Howard County Underage DUI Lawyer
If you or your child has been charged with underage driving under the influence, you will need the assistance of an experienced Howard County underage DUI lawyer. Maryland takes underage drinking and driving very seriously. The state has established guidelines that are much stricter – and the penalties harsher – than for standard DUI charges. For this reason, you will want to have your Howard County DUI attorney by your side to guide you through the legal process and advocate for you in court.
- Parents’ Role in Underage DUI Cases
- Student DUI Charges
Why Hire a Howard County Underage DUI Lawyer?
Your underage DUI lawyer in Howard County can negotiate with prosecutors to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed, depending on the circumstances of your case. He or she can also investigate the evidence against you and evaluate the strength of your defense and how you might fare at trial.
Underage DUI Laws in Maryland
Under Maryland Code 27-101, a minor can be charged with a DUI with a blood alcohol content level as low as 0.02 percent. To put this in perspective, the same BAC level in an adult would establish a presumption that the driver was not impaired by any alcohol in his or her system. In comparison, a BAC of 0.08 or higher qualifies as a DUI for a driver over the age of 21.
Because the BAC standards for underage drivers are so stringent, it is important you work with a Howard County underage DUI lawyer to investigate whether the breathalyzer or blood test results were accurate. Your Howard County underage DUI attorney can look into whether the samples were handled properly and whether the equipment could have malfunctioned. With such strict BAC guidelines, even the slightest error could cause a driver to be wrongly charged.
Severity of Underage DUI Charges
The focus on underage drinking is so strong from law enforcement that the Howard County police actually put out warnings to warn teens and parents of the consequences of underage drinking. Therefore if a person is caught underage drinking, they should know that they will be treated quite severely.
With that said, generally, these types of cases are treated severely for two reasons. First, if an individual is underage and drinking, they are at risk of making poor decisions such as going behind the wheel of a vehicle. Drinking and driving is one of the most well-publicized laws the State of Maryland. Underage drinking is dangerous for anyone, and it is even more dangerous for someone in possession of alcohol to consume it while driving.
The second is that law enforcement officers are looking at them as an impressionable young adult, who is making poor decisions already, and sending a strong message right away to hopefully curb them from making the similar choices, so they must be penalized in some fashion.
Maryland Underage DUI Penalties
Underage DUI in Maryland carries a penalty of up to two months in jail and $500 in fines. In addition, a driver may have his or her driving privileges suspended or revoked for an indefinite period of time.
Licenses are handled by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and with regards to what proceedings a person would have for an under 21 penalty, it is much more severe that what they would get if they were above the age of 21.
For a first-time offense, a person is facing a six-month suspension. For a second offense, their license will be revoked for a year or, in some cases, until they reach the age of 21. This is in addition to any penalties for a BAC 0.08 or higher, which are set by the MVA. A person who is under 21 faces the enhancements of all of the penalties, especially since they are not at the legal age to drink.
When a person signs and accepts a Maryland license, they have signed to adhere to the penalties of violating traffic laws, as well as the rules of the transportation articles. The penalties will certainly be handed out and they will be strict. Administrative judges do not vary much on these penalties.
This can be an incredible hardship for young drivers who are working or going to school. Additionally, an underage DUI conviction can greatly affect a person’s future since they may serve jail time which can ultimately affect their ability to go to school or to hold certain jobs.
Therefore, it is imperative that a person facing these charges contacts a lawyer right away. If a person has been charged with underage DUI, their Howard County underage DUI attorney can ask that the court takes into account the circumstances of their situation and ask that they be granted limited driving privileges, for instance.
Call a Howard County Underage DUI Lawyer Today
Our firm’s experienced underage driving attorneys in Howard County understand that minor drivers often come under unfair suspicion of drinking and driving, especially if they are pulled over late at night or in the early morning hours. Underage drivers may not be aware of how their interactions with police may inadvertently affect an officer’s perception of whether a driver is impaired.
There are a number of effective defenses that can be employed to combat underage DUI charges. Our Howard County underage DUI lawyers work hard to mount a strong defense on behalf of our clients, keeping their records clear of penalties that could affect their future educational and professional opportunities.