What to Do If Your Child Gets a DUI


Being arrested for driving under the influence can be a scary and uncertain time for anyone, but even more so for someone who is under the age of 21 at the time of their arrest. Every parent dreads getting a phone call from law enforcement saying their child has been apprehended, and this is particularly true in cases of driving under the influence, where the consequences will be particularly serious if they are convicted.

Underage DUI charges are a serious ordeal, and parents may often wish to have their child figure out how to handle the situation on their own in order to teach them a lesson. However, having seen many of these cases, our Memphis DUI lawyer can assure you that now perhaps more than ever is not the time to abandon you child and leave them on their own.

Helping & Teaching Simultaneously

Some parents don’t want to come to the aid of their child when they have been arrested at all, whether it’s not wanting to deal with the issue or wanting to teach their child a lesson. However, this isn’t usually the best decision. Your child is reaching out to you because they trust you and need your help now perhaps more than ever. Within the last few hours, your child has probably spent time in jail, had their car impounded, and been handcuffed, processed, and fingerprinted, which is a terrifying and embarrassing experience. More than anything, your child is looking for some sort of stability. Therefore, it’s strongly advised you go to their aid.

It’s okay to be upset with them and express your anger, but know that the arrest is your child’s burden to bear, and they’ll have to be the ones to come to terms with what they’ve done. This usually happens fairly quickly, particularly after they have to start dealing with the consequences and responsibilities they are given as a result of their arrest.

As a parent, it’s highly advised you keep your child on top of these responsibilities and make sure they don’t miss any important deadlines. Their future could depend heavily on a successful outcome of their case, and getting everything needed done on time is crucial to having the best chance for this outcome. Don’t be afraid to guide them through the process and be persistent with your pressuring them—odds are they’ll thank you in the long run for it.

It’s also highly advised you seek the counsel of an experienced DUI lawyer who can handle underage DUI charges. High-quality counsel can make the difference between the best possible result and a guilty verdict, along with the consequences that follow. Your child could be facing jail time, large fines, a license suspension, and a possible criminal conviction that carries over onto their adult record, hindering their ability to seek employment, college scholarships, and other things in the future, so avoiding these consequences is pivotal. An attorney can work with you and your child to navigate both your administrative hearing and your criminal trial with confidence. In some cases, an attorney can even help you have your charges dropped or dismissed due to an error in the evidence-gathering process that could invalidate and suppress evidence against you. This can help your child keep that which is the most important to them, and still help them learn their lesson never to get behind the wheel of a car again.

If your child has been arrested and needs legal assistance with DUI charges, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Office of Stephen R. Leffler, P.C. today by dialing (901) 509-9112 and arrange a free consultation to discuss your case.
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