Anne Arundel County Underage DUI Cases
If you or your child has been charged with an underage DUI, it may be prudent to employ a seasoned local DUI attorney. Anne Arundel Underage DUI cases can be very difficult to navigate, and having experience counsel might make it a bit easier. Minors are tried differently compared to adults, and a distinct approach may be necessary.
Underage DUI Basics
Even if someone is essentially a juvenile, they will oftentimes appear in the courts for a DUI charge. When someone who is not even out of high school is involved in a DUI charge, it is particularly concerning to judges because these minors are not considered adults and their brains are not fully developed yet. This can be an issue because of the effects of alcohol on brain development.
If someone is under 21 in general, they have an alcohol restriction implicit in their license and driving privilege of 0.02, not 0.08. If a juvenile’s blood alcohol level is a 0.04, they are not going to be charged with a DUI but they will be charged with driving in violation of an alcohol restriction.
A person under the age of 18 should expect that they will essentially undergo the same consequences of someone over 18 and then some for an Anne Arundel County Underage DUI case. There will probably be a greater emphasis on alcohol education, treatment, and rehabilitation.
Defenses in Underage DUI Cases
Generally, there will be more parental involvement with underage DUIs. Even though people under 21 sometimes live on their own, very few people under 18 have the same. Typically, parents will be more involved in the process of a DUI case with a minor.
Depending on the specifics of the minor DUI case, it can be either handled in the district court of Maryland like other DUIs or in the juvenile courts, which is in the circuit court.
Prosecutors and judges are forgiving of the mistakes and indiscretions of someone who is young and does not appreciate the gravity of their actions. Punitive punishments are relatively rare, instead, the focus is on education, treatment, and awareness to ensure the minor learns from it and does not repeat the mistakes.
First Steps in a DUI Charge for a Minor
For most minor DUI charges, the attorney asks questions to understand the nature of the incident, and what led up to it.
Once the attorney gets a fair assessment of the facts underlying the case, they can assess the proper course of action. This could be to prepare for a trial, mitigate the incident, suggest alcohol assessment, or another appropriate response for individual. An attorney needs to assess each case individually based upon the unique factors underlying it.
Why Hiring an Attorney is Important
It is important to hire a DUI attorney because it can be difficult to both defend the case and present ones self in the case. Plus, a prosecutor is not permitted to have a meaningful discussion with the defendant. However, an attorney can be a representative, can speak to the prosecutor in advance, negotiate, discuss, etc.
Having an attorney guide to help traverse the path can be very helpful and beneficial. An attorney can discuss trial strategies, the merits of any defenses, and what type of defense to employ.
Even if the evidence is overwhelming against the defendant, there are certain arguments, presentations, and work that can be done in advance to put somebody in a better light to obtain a more favorable disposition when the time comes.
How does the client’s age play into a DUI lawyer’s defense strategy?
It is up to the state whether to keep a minor DUI in the adult courts or let the juvenile system have it. Understanding that someone so young will not appreciate the realities of life and the consequences of their actions, an attorney might take a more educational, rehabilitative approach than with someone who is older.
Additionally, most minors with DUIs do not have extensive criminal histories or records, nor do they have a good history. However, the same burden of proof requirements for impairment apply for DUI and DWI charges regardless of the age of the person charged.
A DUI carries up to a year incarceration, 12 points on the driving record, and up to a $1,000 fine. A DWI, under a 0.05 BAC, has a maximum of 60 days in jail, 8 points, and a $500 fine.
Hire an Anne Arundel County DUI Lawyer
Even an adult maynot the lay of the land, the ins and outs of the courtrooms, or have relationships with the prosecutors and judges. You may not understand what to do when you or your minor is charged with a DUI. Anne Arundel County underage DUI cases can have lasting implications for the minor charged. Call an attorney today to start work on your case.