Teenagers and college students frequently charged with drunk driving in Miami as classes resume

Our Miami DUI defense lawyers are frequently called upon to represent college students and even teenagers who have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in South Florida.

However, we too often see or hear of students and young people who choose to plead guilty to drunk driving charges in Miami in an effort to quickly put an embarrassing incident behind them. For college students, they may think their parents will not even find out. For teenagers, a parent may decide to force a child to plead guilty, either to save money or to teach a young person a lesson. Sometimes, parents mistakenly believe that the charge can be sealed or expunged at a later date.

Saddling a young person with a drunk driving conviction, or attempting to hide such a charge from parents while away at college, can have consequences that last for years. A Florida drunk driving charge cannot be sealed or expunged, and will remain on your criminal record for life, even if the conviction occurred while you were a juvenile.

There are many consequences of a drunk driving charge, including:

-College scholarships may be revoked as the result of a DUI conviction. A drunk driving conviction may also impact your ability to collect certain types of government aide, including student loans.

-Fines, court costs, and increased insurance premiums can cost thousands of dollars. Insurance premiums frequently triple.

-A drunk driving conviction often must be disclosed on job applications for years — forcing those prospective employees to make such disclosures throughout their career.

-Being convicted of DUI can make it difficult to join the military or hold certain jobs and may disqualify you from obtaining certain types of occupational licenses.

-Probation violations can lead to additional legal problems. DUI schools, jail time and community service may interfere with class or even be scheduled when school is not in session and you are at home with family.

-Substantial fines, jail times and license suspensions frequently accompany a subsequent DUI conviction. And having a drunk driving charge on your record may make it more likely that you will be stopped and questioned by law enforcement in the future.

Mistakes happen. Being a teenager or college student is a learning experience. But don’t compound your problems by pleading guilty to a drunk driving charge in Miami. The Florida Highway Patrol reports that only about half of those charged with drunk driving in Florida are convicted of the charge during any given year.