Cobb County Underage DUI Lawyer
Drinking and driving charges could prove to have serious consequences if left unmitigated. When an under 21 driver is charged with such an offense, their future could be in jeopardy, making it in their best interest to combat the charges made against them.
If you or your child have been charged with driving under the influence as a minor, be sure to consult with an experienced attorney. A Cobb County underage DUI lawyer could walk you through the criminal process and provide you with guidance throughout the case.
Laws Regarding Individuals Charged with DUI as a Minor
In the State of Georgia, individuals charged with DUI who are below 17 years of age, their case would be sent to juvenile court. This means that their case would be processed differently than it would state court, municipal court, or probate court. In juvenile court, the focus of a person’s sentence is not to punish the minor, but to rehabilitate them. Additionally, the determination of the court does not include a guilty or not guilty verdict, the court will decide whether to adjudicate or not adjudicate the minor as delinquent. For a first-time conviction, the court will try to determine whether a minor would benefit from a thoughtful education based rehabilitative program, eventually resolving the case without the need for any criminal penalties. Regardless of which court handles the case, it is important to remember that, even though the charge may not appear on a criminal history, it will appear on a driving history. The database kept by the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) is separate from the database kept by the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS).
Where the prosecutor has a great deal of power in other courts, the judge has a great deal of power in juvenile courts, and the judge makes a good deal of the important decisions pertaining to a juvenile case.
What Should a Minor Expect When Pulled Over for DUI
When a minor is pulled over and found to have been drinking, the police officer will arrest them and contact their parents. The police department has the discretion to release the individual to their parents or release them to a juvenile detention center where a hearing will take place to determine whether the detention center will hold them. In many cases, law enforcement will release the arrested minor to their parents and send the issued citations to the appropriate juvenile court to be prosecuted.
When Would a Minor be Charged as an Adult for a DUI Offense?
There are only a few circumstances where a minor would be charged with as an adult for a DUI offense. For example, if a minor was drinking and driving and killed another driver or pedestrian, they will likely be charged as an adult. Other circumstances include whether they inflicted serious injury upon another person or if they were charged with other offenses that would carry adult criminal consequences.
Importance of Hiring a Legal Professional
Being charged with a criminal offense of any kind should merit immediate legal attention. Considering the ramifications that a criminal conviction can have on a person’s future, underaged drivers and their parents should do everything they can to avoid having a DUI charge ruin their dreams and aspirations.
If you have been charged with drinking and driving as a minor, get in touch with a Cobb County underage DUI lawyer as soon as possible.