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Conviction on DUI charge sends teen driver to jail for 11 years

Driving under the influence of alcohol in California can have devastating consequences. While the legal blood alcohol limit for adult drivers is .08 percent, drivers under the age of 21 may be arrested if their blood alcohol levels are .01 percent or higher. Those under 18 may not operate a vehicle with any alcohol present in their systems, meaning any BAC level above .00 percent is illegal. Young drivers who are arrested may have many questions about how to defend a DUI charge and what the potential consequences of a conviction could be.

An 18-year-old driver was recently sentenced to spend 11 years in prison for causing the death of a 3-year-old girl. The conviction followed the teenager's guilty plea to gross vehicular manslaughter while DUI and additional charges. Prosecutors said the man smashed through an enclosure and struck a group of people buying ice cream from a vendor truck. In addition to the death of the little girl, others suffered injuries. The driver's BAC was reportedly measured at .13 percent at the time of the accident.

Apart from incarceration, a conviction on DUI charges will also affect a person's driver's license and other aspects of his or her life. It could also remain on his or her criminal record for life. Nevertheless, every driver has the right to defend against such charges in court, and each accused person may work toward achieving a favorable result. 

An experienced California attorney can assist an accused individual in defending against a DUI charge. In some cases, it may be appropriate to seek the exclusion of certain prosecution evidence at trial, and doing so successfully could have a substantial impact on the ultimate result. As an alternative to contesting the charges at trial, plea negotiations could offer an accused person the opportunity to limit any sentencing exposure in exchange for a plea of guilty to specified charges. Each case is unique, though all require careful analysis of the underlying facts and focused preparation at all stages of the criminal proceedings.

Source: greenfieldreporter.com, "Central California teen sentenced to 11 years in prison in DUI hit-run that killed toddler", March 20, 2015

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