If you or a loved one was charged with underage DUI in Maryland, there is no time to waste. Facing criminal charges due to DUI can lead to severe criminal and civil penalties. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras , we know first-hand the difficulties a criminal conviction for a DUI can bring into your life. That is why we dedicate all of our efforts to protecting and upholding your rights as a defendant.
Do not waste time and retain the services of a skilled and dedicated Maryland DUI defense attorney today. Call our law offices today for a free, confidential consultation on your case. Our phone number is (410) 694-7291.
DUI for Drivers Under 21 in Maryland
DUI or driving under the influence is a severe crime in Maryland. Convicted DUI offenders can face time in jail and steep fines. Furthermore, they expose themselves to have their conviction on their criminal record, which can lead to difficulties down the road. If you are under the age of 21, you may wonder if you will be treated as an adult in your case. If you are under the age of 21, but over the age of 18, the court may treat you as an adult.
If you are under the age of 18, your case may be handled by the Juvenile Court System. This doesn’t mean you are off the hook for your criminal offense. It means you will still face penalties, but they may not be as high or severe as the penalties you would face if you were tried as an adult. It does not matter whether you are under 18 or 21; you need immediate legal assistance when facing underage DUI charges. Our Maryland underage DUI attorneys can assist you.
Penalties for Underage DUI Convictions in Maryland
Individuals under the age of 21 are subject to different penalties that can have lasting consequences. This is especially true since Maryland has a zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving. This policy also includes underage offenders. The state has imposed a limit to the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels for all individuals operating their vehicles on the road. If you are pulled over by the police and your breath test shows a BAC of .08% or more, you can be charged with drunk driving. However, zero-tolerance DUI laws can be more stringent for individuals under the age of 21. Under Maryland law, any person under the age of 21, with a BAC of .02% or higher, can be charged with DUI.
Underage individuals who are convicted for a first DUI offense can face a six-month suspension on their driver’s license. This can lead to different difficulties, primarily if you depend on your vehicle to go to school or work. Additionally, you may be ordered to participate in and complete an alcohol treatment program. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) refers the minor to participate in what is known as the Ignition Interlock System. Individuals participating in this program will need to install a breath analyzing device in their car. If you are placed under this program, you will need to have your breath analyzed by the interlocking device before starting your vehicle. If the device detects alcohol, your car will not turn on.
Things can become more complicated if you are convicted of a second DUI offense. If you are convicted of a second DUI offense in Maryland, your license can be suspended for up to a year or until you turn 21. Additionally, you may face incarceration and steep fines. Furthermore, if you were involved in a fatal accident due to a DUI, you may be tried as an adult and the court may impose even harsher penalties. Make sure you retain the services of a skilled Maryland DUI attorney if you were charged with underage DUI.
Can I Defend Myself Against My DUI Charges in Maryland?
You may wonder if there is a way to defend yourself after against DUI charges in Maryland. The short answer is yes. However, it would be best if you had competent, skilled, and experienced legal assistance. Your DUI defense attorney can help you build and implement different defense strategies that can assist you during your hearing with the court.
For instance, your lawyer can argue that the BAC testing machine or breathalyzer was not accurate in determining your blood alcohol concentration levels. Breathalyzers can be sensitive and need constant tune-ups and proper calibration to function correctly. Your criminal defense attorney can challenge the results of your breath test by arguing that the machine was outdated, lacked adequate calibration, or was damaged.
Another argument your lawyer can use in your criminal defense case is that the arresting officer did not follow established law enforcement protocols. An officer must have a reasonable suspicion to believe you were driving under the influence at the moment of your arrest. If the prosecution can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt you were drunk driving, your case may be dismissed.
No matter the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you need to retain the services of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Facing the criminal justice system without competent, quality legal representation can put you at risk of losing your freedom and facing steep fines. Contact a dedicated Maryland DUI defense attorney if you or a loved one was charged with underage DUI.
Maryland Underage DUI Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was charged with underage DUI in Maryland, our DUI defense attorneys can help. For years, our Maryland criminal defense attorneys have helped thousands of individuals facing criminal charges. Thanks to our extensive experience, we can fight to uphold and defend your rights as a defendant. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras , we know how difficult facing the criminal justice system can be, especially if you are a minor. That is why retaining the services of an experienced, dedicated, and skilled DUI defense attorney is crucial in preserving your freedom. To learn more about all of our service and how we can assist you, call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291.