Minor Charged as an Adult for a DUI in Montgomery County
A minor may be charged as an adult for a DUI under limited circumstances, particularly if there is a significant car accident or another party was seriously injured. In such cases, prosecutors may decide to pursue the DUI claim in general district court as opposed to juvenile court. Considering the significantly harsher penalties in a district court case, a minor charged as an adult for a DUI in Montgomery County should seek experienced legal representation.
Blood Alcohol Content for a Minor
The legal BAC level for an adult to safely and legally drive is 0.07 or lower. For someone who is underage, however, the BAC level that constitutes driving under the influence is 0.02 or higher. Essentially, a minor may not operate a vehicle after consuming alcohol in any amount.
A minor charged as an adult for a DUI is subject to the same statutory language of proof of the DUI as their age dictates, regardless of whether they are charged as a juvenile or as an adult. If a minor causes a serious injury in an accident and is found to have a BAC of 0.03, for example, they may be tried as an adult but still held to the legal standard of a minor DUI in relation to the blood alcohol content.
How Age Affects a DUI Case
Age does not have a significant impact on a criminal defense strategy, but it may have an impact on how a defense attorney attempts to mitigate a defendant’s penalties. Sometimes, being particularly young can work in a defendant’s favor. Youth may suggest to the court that the person does not have the maturity level to make the right decisions, and perhaps they should not suffer consequences for the rest of their life based on a mistake they made as a teenager. A DUI attorney in Montgomery County may be able to work with prosecutors and judges to mitigate a minor defendant’s incarceration, even if they are tried as an adult.
The penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol are a maximum of 12 months in jail, a maximum of 12 points on a person’s driver’s license, and a maximum of a $1,000 fine. By statute, the penalty does not change whether a person is an adult, a minor, or a juvenile, but a judge may have the ability to slightly alter a particular penalty during sentencing.
Hiring an Experienced DUI Lawyer
Lawyers in Montgomery County may understand the inner workings of the court system more fully than a layperson. An attorney may know the judges, prosecutors, and agents of the court, and have awareness of their temperaments, likes and dislikes when preparing a strategy for a case of this nature. Relationships help local defense attorneys make representations to prosecutors or judges they know and give them credibility.
Hiring a local attorney who is familiar with the court system and the parties within that court system can be invaluable in terms of how a case is handled and successfully resolved on the client’s behalf. If you are a minor charged as an adult for a DUI in Montgomery County, do not hesitate to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.