Phoenix Underage Drinking and Driving

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Phoenix Underage Drinking and Driving

If a law enforcement officer pulled you over and you received a charge for drinking and driving, you might face severe penalties. However, if you get charged with a DUI and are under 21, you can expect to face additional charges. Arizona has a zero-tolerance policy for those who drink and drive under the age of 21.

At Gurion Legal, our team understands the long-lasting consequences you could face as a result of such a conviction, and we want to help you avoid them. In doing so, a Phoenix underage drinking and driving attorney from our firm can help you get your charges dismissed or reduced.

Phoenix Underage Drinking and Driving

We Can Protect Your Freedom After an Underage Drinking and Drinking Charge

After getting charged with underage drinking and driving, you might not know where to turn. Thankfully, you can count on the attorneys at Gurion Legal. Our team of defense lawyers can help you through the entirety of your case. We know how intimidating it is to deal with a DUI alone, let alone the other charges that may come along with it when you’re underage.

At our firm, you can speak to a member of our legal team during a free consultation. We offer these consultations so you can learn about your legal options without worrying about how much our services will cost. During the consultation, we can explain the potential consequences you could face and how our attorneys can help you avoid them.

How a Phoenix Underage Drinking and Driving Attorney at Our Firm Can Help You

Our legal team works tirelessly to help your clients achieve a successful outcome with their cases. When you choose us to defend you, you can expect the following legal services:

  • If applicable, review a plea bargain and help you determine if it is in your best interests to accept it. The prosecution usually offers the defendant a plea bargain to avoid a trial. Accepting one could help reduce the sentence if they’re found guilty of the crimes.
  • Defend you against the charges. Since our attorneys have handled many DUI cases, especially with people who are underage, we have experience presenting potential defenses for these types of crimes. We can develop a strong defense against the charges and look for gaps in the prosecution’s case.
  • Represent you during any hearings. Throughout criminal proceedings, there are hearings for your case. We can speak on your behalf during these hearings.

When we take on your case, we can deal with all the legal matters, so you don’t have to. With that, if law enforcement reaches out to you for questioning or other matters, you can refer them to us.

Underage Drinking and Driving in Phoenix, Arizona

Arizona law states that anyone under 21 cannot drink any amount of alcohol before driving. With that, if you received a DUI charge while under the age of 21, it is likely you could receive additional charges.

You could receive a DUI charge under the following circumstances:

  • Driving with any signs of impairment from drugs or alcohol
  • Having any amount of alcohol in your system while driving
  • Sitting in the driver’s seat with the ignition on with any amount of alcohol in your system

You may also receive more charges if there are aggravating factors involved. Aggravating factors could occur if you’re committing more than one crime at the time of driving under the influence as an underage person.

These factors could include:

  • If your BAC level is above 0.15 while driving could increase your charges.
  • If you caused an accident that caused someone to sustain injuries or pass away from their injuries. In this case, you could receive manslaughter or aggravated assault charges on top of the underage drinking charge.

Our defense attorneys can help you regardless of other charges associated with your underage drinking and driving charges.

Penalties for Underage Drinking and Driving in Phoenix

Underage drinking and driving constitutes a class 1 misdemeanor, which carries these penalties:

  • 180 days in the county jail
  • Two-year driver’s license suspension
  • At least $500 in fines
  • Possible community service

Someone who gets charged with an underage DUI can face more penalties than someone of age that gets a DUI. For second offenses, the penalties can continue to get harsher. For example, you could have to pay up to a higher fine and serve more jail time.

The courts might require you to use an ignition interlock device that you must blow into for your car to turn on. You may also have to perform a required number of community service hours. Ultimately, the severity of your offense could also factor into the penalties you face.

Defenses for Underage Drinking and Driving Charges in Phoenix, Arizona

In most underage drinking and driving cases, the prosecution only has to prove you have a small amount of alcohol in your system. You could receive a conviction if they can prove there is any blood in your system through a blood test or Breathalyzer.

