Bethesda DUI Charges and Minors
Someone under the age of 18 who is pulled over for suspicion of a DUI can still be charged with a DUI. However, the case is not handled in the criminal court system, but instead in the juvenile court system. Anyone who is a minor in Bethesda and has been charged with a DUI should contact a Bethesda DUI attorney in who may be able to build their defense.
Process of a Juvenile Trial
Young people are governed by the juvenile branch of the Maryland Circuit Court. Generally speaking, with a blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) of .02 or higher, someone under the age of 18 can be charged and prosecuted with a DUI in the juvenile court system. Usually, these proceedings are lengthier than standard DUI proceedings as the courts want to make sure they have an opportunity to monitor a young person to try to correct any issues they might be having.
The court sets a number of status hearings or meetings with the judge to discuss progress. The student’s school records come into play to determine what their behavior and grades are like in school. Sometimes, these proceedings can last for years as the judge continues to set status conferences to watch over individuals, make sure they are staying on the right track, and are not positioning themselves in the future to be at that same point they were once at.
DUI Penalties For People Under 18
The courts and prosecutors treat these situations seriously because, at such a young age, they want to make sure to address any problems the individual might have.
When an adult gets a DUI, it is easier to explain if that person was out legally drinking and made a bad decision to drive a vehicle. Someone who is 15 or 16 years old who is caught driving under the influence of alcohol raises red flags about substance abuse that need to be addressed by the court system.
With that said, the penalties are usually not jail-related unless there are a number of different prior offenses. However, they do require a lengthier period of observation by the court system than an adult DUI might require.
Working With An Attorney
An underage DUI attorney will tell someone who is under 18 that they need to get into a position of damage control as soon as possible after their charge. Alcohol education programs must be started. The person should demonstrate that they are in school and are participating in their standard education and are getting the best grades possible. They need to show the judge that whatever mistake they made, whatever issues there are, they are receiving treatment for those issues proactively, trying to maintain a productive nature, and be a productive member of society.
The nuances of cases in Bethesda of DUI’s and minors, along with the awareness, treatment, and also the legal issues that come up in the procedure of arguments that could be made to get these charges dismissed are not that different than they would be in a regular DUI case. A person needs to make sure all their rights are preserved and all those issues are heard in court before any criminal activity moves through the court system and comes to a resolution.