Napa County Courthouse

Top Ten Questions > From Minors/Parents

8. What If I'm Under 18 Years Old?

Juvenile DUI's are usually treated differently than adult DUIs in Napa County. The juvenile probation department in Napa is typically first to become involved, and will usually contact a juvenile and his/her parents with a letter several weeks after the arrest, requesting an interview about family life, school, and substance abuse. Click here to see an example of such a Probation Letter from Sonoma County. A Napa DUI attorney may usually accompany the juvenile and parents to this probation interview.

A decision will be made whether to recommend Napa County juvenile court proceedings at the Juvenile Court Facility at 2350 Old Sonoma Road in Napa. If the case proceeds to a juvenile DUI finding, then expect a typical Napa County Juvenile DUI Sentencing Order, which may include formal probation (reporting to an assigned probation officer, random search & seizure terms, & random drug/alcohol testing), community service, one-year license suspension, DUI youth classes, CHP Start Smart program, and a fine.

According to the Napa Probation Department, local law enforcement agencies refer non-detained juvenile offender cases for evaluation of the circumstances of the offense. Minors who allegedly commit offenses for which they are detained are also evaluated. Upon further investigation of the offense, the probation officer may refer the action to the District Attorney’s Office to file a petition. The minor may be eligible for diversion and enter into contract with the Police Department or Informal Probation within the Probation Department prior to the filing of a petition. Should the minor fail at Informal Probation, the probation officer may request the District Attorney’s Office take action by filing a petition. Written and oral probation reports are prepared by the probation officer for the Napa County Juvenile Court, which contain criminal and social history information, victim information, and recommended dispositions as mandated by the Welfare and Institutions Code.

Although juvenile criminal records in Napa may be sealed at age 18, DMV records will continue to show juvenile DUI suspensions (typically one year) for at least 10 years following a Napa County incident. The following link is an example of a 22 year old man's DMV driving record showing one juvenile alcohol suspension with .03% alcohol (age 16), one minor DUI with .08/.07% alcohol (age 20), two suspended license cases, and one adult DUI with .11/.12% alcohol (age 22): Juvenile DMV Record. Consult with a local Napa DUI lawyer about your specific case.


Any result portrayed was dependent on the facts of that case, and the results will differ if based on different facts.

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Dave Jake Schwartz is an Honors Graduate from UC Hastings Law School, and UC Davis, former Federal Judicial Clerk, and Nationally Qualified Sobriety Tests Practitioner. Member of the California Bar for 30 years, Wine Country resident for over 20 years, handles only DUI cases, including thousands of North Bay DUIs and DMV hearings: first/multiple offenders, minors, seniors, tourists, undocumented immigrants, veterans, probation violations, suspended license, public intoxication, open container, minor in possession, child endangerment, collisions, hit and run, evading, resisting arrest.



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