While we would all like our teens to stay out of trouble, there’s no denying that some teens will face legal issues at some point in their lives. Fortunately, as a parent, there are several things you can stay educated on if your teen has an accident driving or other legal trouble.

1. The Cost of Driving Accidents

According to the New York State Department of Transportation’s latest figures, the average cost of an auto accident ranges depending on where the accident took place. Most car accidents range between $15,000 and $63,000, with most accidents falling in the $30,000 to $40,000 range. If your teen is involved in an accident, you will likely be responsible for any damages they cause. This includes any damage to the other driver’s vehicle, as well as any medical bills incurred by the other driver. If your teen is at fault for an accident, your insurance rates will likely go up.

Additionally, if your teen is charged with a crime, you will be responsible for their legal fees. Depending on the severity of the charge, these fees can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Thus, it is important to have a discussion with your teen about the possible financial repercussions of breaking the law before they find themselves in legal trouble.

2. The Impact on Your Teen’s Future

In addition to the immediate financial cost of legal trouble, there are also long-term consequences that can follow your teen around for years. For example, a conviction on your teen’s record can make it difficult for them to get into college or find a job later in life. Additionally, if your teen is charged with a DUI, their driver’s license will be suspended. This can make it difficult for them to get to school or work and can lead to further legal trouble if they are caught driving on a suspended license.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to mitigate the effects of a DUI. For instance, your teen can enroll in DUI classes, which are short programs designed to highlight the dangers of driving under the influence. A judge will make the final decision on whether or not your teen is required to take these classes, but enrolling voluntarily can show that your teen is taking the situation seriously and is committed to change.

3. What Driving Under the Influence Means

Many parents think that a DUI means drinking while driving. However, using marijuana can also alter a person’s ability to drive. If your teen has 5ng of marijuana per millimeter in their blood, they are considered under the influence. This is important to know because your teen can be charged with a DUI even if they are not drinking alcohol. It’s important to talk to your teen about the dangers of driving under the influence of any substance, not just alcohol.

4. How You Can Help

If your teen finds themselves in legal trouble, the best thing you can do is stay calm and be supportive. This does not mean you should enable their behavior, but you should let them know that you are there for them and that you will help them through this difficult time. You can also help by being proactive. For instance, if your teen is facing a DUI charge, you can help them find a good DUI attorney. A good attorney can help your teen get the best possible outcome in their case, which can minimize the long-term effects of the charge.

You should also consider enrolling your teen in a defensive driving course. This will teach them how to avoid accidents and help them become a safer driver. Additionally, many insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who take these courses.

Finally, make sure you stay involved in your teen’s life. The more you know about what they are up to, the less likely they are to get into legal trouble. Don’t shy away from the topic. Talk to your teen today.