Owing to zero-tolerance DUI laws for underage individuals, teenagers can face serious consequences if they’re faced with teenage DUI convictions. You must understand the potential penalties that you or your child (if you’re a parent) can face, ranging from fines and license suspension to jail time.
To ensure that your child’s rights are protected, get legal representation from capable criminal defense lawyers in Clemson, South Carolina. Don’t wait for things to get any worse, consult with the best Clemson, South Carolina DUI lawyer to explore your options.
Let’s first take a look at the penalties for teenage DUI convictions in Clemson, South Carolina.
Penalties for Teenage DUI Conviction
A teenager convicted of a DUI in South Carolina can face serious penalties.
The fines for a first-time, teenage DUI conviction are usually substantial, ranging from $400 to $1,000. Additionally, the court may impose court costs and fees totaling over $1,000.
Depending on the severity of your DUI, the court could order you to pay restitution, a fee imposed by the court to compensate victims for any losses they suffered due to your DUI offense, i.e., if there was a crash.
In addition to these fines, a teenage driver may be required to pay an underage drinking fee of up to $500.
Furthermore, depending on the circumstances, the court could also order you to pay for other assessments and payments. These assessments may include DUI school fees and an administrative assessment that pays for the cost of your arrest, prosecution, and supervision.
It’s important to note that if you cannot pay the total amount of your fines at the time of sentencing, the court may permit you to enter into an installment plan where you will be required to make monthly payments until the balance is paid off.
The gravity of your DUI offense determines the duration of the suspension. If this is your first DUI conviction, you will likely face a suspension of 90 days. Subsequent violations might result in a suspension ranging from six months to two years.
A suspended license implies that you are prohibited from driving during suspension time. Your license will be taken away and returned to you at the end of your suspension time. Before restoring your license, you may have to pay a reinstatement fee and meet specific court requirements.
Moreover, some people may be forced to undergo a driver’s education course or an alcohol awareness lesson before regaining their license.
These license suspensions are separate from any criminal charges related to your DUI offense. This means that even if the criminal charges are dismissed, or you are found not guilty, you may still have to serve the suspension period as determined by the court.
The length of time spent in jail varies according to the seriousness of the offense and any prior convictions. First-time offenders may generally face a minimum of 24 hours in prison. The offender faces up to 30 days in prison for a second violation.
Subsequent convictions may result in up to 90 days in prison. Furthermore, the court may impose additional jail time for aggravating conditions such as excessive alcohol consumption or the presence of a juvenile in the car at the time of the violation.
A teenage DUI conviction can lead to much more severe penalties in cases involving serious injury or death, especially if the offender has prior convictions.
Probation is when the offender must follow specific court-ordered limitations, and any breach of those restrictions may result in further fines. The terms will vary based on the case details and the offense’s severity.
For example, a defendant may be ordered to perform community service or abstain from alcohol and drugs. Additionally, a probation officer may require the defendant to submit to regular drug tests, complete a DUI awareness course, or attend counseling sessions.
If the defendant violates any of the conditions of their probation, the judge may impose additional penalties such as jail time or fines. Defendants need to understand and comply with all the terms of their probation to avoid further punishment.
A teen DUI conviction in Clemson, South Carolina, may result in consequences such as fines, license suspension, prison time, and probation. Community service is another possible punishment for a young DUI conviction.
Community service is a punishment in which an individual must complete a set amount of unpaid labor to “pay it forward” to the community for their wrongdoings. This may entail cleaning public parks, picking up highway rubbish, or performing other voluntary activities.
The precise amount of community service necessary for a DUI conviction depends on the judge and the severity of the case.
In general, community service hours are usually awarded between 10 and 20 hours. In performing community service hours, the sentenced person must follow any criteria established by the court and produce proof of completion as required.
While community service is typically considered a minor penalty compared to jail time or probation, it may be time and resource intensive. Anyone with a DUI conviction must complete any court-ordered community service to avoid extra penalties.
Long-Term Effects of an Underage DUI Conviction
Apart from the legal ramifications of a DUI, there are several other ways that this ticket might affect a teen’s life:
- Students accused of underage drinking and driving may be expelled or punished at some institutions.
- With a DUI charge, getting into college is frequently more challenging.
- Furthermore, it may make some college scholarships inaccessible.
- Charges may appear if a potential employer runs a background check, making it tougher to acquire a job.
- Driver’s license suspension can limit your teen’s work opportunities, damaging their social life.
Hire Reliable Criminal Defense Lawyers in Clemson, South Carolina for Your Case!
If you or your child is facing a DUI charge in Clemson, South Carolina, seeking legal representation from an experienced DUI lawyer is crucial.
At the Bateman Law Firm, we take a client-centered approach and work closely with our clients to develop a strategy tailored to their unique circumstances. We understand the stress and uncertainty of teenage DUI charges, and we are here to guide you every step of the way.
Our attorneys have extensive experience defending clients facing teenage DUI charges, and we understand the impact a DUI conviction can have on your future. We are committed to providing personalized and aggressive representation to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Don’t wait to get the help you need. Contact us today for a consultation with the most reliable criminal defense lawyers in Clemson, South Carolina!