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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27726
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My son was charged with a minor driving after drinking

Customer Question

my son was charged with a minor driving after drinking offense in AZ. He blew a very low reading as he had not been drinking except for the night before. He is moving back home to Illinois in a months time. And he was charged with this offense 2 weeks before his 21st bday. We are not sure if we should get an attorney due to the $. If he pleads guilty and pays the fees in AZ will this charge follow him to Illinois where this is not a law?
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: he is meeting with a lawyer on the 20th. he has been saving $
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: main concern is IF he pleads guilty and pays the fine will this charge follow him for the rest of his life?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I'm reviewing your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I cannot talk on the phone
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Is this working
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

It's workiing, but please be patient. It takes time to type an answer, especially as I must also research Illinois DUI laws.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok thank you
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

A minor does not have to be intoxicated to be charged with an underaged drinking/driving offense. He just has to test positive for the presence of alcohol. Illinois does have a zero tolerance law, and it will result in a three month suspension of your son's driver's license once Illinois gets word of the Arizona conviction, which it will.

This is because Illinois and Arizona both belong to the Interstate Drivers Compact, an agreement among 45 of the 50 states to hold drivers mutually accountable under a one driver/one license theory of accountability. Arizona's Compact administrator will reach out to Illinois' and Illinois is entitled to treat the matter as its own.

So to recap, your son will have to deal with his Arizona case. Arizona cannot suspend his license because it's an out of state license. However, when Illinois gets word of the suspension, it can do so if it chooses.

With that in mind, it's best to have a lawyer for your son in Arizona, to see if there's some way that this case can be bargained down to something that may not affect his license.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok. So he is getting a lawyer and has asked the court for a 30day extension. He will do what he has to do in Az. However he is driving home to Illinois at the end of this month. Once he gets home he will not have the need for a car so if his license is suspended for 3 months that's fine. But the mAin concern is does this actually show up on his criminal record when he goes to apply for a job etc?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Oh and also. He does have an Az DL. He does not have one in Illinois
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks again for your help. This is so stressful
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

Thanks for clarifying that. Then he doesn't have to worry about Illinois, except that all states will enforce any suspension of his Arizona license. If his license is suspended, which it can be, he will not be able to drive anywhere until Arizona restores his driving privileges.

This is a misdemeanor charge in Arizona and will appear on his criminal record, where it could affect him personally and professionally. However, typically, a minor will be eligible for a special program that will enable him to work off his conviction. That is, he usually can get a diversion or deferral disposition where he is supervised, stays out of further trouble with the law, performs some community service, pays some fines and takes anti-alcohol/stop dui classes. If he completes all of this successfully, he charges will be dismissed so that he doesn't carry a conviction on his record.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok so since the court case has is in 30 days if he were to drive home to Illinois in 2 weeks he would be driving with a suspended license? Is it suspended now?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

You have to ask your son if the police officer took his license. I have no way of knowing that. If his license is suspended, it would be illegal for him to drive home. If he is caught doing that, he would face additional suspensions and have another misdemeanor to fight.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He has his license. They did not take it
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

Good. So hopefully, his lawyer will be able to get him a disposition that lets him keep his license.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
it is your recommendation that he retains a lawyer
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

Yes. He can resolve this case very quickly without a lawyer, but he wants his license and he wants not to have a criminal record if at all possible. His best bet to get that would be to leave his defense to a professional.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok so I think I understand. To clarify. He will get a lawyer to take care of the offense in Az. He may be able to lower the offense
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

Yup. Alternatively, he could get diversion and keep it off his record.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.