Howard County Student DUI Charges
Although the maximum BAC level for an underage case in Howard County is .02, the court generally has zero tolerance for underage DUIs, including student DUIs. As a result, these cases are treated very strictly, and not many of them end up in juvenile courts. These cases will be handled in court in the same way as a standard DUI case with a slight change in the law based on the restrictions on the age of drinking and the age of the individual.
It is important for a university student in Howard County to understand their university’s particular code of conduct, as well as the penalties that can result from an underage DUI. A Howard County underage DUI lawyer can help guide a student through the legal process, ensure that they understand the charges against them, and work to minimize the consequences they are facing as much as possible.
When charged with student DUI charges in Howard County, the defendant is prosecuted in a way where the court is trying to send a message that the individual, nor anyone, should be drinking and driving. Many judges will take the time in a case to make that impression on someone who is under the age of 18.
The judges and courts as a whole take student DUIs so seriously because a drinking and driving lifestyle and charges can hinder their ability to get into college and can ultimately prevent them from developing into an adult who can have certain jobs and pursue certain opportunities since they would have a criminal record.
Whereas most DUI cases involve a person who is of legal drinking age but simply should not have driven a car, a student’s DUI charges can be thought of as inexcusable in the minds of judges since the student should not have been drinking in the first place and then still chose to drive.
Student DUI Consequences
An underage DUI can potentially impact a person’s student status, as well as their future. Howard County student DUI charges can have penalties including jail time and/or fines. These penalties can hinder a person’s ability to continue at a university, or, if they have not even applied to university yet, impact whether they are accepted. This negative impact on student status can ultimately impede on their ability to pursue certain career opportunities.
Additionally, the person’s criminal record can potentially affect their security clearance and their ability to live in certain places. Howard County student DUI charges can also have a social stigma attached to them which may follow the person for the rest of their life and can change the way friends and family look at them.
A person should also be aware that even if they are under 21, they are still violating the transportation article of Maryland. The transportation articles are valid for anyone who drives a vehicle, so as soon as a person is issued their permit, they are expected to comply with the transportation articles completely. Therefore, if a person is already a Maryland licensed driver, their license would be seized and, at that point in time, they are given a temporary license although they still have to answer to the MVA. They also have to answer to the district courts and will have to appear for two hearings.
The seriousness of the charges makes it all the more important for a student facing Howard County student DUI charges to seek legal guidance from an attorney. Getting an alcohol assessment, getting into their programs, and getting to AA meetings to show that, even if the person does not have a drinking problem, they are still taking their case seriously and are pursuing opportunities to avoid these charges in the future.
Hiring an Attorney
If a student is facing DUI charges in Howard County, it is imperative that they contact an attorney right away. Cases involving Howard County student DUI charges need to be handled more delicately than other DUI cases due to the age of the individual. Additionally, the programs that an attorney may want to get them into should be somewhat age-specific.
There is no harm that can come from the action with older people going through the same sort of case, but some students, as they come in with more of a chip on their shoulder, will be less inclined to want to participate in any programs. They are even less willing to admit the mistake, so an attorney may want to get them to the right programs as early as possible. By doing so, the attorney can show that the student is taking their charges seriously and is working to avoid the same occurrence in the future.
It is very important for a student to have an attorney that can handle these matters when the defendant is under the age of 21, or even under the age of 18, and get them to the right place in order to minimize the penalties they are facing as much as possible, if not dismiss them.