As a parent, there is an endless list of worries for our children. When they’re young, we feel anxious about them making new friends or doing well in sports. However, children grow into young adults and become more interested in mature activities. They may even find themselves in trouble because of peer pressure, curiosity, and feeling invulnerable. If your teenager makes a dangerous mistake and is charged with a DUI, you may feel horrified and disoriented. Parents cannot prepare for the sudden realization that their child can make a mistake that could cost them their life and harm someone else in the process. Finding yourself in this situation is difficult to process, but planning your following actions can significantly help you and your teenager. What Should You Do after Your Teen Is Charged with a DUI? A DUI is a serious offense, and the State of Maryland has zero-tolerance when it comes to underage drinking while driving. This means that regardless of the driver’s age, they can face the same consequences as those of the legal drinking age. In some cases, minors may also face other administrative punishments. The DUI process can be complicated, but taking a few steps can increase your chances of having the best possible outcome. Understand the Legal Process Those cited with a DUI may face a suspension or be required to have an ignition interlock on their vehicle. An underage driver that was drinking before driving can also face criminal penalties regardless of their age. In most states, the legal penalties for underage drinking are severe with the goal to deter minors from partaking in alcohol and driving under the influence. Discuss Financial Issues When a person is charged with a DUI, there are many penalties that they can encounter. One of the main issues is the expensive fines that an underage driver may face. There are also expenses for alcohol education programs and license reinstatement. Discuss these financial problems with your attorney so they can offer guidance on the best course of action. Contact a DUI Attorney After the initial shock sets in, taking action and looking for legal advice from an experienced DUI attorney can help you ground yourself. The process of an underage DUI charge is unfamiliar to most and comes with complex proceedings and terminology. An underage DUI attorney can offer you honest and reliable advice so you can have one less thing to worry about. The sooner you contact a dependable lawyer, the more time they will have to discuss your best options. By gathering evidence and preparing to advocate for you and your teen’s rights, a lawyer will offer reliable legal representation for your teen’s charge. Penalties for an Underage DUI The state of Maryland can put restrictions on all drivers’ licenses for individuals who are under the age of 21 with any residual alcohol noted in their system. This means that anyone under the age of 21 can lose their license with a BAC of 0.02 percent. However, if they have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or greater, a minor can face both a driver’s license suspension and restriction, as well as criminal punishments. Another critical factor in determining the penalties for an underage DUI is whether this is a first-time offense. For a first-time DUI offense, a minor can face up to a $500 fine, a possible two-month jail sentence, and a six month driver’s license suspension. If this is not the first offense in a five-year period, your teen can encounter harsher penalties like up to one year in jail, a suspended license, and fines ranging from $500 to $2,000. Talk to an Experienced Underage DUI Attorney Today A DUI charge can impact your teenager’s future advancements like college acceptance, academic honors, and even future job prospects. It’s crucial that you contact an attorney with underage DUI experience so you can have the best possible outcome for your case. The lawyers at the Law Office of Hillel Traub can help you navigate the intricacies of an underage DUI. With over 20 years of experience working in the Baltimore and Maryland area, we’re passionate about working with those in the community during their times of need. Call (410) 580-1100 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation today.