Defending Juveniles Charged with DUI in Canadian County, Lincoln, McClain, and throughout Oklahoma
It is illegal for any person, no matter their age, to operate a vehicle when under the influence of alcohol or mind-altering substances. Law enforcement administers blood, breath, or urine tests to determine to detect a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) when they suspect the driver is intoxicated. If their BAC exceeds a certain amount, they have evidence to make an arrest. Because minors are not allowed to consume any amount of alcohol, the BAC threshold is much, much lower.
Though penalties for underage DUIs tend to be less harsh than full criminal charges, they can still have life-changing consequences. If you or someone you love has been arrested for underage DUI, you will need dedicated and communicative legal representation. Sheila Shoemake is an experienced Oklahoma City underage DUI lawyer who will work to protect your interests throughout each step of the legal process. She frequently leverages her sophisticated negotiating skills to swiftly resolve cases, sometimes without having to go to trial. The team at the Shoemake Law Firm cares about your future and will do everything possible to secure a favorable outcome.
When Is a Person Charged with Underage DUI in Oklahoma?
If someone under the age of 21 is found to be intoxicated while operating a vehicle, they may be charged with “underage DUI” in Oklahoma. A minor is considered intoxicated if their BAC is 0.2 or more, if they have any controlled substances in their system, or otherwise exhibit signs of being under the influence of any combination of drugs or alcohol. Any blood, breath, or urine test must be conducted within two hours of the initial arrest.
- A minor does not necessarily have to be actively driving the vehicle to be charged with underage DUI. They can face these charges if they are intoxicated while they have “actual physical control,” or “APC,” of a vehicle. Someone generally has APC in the eyes of the law if they are in the driver’s seat on a public road or parking lot, even if the ignition is not turned on.
- A minor will not always be charged with underage DUI in situations where they are found to be intoxicated. Someone under the age of 21 could face regular DUI charges if their BAC is 0.8 or higher or if they refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test. (You do have the right to refuse these tests, but doing so triggers serious consequences.) A minor can also face “driving while impaired” (DWI) charges, which is considered a separate offense in Oklahoma, under applicable circumstances.
The steps you take during and immediately and after a DUI arrest can dramatically impact the potential outcome of your criminal defense case. Do not wait to get in touch with the Oklahoma City underage DUI attorney at the Shoemake Law Firm if you are a minor who has been pulled over on suspicion of intoxicated driving.
Penalties for Underage DUI in Oklahoma
Though the standards for triggering underage DUI charges are lower than adult DUI charges, it is preferable to be charged with the former versus the latter. Penalties for underage DUI are far less severe than those associated with a regular DUI conviction. Repeated convictions will still result in harsher punishments, however.
Penalties for underage DUI in Oklahoma include:
- First Offense: Fines of up to $500, minimum of 20 hours of community service, and a mandatory treatment program
- Second Offense: Fines of up to $500, minimum of 240 hours of community service, a mandatory treatment program, and the installation of an interlock device for at least 30 days
- Third and Subsequent Offenses: Fines of up to $2,000, minimum of 480 hours of community service, a mandatory treatment program, and installation of an interlock device for at least 30 days
A person found guilty of underage DUI may also temporarily lose their driving privileges. Keep in mind that the penalties are much greater when someone is charged and convicted of a regular, “adult” DUI. The Oklahoma City underage DUI lawyer at the Shoemake Law Firm can help you fight these charges and minimize their impact on your future. Sheila Shoemake is familiar with a wide range of potential DUI defenses and will be by your side throughout each stage of the juvenile criminal process.
“Sheila kept us informed as to her approach to resolving this matter which kept us at ease. She was receptive to receiving additional information that came to us and followed through.”- Former Client
“The people that work there are really responsive and nice. I got some good advice and when I was done I had a outcome that I was really happy with.”- Hope F.
“Expediency, effectiveness, and affordability all rolled up in a truly positive experience.”- Melissa Z.
“Shoemake will always answer her phone and your questions.”- Chuck L.
“She genuinely cares about her clients and is always professional.”- Former Client