If you have been charged with underage driving while intoxicated (DWI), you should not hesitate to get in touch with a experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer. Even though a New Jersey prosecutor may refer to an underage DWI as a “Baby DWI” – you should not let the name fool you. When it comes to these “Baby DWIs,” prosecutors will often seek maximum penalties in a case, which is why it is imperative to have a trusted legal advocate on your side.
In New Jersey, the offense of a DWI involves driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. However, there may be many situations in which an underage driver may get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol. If you are below 21 years of age and are suspected of driving after consuming alcohol, you may be charged with an underage DWI, also sometimes known as a “Baby DWI.” It is important to note that there is a a significant difference between a standard DWI and a Baby DWI, which can be prosecuted if the defendant had a BAC of 0.01 percent or higher.
New Jersey has a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving. Penalties for underage DWI are serious and may include the loss of driving privileges, community service, monetary fines, and partaking in an alcohol and traffic safety education program. While the consequences for a Baby DWI might be less severe than a regular DWI, there is still a lot at stake. College acceptances, scholarship awards, car insurance rates, and even future job prospects could all be adversely affected by an underage DWI conviction.
In underage DWI cases, the prosecution bears the burden of proving the charges against you, and there may be defenses available to you that can help defeat or eliminate the charges you are facing. For example, you may be able to prove that the police officer who pulled you over had no probable cause to do so. Police officers require probable cause to pull someone over; this means that police officers cannot simply arbitrarily stop you. Instead, the officer must be able to point to a law you violated while driving, such as speeding, running a red light, failing to stop at a stop sign, or changing lanes without signaling. The police officer who pulls you over also has the responsibility of establishing probable cause for you to be under the influence of alcohol. We can examine the circumstances of your arrest and make sure proper protocol was followed.
Getting charged with an underage DWI is a frightening experience. If you have been charged with an underage DWI or a “Baby DWI,” you need to reach out to a knowledgable New Jersey DWI attorney without delay. Just because you have been charged with an underage DWI does not mean you will be convicted. We can explore all possible defenses in your case and defend your rights throughout the entire legal process. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 877-450-8301 or contact us through our website.
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