How Does Voluntary Pre-Trial Counseling Impact An Underage DUI Case?

My advice is that if someone is under the age of 21 and they have a DUI charge in Utah, they should at the very least seek a drug and alcohol evaluation. If they’re already consuming alcohol or drugs and it’s already causing this kind of problem in their life it might indicate a bigger problem. Certainly, the courts are going to want to know if there’s a problem, so I would recommend that they go and get an evaluation. It can show the court or the prosecutor that the person is being very proactive in the case and they are going through the steps to make sure this sort of thing doesn’t happen again in the future and they are taking it very seriously.

I don’t give this advice in every DUI case. Usually, I would say to wait and take a look at the evidence in the report before we make that decision, but when someone is under 21 and they’re having this problem then yes, I would recommend going and getting an evaluation. If the evaluation comes back with a recommendation for treatment then I would recommend starting treatment as well. It’ll go a long way in helping us get the case resolved if that’s the way we need to go.

Will Someone Under 21 Have A Parent Represent Them Along With An Attorney In Court?

When it’s someone between the ages of 18 and 21 then that person is an adult, so they can appear in court by themselves. If it’s someone under the age of 18 and there’s an appearance in the juvenile court then yes, the minor child does have to have a parent or a legal guardian there with them. The court is not going to move forward with the case without a parent or guardian there. The defense attorney can’t act as the parent. The defense attorney’s job is to help them with the case and get the best possible outcome on their charges.

In the worst-case scenario where the minor doesn’t have a parent or guardian available, I’ve seen the courts appoint a guardian ad litem. That’s a special attorney that just represents the minor child and his best interests, where the defense attorney’s job is to represent his best interests in that case. At the end of the day there has to be someone there with the minor child – the parent, guardian or guardian ad litem in addition to the defense attorney.

Do I Have A Say In Whether Or Not My Child Pleads Guilty To Underage DUI Charges?

The parent can have an opinion as to whether their child should plead guilty or not guilty to the charges. However, at the end of the day it is solely the minor child’s decision. He can take the parent’s opinion and the defense attorney’s opinion into consideration and then come to his own conclusion as to what he wants to do. If they want to plead guilty, the judge will go over it with them to make sure that they understand what they’re doing and that they’re doing this of their own free will.

The parent can be there next to them and can express their displeasure to the court about the child’s decision, but ultimately it is up to the child to plead guilty or not.

How Will Taking A Plea Offer In An Underage DUI Case Impact A Child’s Life?

If the minor child does take the DUI charge here in Utah, the record will be located in the juvenile court if they’re under 18 years of age. However, the DUI will be reported to the License Division. If an employer wants to know what their driving record is like because the job involves driving, they would then see the adjudication or the action taken on the license for DUI and that could cause employment problems, insurance cost problems and so on.

Sometimes a job application will ask if you have ever been convicted of a DUI or if you have ever been charged with a DUI. You have to pay close attention to that language and what they’re asking for specifically in the application. If they’re asking if you have ever been convicted, you should remember that juvenile DUI is not a conviction, it is an adjudication.

However, it can affect their future employment or college prospects. A lot of colleges and special programs will want to know about charges and they may even want to know about charges that occurred while they were a minor. In that situation, they would possibly have to disclose those charges, so it could have an impact on their future.

Are There Any Alternative Punishments For An Under 21 DUI Conviction In Utah?

No, there are no alternative penalties and punishments for DUI under 21 in Utah. Our legislators have basically said there cannot be a diversion on a DUI, whether it’s in the adult court or the juvenile court. However, a DUI in juvenile court is different than in the adult court. Typically the punishments include some counseling and at very least some community service with a larger portion in juvenile court being community service rather than fines. The juvenile courts can see that if they are under 18 they might not be able to find employment and pay off fines, so they give them community service instead of a fine. The only alternative punishment they have for DUI in Utah is the lessening or conversion of the fine into community service, but there are no plea in advance or diversion programs available for DUI.

For more information on Pre-Trial Counseling In An Underage DUI Case, a free consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 477-5009 today.

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