Our goal is to develop a strong defense to prove the prosecution was wrong. Potential defenses we could use include:

  • The Breathalyzer’s margin of error was too high. Since Arizona is a zero-tolerance state, any alcohol in your system could result in a charge. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) was low, such as 0.01, we could argue that the Breathalyzer could have malfunctioned and didn’t provide a correct reading.
  • The officer didn’t have a right to pull you over or administer a Breathalyzer. This defense is especially helpful if you have a very low BAC. Police officers can’t pull someone over or request a Breathalyzer unless they have probable cause that someone has committed a violation. We could provide proof the police officers did not obtain the BAC results in a legal manner.
  • The officer administered the test inaccurately or didn’t properly maintain the device. In either case, they could provide inaccurate results. Our attorneys could investigate and look at the maintenance log for the Breathalyzer to determine if law enforcement properly maintained it.
  • You were not in actual physical control of the vehicle. To receive underage DUI charges, you have to be driving the vehicle and be in actual physical control. Although this is ultimately up for the jury or judge to decide, your attorney could argue that were not in actual physical control of the vehicle. For example, you weren’t in the driver’s seat when the officer pulled you over.

We have many other potential defenses we could use. Once we start working on your case, we can determine if one or several will work best to help you avoid a conviction. From there, we can personalize our defensive strategy to fit your needs.

You Could Face Harsh Consequences If You Get a Criminal Conviction in Phoenix

If you get convicted of a DUI while underage, you could face serious consequences. Not only could you have to deal with the consequences of the law, but other consequences that having a criminal conviction on your record can cause.

A criminal conviction could make it more difficult for you to rent or own a home, get a loan, find a job, and do other things. Therefore, we recommend hiring a Phoenix underage drinking and driving attorney at our firm. They can help you avoid punishments the law enforces, as well as avoid the long-term, personal punishments a conviction could cause.

Employment Difficulties

When someone gets a criminal conviction on their record, they could find keeping and gaining employment more challenging. When employers put out a job posting, they might conduct a background check on anyone who applies for their positions. If you have a conviction on your record, they might choose someone with a clean record over you.

Other jobs could prohibit people with a criminal conviction from applying for their job postings. Also, if your current job doesn’t allow people with criminal convictions to work for them, you could face termination. Another reason you could get fired is if you don’t have a reliable way to get to work. With a suspended license, you will have to find an alternative way to get to work, which you could find difficult.

Housing Difficulties

When you’re looking for a new home to rent or buy, you could find it difficult for someone to accept your mortgage or rental application. When you apply for a mortgage, they could see the criminal conviction on your record and deny your application. The same goes for a landlord. They could deny your rental application when they do a background check and see you have a conviction.

Mortgage and rental companies only approve applications when they know someone can pay. With a conviction, they could insinuate something about your character or ability to pay the mortgage or the rent.

Trouble Getting a Loan

Loan servicers could conduct background checks on people who apply for a loan. If they see a criminal background, they could deny the loan application. If they don’t deny it, they could offer a higher interest rate.

You could struggle to receive:

  • Student loans
  • Car loans
  • Personal loans
  • Mortgages

Regardless of the type of loan, having a criminal background could hinder your ability to obtain one.

Car Insurance Rates Increase

In Arizona, an underage DUI can stay on your driving record for five years. A DUI violation can impact your insurance rates. Your rate will most likely go up once that gets on your driving record.

In some cases, insurance carriers could even refuse to cover your vehicle. Typically, the rate of increase will depend on your driving history and the time that has passed since the underage DUI violation.

Loss of Scholarships

Students who have scholarships to universities must follow the law to ensure they can keep their scholarships. Many scholarships require the recipients to maintain a clean record. If you receive an underage DUI conviction, you could lose all of your scholarships. Many students rely on scholarships to pay for their schooling and cannot attend without them. If you lose a scholarship, it could significantly affect your educational and professional future.

After an underage DUI conviction, it could jeopardize any scholarships. On top of losing scholarships, if you get an underage DUI, the federal government could revoke your financial aid.

What to Do After Getting an Underage Drinking and Driving Charge in Phoenix

Getting a DUI while underage is a serious charge. While people who get DUIs can face penalties, those that are underage can face even more severe consequences. The legal process after getting an underage drinking and driving charge in Phoenix can get complicated. The most important step you can take after getting charged is to hire an underage DUI lawyer from our firm.

Once you contact our team, we can inform you of the further steps to take to help you avoid any further trouble with the law.

Start Working With a Phoenix Underage Drinking and Driving Attorney at Our Firm Today

When you receive charges for underage drinking and driving, you probably have a lot at stake. Don’t let it affect the rest of your life. Instead, take control and let our DUI attorney serving Phoenix defend your right to freedom.

Contact Gurion Legal today at (480) 800-0020 for a free consultation. We can listen to your side of the story and define your legal options. If you hire us as your legal representation, we can immediately get to work and start building a strong case to advocate for you.

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