Andrew H. Stevenson, Attorney at Law
What to do if your college student is charged with DUI
As the parent of a college student, you probably spend a lot of time wondering if he or she is making the right decisions.
At some point, your child may contact you to discuss a serious situation. For example, your son or daughter may inform you that he or she has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Although this isn't the most serious crime, it goes without saying that it could change your child's life in many ways. For example, depending on the circumstances, an arrest could lead to your child's suspension from college. Along with this, it's possible that a conviction could stop him or her from pursuing one's desired career path. And this doesn't even take into consideration the potential of a license suspension and fine.
Steps to take after an arrest
It's natural to be upset with your child. After all, he or she knows better than to drink and drive. Even so, everyone has made mistakes in their life. The best thing you can do at this point is learn more about the arrest, including what happened and key dates in the future.
Upon your child's release, you should speak with him or her about the details of the arrest. Ask questions such as:
- How much did you have to drink?
- What did the officer say to you?
- Did you partake in a field sobriety test? What were the results of these tests?
- What information were you supplied upon your release?
After answering these questions, you can formulate a strategy for moving forward. Most importantly, you need to help your child protect his or her legal rights. For example, you may soon realize that the officer did not have probable cause to pull over your child's vehicle. Or maybe you learned that the officer did not properly administer the field sobriety test(s).
With the assistance of an attorney, you and your child will feel better about what's to come as the case moves forward. For example, this gives you the opportunity to learn more about defense strategies and potential punishments.
Your child made a mistake, but that doesn't mean that you will look the other way. Instead, it's time to collect additional data, review everything associated with the arrest and case, and make the right decisions in the future.