Process of a Maryland Underage DUI Case
The process of a Maryland underage DUI case can be life-altering. A DUI case for someone under the age of 21 is an under-the-influence case. The defense lawyer has the person take an alcohol assessment done by a licensed professional. The person attends an alcohol education program of 12, 26, or 48 weeks, depending on the severity of the drinking. If the person is assessed as a social drinker, they are put into a 12-hour basic learning program to teach them how to make better decisions, avoid social pressures, and things to that effect. Enrolling in an alcohol education program shows that the person takes the drinking issues and the charges seriously.
Because the person is under 21, the defense lawyer addresses the problems a little bit differently. They make sure the person is assessed and gets into treatment. Many of these facilities and one-on-one therapists understand that the person is under the age of 21 and may add an additional class or more, depending on their professional opinion. The therapist may decide on some treatment that effectively shows the person can be trusted going forward. The person broke a number of laws when they were drinking under the age of 21. The public perception can be difficult to overcome, but with a trusted attorney, the legal process can go smoother.
Factors to Determine Impairment
One factor used to determine impairment in an underage drive is their age – whether the person is under the age of 21. Other factors are the standard field sobriety tests, the observations made by the officer, and the breath test. The police officer observes the vehicle in motion and the individual. It is similar to a DUI in that an adult faces, but the person being under the age of 21 makes it much more tenuous with the courts. They see a young person who made a big mistake, which is why the process of a Maryland underage DUI case can be harsher.
Underage DUI vs. Standard DUI
An underage DUI case is handled vigorously by the state’s attorney’s offices to head off future problems. They presume that anyone who gets a DUI is capable of getting a second DUI. They have to be somewhat lenient, but they come down strongly on these cases. There are judges in the state of Maryland who are strict and anyone under the age of 21 is going to do a weekend in jail.
There are a couple of judges that will give the person a weekend when they are under the age of 25. They may give someone probation before judgment, which is not a conviction and is not on a person’s record down the line, but the PBJ is still there. It is not expungable in the state of Maryland. The person gets a really hard look at the criminal justice system as to the way it operates. They do not want to be put in jail. It is not worth the risk. There is no need for a person to go through this, but they will take it seriously because they are going to get the strongest message possible to scare the person so they do not get in trouble again. The process of a Maryland underage DUI case can be scary. It is important to note that an underage DUI case is always heard in the district court of the county in which the person was stopped.