New Jersey Underage DUI Defense Lawyer
Experienced Defense Lawyer Represents Clients Charged with Underage DUI in Middlesex County, Mercer County, Union County, Ocean County, and Burlington County, NJ
I know what’s at stake when you or your child is facing underage DUI charges. After retaining my office, you can expect compassionate, informed legal guidance through all phases of your case. As a former prosecutor, I know how to counter charges and build a strong case to help you and your family move forward. Everyone makes mistakes, and one error in judgment does not have to overshadow the future.
DUI charges are always taken seriously in New Jersey. Underage DUI is taken even more seriously—the legal blood alcohol limit for underage drivers is 0.01% under NJSA 39:4-50.14. The bottom line? Drinking and driving, while always a bad idea, is an especially bad idea for those under the legal drinking age in New Jersey. If you have already been charged, you need an experienced DUI defense lawyer by your side to minimize the damages.
It is important to act quickly if you are facing underage DUI charges in New Jersey. I can even get to work before you have been formally charged. I examine every aspect of your case—from the administration of the breath test down to the details of your traffic stop, arrest, and detention. Sobriety and breath testing can also be challenged.
To schedule a free case review and learn more about defending your underage DUI charges, call or contact my office online anytime.
Underage DUI Charges Under NJSA 39:4-50.14
Underage drivers are subject to penalties similar to those that apply to adults for DUI. Additional penalties and rules apply because underage drivers statistically cause a disproportionate share of traffic-related injuries and fatalities.
NJSA 39:4-50.14 applies to drivers who are under age 21 and have a blood alcohol content (BAC) reading of between 0.01% and 0.07%. If the driver’s BAC content is 0.08% or higher, the usual DUI penalties apply. Penalties specific to underage DUI include:
- License suspension for between 30 and 90 days
- 15-30 days of community service
- Completion of the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center program
However, the NJSA 39:4-50.14 penalties are additive. Underage individuals are not permitted to drink legally in the first place. Underage DUI charges, therefore, often carry additional charges and penalties that apply on top of the usual DUI penalties. Conviction for underage DUI can result in:
- Conviction for underage drinking (a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor)), which carries up to $500 in fines and up to a six-month license suspension
- Soliciting alcohol
- Possession of false identification
- Distributing alcohol to other minors
When the minor’s BAC is above the generally applicable 0.08% legal limit, the usual DWI penalties apply. That means you could be facing fines, the need to install an ignition interlock device to avoid lengthier license suspension periods and even potentially jail. Insurance companies may deny coverage—and will almost certainly increase your rates even if they continue to provide car insurance.
For many minors, the most significant penalty comes later, when it is time to apply for college, grad school or employment. In a competitive market, employers and schools can deny opportunities to candidates who they deem to be less responsible. The mark of an underage DUI can make things more difficult for your child. Juvenile criminal charges are largely inaccessible to the general public. This includes potential employers. However, DUI and underage DUI are motor vehicle offenses. This means they stay on your driving record forever. NJ, unfortunately, does not purge driving histories after a certain time like other states. Expungements are also not available for motor vehicle offenses including DUI.
To minimize the impact of these penalties, it is always best to have a respected and experienced defense lawyer on your side. With more than a decade of practical legal experience, I understand New Jersey DUI laws and the legal process. That means I am familiar with the court system and those involved in hearing your case. I work to smooth the process and get the best possible outcome given the facts of your case. To learn more, schedule a free initial consultation today.
Trusted Defense Lawyer Dedicated to Getting Results for Clients Charged with Underage DUI
Even if you have been charged with an underage DUI, that does not automatically mean the prosecution has sufficient evidence to convict. The New Jersey Alcotest machine reading is most commonly used as the grounds for underage DUI charges. Although the defense that works best in your case will vary depending upon the specific facts of your case, possible strategies may include challenging:
- Whether the Alcotest machine was properly maintained and calibrated.
- Whether the Alcotest was administered properly.
- Whether the officer administering the test was properly trained in handling the machine.
- Whether the officer properly conducted field sobriety testing.
- Whether the officer had probable cause to stop you, or to administer the breath test.
I work closely with my clients so that I can build a defense that is custom-tailored to your specific situation. You can count on being informed about your case progress—and receiving my personal attention every step of the way.
Call Today to Schedule a Free Case Review with a Seasoned Underage DUI Defense Lawyer
I know that facing underage DUI charges can be frightening and overwhelming. I will work hard to keep your child’s record clean. With hundreds of successful cases and five-star client reviews, I have the skills and resources to help you through this difficult time.
To discuss options for underage DUI defense in New Jersey, call my office or use my online contact form. I offer competitive pricing and also accept all major credit cards. Your initial consultation is always free. I serve clients in every county in New Jersey.
Frequently Asked Questions About Underage DUI Defense
Yes. In fact, if your teenager has only a probationary license, they will be required to take an additional driver safety course and their driver’s license eligibility will be delayed one year. If your teenager has a learner’s permit, their license suspension can be extended beyond the general penalties. In short, yes, the penalties for underage DUI can apply regardless of whether your child has obtained a valid driver’s license.
In some cases, yes. It is a disorderly persons offense to provide a minor with alcohol. The law generally applies to someone who is not the child’s parent or legal guardian. Therefore, if another adult gave your child alcohol without your permission, they may face misdemeanor-level charges.