Facing charges for underage drinking is a frightening prospect for a minor. A conviction can result in serious penalties, and the repercussions could have an impact for years to come. When charged with underage drinking, it is important that an accused individual seek legal assistance from a lawyer who understands both juvenile rights and drunk driving defense.
Tennessee affords several rights to those who are facing charges in the juvenile court system. This includes the right to know the hearing date in advance and to be present at all hearings that involve the defendant. Just as an adult defendant has the right to legal counsel, a minor facing drunk driving charges has the right to a lawyer. A lawyer typically assists in explaining all facets of the legal process and actively seeks the best possible outcome regarding the situation.
A juvenile defendant should be treated with respect, no matter the type of charges that have been filed. In court, the individual may speak for themselves, explain what happened to the judge and request a specific outcome. A Tennessee minor also has the right to appeal the final decision of the judge.
Drunk driving charges are serious, even for those who cannot face the same penalties as an adult would. When a minor has been arrested for underage drinking, he or she has the right to legal counsel as soon as possible. Juvenile defendants have the right to protect their future, take an active role in their defense and speak out if they feel that these rights have been violated.
Source: tncourts.gov, “Your Rights In Juvenile Court“, Accessed on Feb. 11, 2015