A drunk driving conviction in Pennsylvania can have long-lasting and far-reaching consequences, especially if you were convicted of underage drinking and driving. If this has happened to your son or daughter, the consequences of the DUI conviction might include jail time, substantial fines, loss of driver’s license, and if your teen is a college student, possible revocation of a scholarship or enrollment.
The good news is that not every DUI charge leads to a conviction. Some cases are dismissed. Others go to trial but the judge rules that certain evidence is not admissible because the rights of the accused were violated during or following an arrest. If you have received a phone call informing you that your teen has been taken into custody for DUI, it’s important to know your rights as a parent, as well as your child’s rights, to navigate the criminal justice system.
The juvenile justice system for DUI is different that the adult system
A distinct difference between juvenile justice and the adult criminal court system is that sentences handed down in juvenile court are typically rehabilitative in nature. This means that the judge focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment. The goal is always to hold juveniles convicted of crimes accountable for their actions through alternative means, such as community service work, attending substance abuse workshops and more.
Providing support for your child makes proceedings less intimidating
There are numerous resources available to you as a parent, which may help make Pennsylvania DUI proceedings less stressful for your teenage son or daughter. For example, if your teen has developed a substance abuse problem while attending college, you can access programs to help overcome addiction. School guidance counselors, social workers and legal advocates are also valuable assets to provide encouragement and support to your family during a difficult time. You can begin helping your child build a strong defense by scheduling a meeting with Leeth & Gaglione, a legal team experienced in the juvenile justice system.