If I’m 18 years old and am being charged with a DUI but it was for a non-injury hit and run, wht should I do?

This is my first offense. What should I do first? What are my possible penalties? Should I hire a lawyer?

Asked on July 8, 2012 under Criminal Law, California


Andrew Goldberg

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You should hire a lawyer.Because it was a non-injury hit and run, you are not eligible for the ARD Program ( the first time offender's program ). As a minor, you are in the 2nd tier, thus you are looking at  either 48 hours in jail or 10 days house arres, during which you can go to school or work. Also, looking at 1 year of probation, 1 year suspension of driver's license, safe driving classes, community service hours,, drug & alcohol evaluation, and a fine of approximately  $1100. For a minor the legal limit is 0.02%. Thus, your most helpful avenue is to fight the hit-and-run, if possible.

Russ Pietryga / Pietryga Law Office

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

First, you should request a driver license hearing.  Usually, you have a certain amount of time to do this or you will automatically lose your license.  When an officer arrests and cites you for a DUI he will serve you with a citation that tells you what you need to do to request a driver license hearing.  Note, because of your age, you could possibly lose your driving privileges until you are 21 years of age.

Depending on whether you lose your license, will help determine which way to defend your case.  Note, because you are under 21 years of age, you are being charged with "Not a Drop." Not a drop is more difficullt to defend because, unlike people that are 21 or over, you are not allowed to drink and drive. 

As always, if you can afford a DUI attorney, hire one.  They will look to see if the officer had reasonable suspicion to pull you over and probable cause to arrest.  Also, a good DUI attorey may be able to get you a favorable plea and sentence, facts depending.

Hope this helps.

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