There may be circumstances under which a minor is charged as an adult in a Fredericksburg DUI case. Often, these are cases in which the minor is almost 18 and in which the individual either has a significant enough record with Juvenile Domestic Relations Court that they are charged as an adult. Sometimes, the DUI is coupled with something more serious such as a death or some type of felony crime. Either way, an experienced DUI lawyer could work to build a strong defense.
No matter a minor’s BAC, they may still be charged with DUI as an adult. If a person of any age has a BAC of 0.08 or above, they will be charged with a DUI. If a person is under the age of 21, they have a heightened expectation not to have any alcohol in their system whatsoever, and they can be criminally liable even if they only have a BAC of 0.02. That is called a Baby DUI.
If a person has a 0.08 BAC, they will be charged under the full DUI statutes. If their BAC is between 0.02 and 0.08 and they are under the age of 21, they will be charged with DUI under a special statute designed to target individuals who should not be drinking at all, whether or not they are at 0.08 level.
A minor convicted as an adult is going to face the same penalties for a DUI as any other minor, but without the possibility of a juvenile diversion program or alternate sentence. For driving privileges and certain other technical issues when dealing with a juvenile, a person is facing the same charge under the same criminal statute. The exception of the Baby DUI still includes the same time in jail or the same license suspension.
A defense attorney’s job is to find the evidence, weigh the evidence, prepare strong evidence for trial, and explain that evidence to the court. If the case goes to trial, their job is to provide a zealous defense to the charges for their client. They will also be negotiating with the prosecutor and potentially working out some type of plea agreement if it is in the client’s best interests.
Whether or not a client’s age plays into a DUI lawyer’s defense strategy depends on the facts of the case. It is rare that a defendant’s age is going to play into the defense unless it is a situation in which the individual is of age to drink in another country or in a different jurisdiction and there is some type of argument culturally that could explain the low level of alcohol in their system.
If a minor is charged as an adult for a Fredericksburg DUI, that means there is something much more serious going on with their case. Most likely, somebody is injured or killed as a result of the minor’s driving under the influence. As such, they are probably facing a significant amount of time either in jail or in prison.
Under these circumstances, a minor defendant needs a knowledgeable DUI lawyer with experience working on high-stakes cases.