Maryland Underage DUI Lawyer
When you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in the state of Maryland and you are under 21 years old, you will face a unique set of circumstances. If a driver is over the age of 18, they are tried as an adult during the criminal part of the case. Any driver under the age of 18 will face charges in juvenile court. However, the fact is that no matter your age, the penalties facing a person arrested and convicted of a DUI in the state of Maryland are swift and severe. For this reason it is important you consult with a DUI lawyer in Maryland as soon as possible to discuss your case, and minimize the amount of harm done by your charge.
- College Students and DUI Charges in Maryland
- Prosecutors, Judges, and Underage Drinking in Maryland DUI Cases
- DUI Charges and Minors Under Age 18
Underage Administrative Sanctions for DUI in Maryland
If you are charged with a DUI in Maryland and you under the age of 21, then you will face for two layers of penalties. The first layer of consequences will be the general MVA administrative suspension that anyone arrested for a DUI faces. In order to qualify for this hearing, you have to request it within . Some other things to remember include:
- The MVA administrative hearing will be held in front of an administrative law judge and take place at the Office of Administrative Hearings (OHA).
- While the judge is not a “black robe judge,” they should be treated as though they are. They should be called “Judge,” and shown respect, especially sense they have the status of your driver’s license in their hands.
The second layer of penalties that you will face will be much stricter than the standard penalties, since you will have what is referred to as an “alcohol restriction” on your driver’s license. Basically, what this means is that since you are not yet 21, you are not allowed to have any trace of alcohol present in your bloodstream while you are operating a motor vehicle. Technically speaking, this means that you cannot have a blood alcohol level (BAC) that is over .02, as compared to the over-21 limit of .08. Some suspensions you will face include:
- The first offense for an underage DUI comes with a six-month suspension of your license.
- The second offense for an underage DUI will be revocation of all of your driving privileges.
The penalties for the alcohol restriction are usually scheduled separately from the MVA, and if you fail to take action, then the suspensions may also take effect at separate times. For example, you may face a six-month suspension for the alcohol restriction and an additional 90 days for the actual breath test result.
What to Do When Facing an Underage DUI in Maryland?
The first step you should take is to hire competent legal counsel. The second step should be to ensure that your attorney has your MVA hearings consolidated. The third step will be to prepare for the possibility of harsher penalties than for the typical Maryland DUI offender.
What Is Meant by Harsher Penalties?
One the MVA administrative hearing is concluded, you will still have to face the judge presiding over your case. There are generally two things that a judge will be looking for when it is time to sentence someone. The first thing that is considered is whether the person has learned their lesson from the crime that was committed. The second involves the odds that the person will commit another, similar crime. There are several steps that you have to take in order to show that you are serious about the situation:
- Stop drinking completely.
- Find an appropriate program that is well known. You will have a better chance of a successful outcome in your case if you are proactive about the situation.
- Work with your lawyer to prove to the judge that you are not at risk to be a repeat offender.
Your DUI Lawyer
If you are charged with a DUI in Maryland and you are underage, you need to seek legal representation as soon as possible. This will give you your very best opportunity to have a successful outcome to your underage DUI. Your initial consultation is free and requires absolutely no commitment on your part, so call right away to begin taking steps toward a more positive future.