warwick underage DUI lawyer is dedicated to protecting the rights of young drivers and helping them avoid the serious consequences of an underage DUI charge.
Underage DUI Laws & Penalties in Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, the legal drinking age is 21. Therefore, anyone under the age of 21 who operates a motor vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system can be charged with an underage DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated). The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers under 21 in Rhode Island is typically lower than for those over 21.
The penalties for underage DUI in Rhode Island can vary depending on the circumstances, previous convictions, and the discretion of the judge.
However, the following are potential consequences that could apply:
- License Suspension: A first offense may result in a license suspension for a period of time determined by the court, typically between three to six months. Subsequent offenses can lead to longer license suspensions or revocation.
- Fines: There are fines associated with underage DUI convictions. For a first offense, the fine can range from $250 to $400, and for subsequent offenses, the fines can be higher.
- Alcohol Education or Treatment: The court may require completion of an alcohol education or treatment program, especially for repeat offenders.
- Probation: The court may impose probation, requiring the individual to adhere to certain conditions, such as regularly meeting with a probation officer, submitting to drug or alcohol testing, or attending counseling.
- Community Service: In some cases, the court may order community service hours to be completed as part of the penalty.
It's worth noting that the penalties for underage DUI can be more severe if the individual's BAC is significantly above the legal limit or if there are aggravating factors, such as causing an accident, injuring someone, or possessing drugs.
Ready to Protect Your Rights & Future
Because underage DUI laws are complex and the consequences of a conviction can be severe, it is important to hire an experienced lawyer who understands the nuances of these charges. As a former prosecutor, our Warwick underage DUI attorney has a unique insight into the prosecution's perspective and can use this insight to help you avoid serious consequences.
The following are several benefits of hiring our firm:
- Protecting rights: Our team ensures that the defendant's constitutional rights are protected throughout the legal proceedings. They will challenge any violations of rights, such as unlawful stops or searches, to potentially suppress evidence or have the case dismissed.
- Negotiating plea bargains: In some cases, we can negotiate with the prosecution to secure a favorable plea bargain. We may seek reduced charges or penalties, such as probation or participation in alcohol education programs, which can minimize your long-term consequences.
- Court representation: If the case goes to trial, our lawyer will provide skilled representation in court. We will present arguments, cross-examine witnesses, and challenge the prosecution's evidence to build a strong defense and increase the chances of a favorable outcome.
- Minimizing consequences: Even if a conviction is likely, our firm can work to minimize the consequences of an underage DUI offense. We may advocate for reduced penalties, such as a lesser fine, shorter license suspension, or community service instead of jail time, depending on the circumstances.
- License suspension hearings: We can assist with administrative procedures, such as driver's license suspension hearings. We can guide the defendant through the process, present evidence, and argue for the reinstatement of driving privileges or the issuance of a restricted license.
- Alternative options: In certain cases, our team may explore alternative options, such as diversion programs or treatment plans, that can help the underage DUI offender address underlying issues, such as substance abuse, and avoid criminal convictions.
- Guidance and support: Dealing with an underage DUI charge can be stressful and overwhelming. We can provide emotional support, answer questions, and guide the defendant and their family through the legal process, ensuring they understand their rights and available options.