Bakersfield Underage DUI Lawyer
Defending Against Underage DUI Charges in Kern County
California takes a "zero tolerance" approach to underage drinking and driving. That means that if someone under the age of 21 is found to have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .01% or above, they will be arrested for underage DUI, even if there was no erratic driving or other indicators of drunk driving.
If you or your family member has been arrested and charged near Bakersfield, California, it is crucial that you contact a qualified Kern County underage DUI attorney at once. The driver's license suspension for underage DUI is often for one year, and in some cases, the car will be impounded and later sold.
California Zero-Tolerance Law
California is one of the many states to enforce a zero-tolerance approach to underage drinking. this means that if a person is under the age of 21 and they are given a BAC test, whether a Breathalyzer or blood test, and found to be at a level of .05% or above, they will also be charged with a DUI charge, which is a misdemeanor.
Don't take chances on an underage DUI charge. The zero-tolerance approach in California can result in the loss of driving privileges and even the loss of the vehicle under certain circumstances.
What are the Penalties for an Underage DUI in California?
If convicted, this will go on their permanent criminal record, and they could be facing DUI penalties. In addition to the penalties served and a criminal record, potential employers and colleges have access to these via background checks. The individual must report the conviction if asked this question on applications, making it a difficult hurdle for years to come.
How To Defend Against Underage DUI Charges
While every case is unique, some common defenses against underage DUI charges may include:
- Lack of Probable Cause for the Stop: If the police did not have a valid reason to pull you over, the entire traffic stop may be considered illegal. This lack of probable cause could lead to the dismissal of charges.
- Faulty Field Sobriety Tests: Field sobriety tests are subjective and can be impacted by various factors such as nervousness, fatigue, or physical conditions. Challenging the accuracy and reliability of these tests may be a defense strategy.
- Breathalyzer Accuracy: Breathalyzer machines must be properly calibrated and maintained to ensure accurate results. Issues with the calibration or maintenance of the machine may be grounds for challenging the breathalyzer results.
- Rising Blood Alcohol Content (BAC): It takes time for alcohol to be absorbed into the bloodstream. If you consumed alcohol before driving, your BAC might have been below the legal limit while driving but exceeded it by the time you were tested. This is known as the "rising BAC" defense.
- Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions or medications can affect breathalyzer results. If you have a medical condition that could impact the accuracy of the test, it may be a valid defense.
- Illegal Search and Seizure: If law enforcement had conducted an illegal search or seizure to obtain evidence against you, it could be grounds for suppressing that evidence in court.
- Miranda Rights Violation: If you were not informed of your Miranda rights during the arrest, any statements you made may be inadmissible in court.
Contact Our Underage DUI Attorney in Bakersfield Today
At Middlebrook & Associates, our attorney has successfully defended countless underage drivers on DUI charges. The resources the firm has gathered for the DUI defense give us a powerful advantage when our clients are facing such a charge. Attorney Richard Middlebrook at Middlebrook & Associates has years of experience in defending underage drivers charged with DUI. Protect your child's future with a Bakersfield underage DUI lawyer from our experienced legal team.
Contact Middlebrook & Associates today to get started with our Bakersfield underage DUI lawyer.