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What should a college student expect from a DUI charge?

A criminal conviction on a drunk driving charge will have a serious impact on a person's future, especially if the individual is a minor. Underage drinking can carry penalties that will have a long-term impact concerning a college student's education, job opportunities and other areas of life. Understanding what to expect from a DUI and how to appropriately confront these charges is the first step in protecting one's future and freedom. 

A college student may be charged with a DUI following an incident related to public intoxication, a failed sobriety or Breathalyzer test. Tennessee law carries steep consequences for those who are convicted of drunk driving, including those who are under the legal drinking age. Consequently, minors facing a DUI charge will find it beneficial to protect their interests by seeking legal counsel as soon as possible after an arrest. 

If a college student is charged with a DUI, a negative result could compromise scholarships, extracurricular opportunities and even school enrollment. First-time offenders may be able to seek lesser charges or less severe penalties, but multiple-time offenders also have rights that must be protected. A lawyer can determine if an underage defendant may be eligible for a judicial diversion program, which is an alternative to a traditional conviction.

When charged with DUI in Tennessee, students face a daunting legal process that should not be navigated alone. Instead of accepting a plea or blindly accepting consequences, it is wise to confront the charges with the help of a lawyer experienced in handling these types of criminal proceedings. One mistake does not have to define the course of a student's education and future opportunities. 

Source: hindmanlaw.com, "Defending College Students Accused of Crimes", Accessed on Oct. 20, 2015

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