Tampa Underage DUI Lawyer

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Tampa Underage DUI Attorney

In Florida, underage drinking and driving is a very serious legal matter. Regardless of age, a driving under the influence (DUI) charge is not something taken lightly by the courts, but as a juvenile driver, the reality of severe repercussions can be staggering. You might be wondering how a Hillsborough County under 21 DUI charge works. Fortunately, that’s where a Tampa underage DUI lawyer comes in.

Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol can place you and other drivers at risk, but the truth is, you don’t have to let a DUI charge ruin your future. Oftentimes, underage DUI charges come with weak or unsupported evidence, and there is always a chance for the case to be dismissed.

Understandably, a lot of juveniles facing DUI charges are afraid of being given jail time and are wary of what might come next. It is crucial to seek legal counsel so you know all your options right away.

Tampa Underage DUI Lawyer

What Constitutes an Underage DUI?

In the state, it is unlawful for any individual under the age of 21 who tests for a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02% or higher to operate or be in physical control of a motorized vehicle. For adults, that limit is 0.08%. However, as the legal drinking age is 21, those caught with any alcohol in their system are guilty of violating not just one but two state laws.

Florida’s DUI Zero-Tolerance Policy

There is a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking in the state. Penalties for violating this policy can be severe; however, finding the right attorney can make all the difference. Even if a single drink is consumed, a minor will be charged with DUI for drinking and driving. Factors like weight and size of the individual charged may affect blood alcohol levels, and for some people, this means that only one drink could result in that 0.02% blood alcohol limit.

Because the authorities take these matters so seriously and sentencing can have an immediate impact on the individual’s future, the wisest course of action to take is hiring an attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of the case.

Penalties for Underage DUIs

According to state law, a driver under the age of 21 who has been found driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.02% or higher will have their license suspended for a period of six months if this is their first offense. However, if this individual has a record of previous driving suspensions, their driving privilege will be revoked for a period of one year. A notice of suspension will then be issued to the driver, and their period of time will begin.

In accordance with this, if the individual is found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.05% or higher, the license suspension will remain in effect until the individual has completed a mandatory licensed substance abuse program.

If the offender is under 18 years old, their charge will be processed as a juvenile offense and, in most cases, will not be tried as an adult. But they could face sentences of time in juvenile hall, court fines, and mandatory traffic courses. They will also be admitted to addiction treatment facilities in the county where they were arrested.

How an Underage DUI Could Affect Your Future

Unfortunately, the reality of an underage drinking DUI charge is that it can and will affect future education opportunities. Some schools will not extend scholarships to students with criminal records. Similarly, most collegiate sports teams will not allow students with criminal records to join.

A DUI charge in Tampa or throughout the state of Florida can be a significant deal breaker when it comes to scholarship applications and team sports opportunities. It can also come between you and professional licensure for law, nursing, and other such practices. In addition to these, being a DUI offender will affect your chances of joining any of the US armed forces or — if you are able to join — hurt your chances of internal advancement.


Q: How Much Does a DUI Lawyer Cost?

A: The cost to hire a DUI lawyer in a Florida case varies and depends on the details of the case itself. An experienced attorney, however, will make sure your case is handled correctly with care and can endeavor to keep costs as efficient as possible. At the end of the day, with your future in the balance, it is always prudent to seek legal counsel, knowing that the chances of a positive outcome are better than the possible unknowns you could face.

Q: Can a Minor Get a DUI?

A: Yes, in the simplest terms, a minor can get a DUI. If someone under the age of 18 is found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.02% or higher, they can face charges for driving under the influence. They can also face possible juvenile detention time, fines incurred through court proceedings, time spent in addiction facilities, or court-order traffic classes.

Q: How Likely Is Jail Time for the First DUI?

A: The likelihood of jail time for a first DUI in the state, for those above the legal drinking age, a first-time DUI conviction can result in up to six months of imprisonment. The same can be said for those convicted who are underage, though the chances of jail time are less likely, and it’s more likely that if jail time is part of sentencing, it will be served in juvenile hall.

Q: Should I Get a Lawyer for a DUI?

A: Yes, you should get a lawyer for DUI because having legal counsel for any possible conviction is never a bad idea. But when it comes to minors, finding the right legal representation is essential. With so much at stake —college applications, scholarships, and future employment opportunities — you will want someone who can fight for your rights and make sure you are receiving the optimal outcome in your case.

How Jeff Marshall Law Can Help

At Jeff Marshall Law, we take your future very seriously and can advocate for your rights. With your future on the line, it is crucial to hire an attorney who understands the details of your case and can guide you through all the legalities that come along with it. We treat each case with respect and will do whatever we can to investigate any possible defense to seek a positive outcome for our clients. If you find yourself staring down an underage DUI charge in Tampa, contact us today. We’re here to help.



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