Are you facing underage DUI charges in New Jersey? If so, you may feel scared and unsure of your next steps. You don’t have to go through this challenging time alone. A DUI defense attorney with the Law Office of Steven Ellman can help you fight the charges and safeguard your future.
For over 35 years, Steven Ellman has secured favorable outcomes for clients charged with drinking and driving in New Jersey. He understands the stakes are high in every DUI case, especially ones involving young people. Steven Ellman is a certified DUI criminal defense attorney and has represented clients in over 1,000 cases involving DUI, DWI, and traffic offenses.
If you have been charged with underage DUI in New Jersey, don’t wait. Contact the Law Office of Steven Ellman today for a free consultation.
Underage DUI Laws in New Jersey
In New Jersey, charges for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) for those under 21— often called a Baby DUI— is a serious matter. Under New Jersey law, an underage driver operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.01 or higher can be arrested and charged with underage DUI or standard DUI. These charges carry substantial penalties, including license suspension, hefty fines, and even possible jail time. A Baby DUI can escalate to a standard DWI if the driver registers a BAC of 0.08 or higher, with even stiffer penalties.
Moreover, under New Jersey law, anyone who drives on New Jersey roads is deemed to have given their “implied consent” to submit to chemical or breath tests of their BAC if the police stop them on suspicion of DUI. Refusal to submit to these tests can lead to charges and penalties separate from DUI, including additional license suspension and fines.
Charged With Underage DUI: How Can a Lawyer Help?
If you’re asking yourself, “Should I get a lawyer for my first DUI in NJ?” the answer is absolutely yes. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty of a crime. Having legal representation can mean the difference between a conviction and dismissal.
An underage DUI defense attorney can review the facts and identify all possible defenses in your case. Potential strategies include:
- The field sobriety test was performed incorrectly.
- The Alcotest machine was not calibrated correctly.
- Police did not follow proper protocols for your arrest.
- The traffic stop was illegal.
- You were not advised of your right to remain silent or speak with an attorney (“Miranda Rights”).
An underage DUI lawyer can build a robust defense on your behalf and negotiate with prosecutors for the best possible outcome for your case based on the evidence.
Penalties of an Underage DUI Conviction
Just because a person is underage does not mean the consequences of a DUI will be minor. The repercussions for an underage DUI conviction in New Jersey are severe. Penalties for a person convicted of a Baby DUI could include
- Driver’s license suspension of 30 to 90 days
- 15 to 30 days of community service
- Up to 48 hours at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) or similar rehabilitation program
Remember that an underage driver with a BAC of more than 0.08 will face the full penalties of a standard DUI, which include the following:
- A fine between $250 and $400
- 30 days in jail
- Driver’s license revocation until ignition interlock device installed; interlock required for three months
- Participation in 2 classes at an IDRC (minimum of six hours per day)
- Auto insurance surcharge of $1,000 per year for three years
Can I Expunge an Underage DUI Conviction?
Given the severity of the consequences of underage DUI, you might wonder whether you can expunge a conviction from your record. The harsh reality is that expungement of DUI convictions is impossible in New Jersey. A conviction for underage DUI will permanently remain on your driving record. Successfully beating an underage DUI charge is critical to protect your reputation and future for this reason alone.
Future Consequences of an Underage DUI
In many states, a DUI is a criminal offense. People convicted of drunk driving in these states can face consequences that last long past the conviction, such as limitations in job opportunities, housing prospects, college admissions, and access to scholarships.
New Jersey is different. In New Jersey, DUI is a traffic offense, not a criminal one. If you are asked whether you have been convicted of a crime on a university application, you can truthfully say no, even if you have a DUI on your driving record.
How the Law Offices of Steven Ellman Can Help You
You don’t want one mistake — and underage DUI is a serious one — to define your future. At the Law Office of Steven Ellman, we understand the stakes are high, and we can help. As one of New Jersey’s premier DUI attorneys, Steven Ellman has an 80-plus percent success rate getting DUI and DWI charges dismissed for clients in the Garden State.
With Steven Ellman, you can rest assured that your case will always be in the hands of an experienced, passionate legal advocate. Don’t leave your future to chance. Contact the Law Offices of Steven Ellman today for a free, confidential consultation with an underage DUI attorney in New Jersey. Now serves Northern, Central, and Southern New Jersey.