Expectations in Maryland Underage DUI Cases
As a parent, you may have many concerns about your child’s DUI case and what implications an underage DUI charge could have on their future. An underage DUI attorney could relieve some of your fears and help set realistic expectations in Maryland underage DUI cases. If you want to know more about what steps you can take to protect your child’s future, speak with a dedicated underage DUI lawyer that could help you.
Expectations of the DUI Process
One of the expectations in Maryland underage DUI cases is that law enforcement will notify the parents as soon as possible. The police will go to the accused’s home and tell their parents about the DUI charge because they are a minor. The police may want to have that conversation with the parents first. The fact is, if the minor is arrested, they are going to call their parents anyway.
There is an immediate need to:
- Get themselves into an Alcohol Education Course
- Go to a couple of AA meetings to see what it is all about
- Get a good mentor
- Talk to the right people
There is a lot that they need to do in terms of pressing because juvenile courts can be tough. The system could be very demanding of what these minors do to show they are good citizens and not someone who needs to be put in jail for a weekend, even if it is at a juvenile facility.
Treatment of Underage DUI Cases
Prosecutors and judges are very strict when it comes to minor DUI charges. There is a lot of community involvement in these types of cases. The minors are placed in comprehensive programs that are all inclusive between treatment, outreach, and community service. There are a number of things that the juvenile court can ask them to go through the juvenile process that the regular courts would not necessarily do.
Minor DUI cases are handled in the same way as any other DUI. The same standards of evidence are applicable. However, the courts are certainly are a bit more serious with minors. They do have the presumption that everyone can make a mistake (adults and kids), but alcohol does have a legal number, and that is 21. If a person is under the age of 21, and more so if they are under the age of 18, the courts are going to be more strict as they get younger because they are going to feel there is an immediate need to intervene. This is very troubling for judges to see people at such a young age already using alcohol at all and by being here, they have abused alcohol. They are going to want to cut that off as quickly as possible. Minor DUI cases are held in the juvenile courts. In a good number of counties, their juvenile court is a separate division in their circuit court.
The Severity of Sentences and Consequences in DUI Cases
The severity rides with the circumstance and in the juvenile setting, they are certainly going to be very demanding of their participation in alcohol intervention programs for anyone who is under the age of 18, or just 18, and still in high school. They already have a demanding schedule with their finals, their mid-terms, their daily classes, their SATs and ACTs, and now they have all these things that they need to complete per plea deal or disposition in their juvenile court matter.
Questions an Attorney May Ask the Accused
Some of the same standard questions that lawyers ask include:
- Where was the person when they were pulled over
- What was the name of the road
- Why did they get pulled over
- What did the officer discuss with them
- Were they advised of all their rights under DR-15
- Did they submit to a breathalyzer
- Did they refuse the breathalyzer
- Were the field tests done
- What fields tests did they have them do
Evidence the Defense May Use
One of the expectations in Maryland underage DUI cases is that an attorney is going to want to collect as much evidence as possible and use that evidence in order to build a person’s case. The defense attorney would certainly want to see the body camera video, all of the information that comes along with the body camera video, and may want to speak to the arresting officer.
The questions are pretty much identical to a regular adult DUI; a DUI is a DUI. It still has to be proven the same way. The only difference between being under the age of 18, under the age of 21, or over the age of 21, is that they obviously are in a different court setting and the legal limit can go up or down, depending on one’s age.
Importance of Hiring a Maryland Underage DUI Attorney
Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney for underage DUI is very important. Mainly because the accused minor does not want to go to jail because the juvenile facilities are not a happy place to be. Spending time in a juvenile detention could take the individual out of school and set them back a year. Being detained in a juvenile detention facility could also prevent someone from going to college or gaining employment further down the line. Due to the fact that underage DUIs can have such a huge impact on a minor’s future, individuals should contact an attorney immediately. If your child has been been charged with an underage DUI offense, speak with a skilled lawyer that could help set realistic expectations in Maryland underage DUI cases and fight for you.