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Minors Charged as Adults for DUIs in Maryland

It is rare to see a minor charged as an adult for a DUI in Maryland. The only time that might be the case is when there was a significant accident and somebody was seriously injured or killed as a result of that accident. DUI cases for a minor are usually not handled by the adult courts.

It is important for a child charged as an adult to hire an experienced DUI lawyer. A local DUI lawyer will have extensive knowledge of DUI charges for minors in Maryland and know how best to approach the prosecutor, the judge, and the members of juvenile services.

This knowledge of local policy as well as local members of the legal community will help the attorney work on the process of resolving the case. It is extremely important to get the juvenile a fair forum and the best result possible, in order to ensure that these charges do not limit their future.

Legal BAC Levels for Minors

When there is a minor charged as an adult for a DUI in Maryland, it is most likely because a minor cannot legally have any alcohol in their system. An adult usually begins the case as a consequence of a DUI or DWI in Maryland when they have an alcohol level of 0.06 or above.

Minors are usually not permitted to have an alcohol concentration above 0.02 because it is legal for minors to drink even a small amount. The 0.02 takes into account any margins of error by the machine testing the alcohol level.

Due to the illegality of underage drinking, minors are not allowed to have the same BAC levels of an adult. An adult is permitted to have up to 0.05 BAC level without any impaired driving related charges brought against them for an alcohol violation.

A minor charged with drunk driving as an adult typically will have an alcohol level well above 0.02 because a BAC level of 0.02 falls within the margin of error showing that a breathalyzer machine detected alcohol in the minor’s system.

Potential DUI Penalties

The penalties for a minor charged as an adult for a DUI in Maryland are the same otherwise. For a DUI, there is a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine as a non-subsequent offender. It is rare for a minor to get these consequences in adult court because DUI charges are misdemeanor charges that are not considered significant enough to be waived up to the adult court system unless there was a serious car accident that caused death or serious physical injury to another party.

Contacting a Lawyer

Underage drunk driving cases can have complexities that adult cases do not necessarily have. An experienced attorney knows what steps to take early on to make sure that the court system and judges recognize that the juvenile takes the incident seriously. In cases where there is a minor charged as an adult for a DUI in Maryland,  it is beneficial to show that they are getting the help they need to alleviate any concerns the court system might have about future violations.