Underage DUI

Avoid Conviction or Minimize the Effects of an Underage DUI

Happy teenagers drinking beer in a car If you are under the legal drinking age in Arizona, even a few sips of alcohol can lead to conviction for driving under the influence (DUI). Our state law takes a “zero tolerance” stance toward under-21 drivers who take to the road after consuming alcohol or drugs. The underage DUI comes with a number of unpleasant consequences. In fact, the penalties can often be tougher for a “baby DUI” than a first offense for adults. An experienced DUI defense lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case, and keep your record clean. For a free consultation and review of your charges, contact the law office of James Novak, an underage DUI defense attorney for the greater Phoenix area.

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About Underage DUI

A blood alcohol count (BAC) of .08% is over the legal driving limit, but for an Arizona driver under 21, .01% BAC is grounds for a DUI conviction. The same goes for illegal drugs, including marijuana – the smallest trace found in the system is evidence of impairment.

A DUI conviction on your record can negatively effect your future, marring your chances for select educational and career opportunities. Additionally, you may incur penalties including a two-year driver’s license suspension, hefty fines, and possible detention in a juvenile facility. The penalties and consequences can also include prolonged probation and soaring insurance rates.

Most people do not know their legal rights pertaining to DUI investigation. For example, you always have a right to politely request to speak to an attorney during a DUI stop. You have the right to remain silent, and there are some roadside tests you do not legally have to take. (However, the implied consent law is applicable.)

If you have been arrested, or you are the parent of a teen in this situation, the best thing to do is fight the charges. Attorney Novak will work to help you attain a complete dismissal, deferred adjudication, or greatly reduced penalties.

Defense for DUI Charges

The burden of proof lies with the prosecution. A successful DUI defense may involve challenging the arresting officer’s procedures, for example, whether there was probable cause to pull you over or take you into custody. If Miranda rights were not recited, any statements made while you were in custody are invalid.

Sometimes the results of BAC testing can be questioned. The timing of the test or accuracy of the readings may be at issue. There are several other defense options as well. A hearing with the Motor Vehicle Department can often postpone your driver’s license suspension or allow you some use of your car.

In some cases, deferred adjudication can be the best path for a young adult to pursue. In exchange for court-ordered counseling, community service, and similar activities, a first-time offender may be able to avoid a record of conviction and other penalties. James Novak has years of experience in DUI defense. He knows this complex area of law, is familiar with local prosecutors and judges, and can help you obtain the most favorable outcome possible.

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Don’t leave your fate in the hands of the state legal system. James Novak has helped many young defendants clear their name and face the future with a clean slate. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

Client Reviews
I was facing criminal charges with three priors in my history. Mr Novak was very helpful and got me a lighter sentence than I probably deserved. He is a great attorney and I would highly recommend him. A. T.
James worked tirelessly behind the scenes with the prosecution, to decrease my son’s charges to a more reasonable penalty. I could not have asked for a better, more professional attorney. He treated my son with the utmost respect and walked him through every step of a very difficult situation. S. G.
Attorney Novak did an outstanding job defending my son. Due to his extensive professional background within the court system, he was successfully able to defend my son during a very difficult time for my family. I highly recommend Attorney James Novak for your legal needs. T. G.