The state of Maryland takes a strong stance against underage drinking and alcohol-related crimes for minors. The penalties that can follow a conviction can be life-altering and affect multiple areas of a person’s life, even if he or she is young and this is a first offense.
If you are a minor and face alcohol-related charges, you will find it beneficial to take action to protect your rights as soon as possible. It does not matter how old you are, these are serious criminal charges that merit a serious criminal defense. There is much at stake, including your future and your freedom.
The penalties for minors facing alcohol-related charges
If convicted of an alcohol-related crime, the penalties that you could face will depend on the nature of your charges and other factors. The various alcohol-related charges for minors and their corresponding penalties include:
- Possession, purchase or consumption of alcohol: Minors charged with this type of crime could face penalties that include fines amounting to $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for subsequent offenses.
- Violation of alcohol restriction: Violation of restrictions placed on a minor will result in required participation in the ignition interlock program or license suspension. Duration of the program depends on the history of previous violations.
- Minor in possession of fake ID: Minors found guilty of this crime will face penalties that can include a fine of $500 and up to two months in prison. Also possible is the revocation or suspension of their driver’s license, as well as having 12 points added to their driving record.
- Caught selling fake IDs: Minors convicted of this crime could face fines up to $2,000 and penalties that include up to two years in prison. These penalties apply to each fake ID that the minor sells. The minor could also face federal charges and prosecution.
- Underage drinking and driving: When convicted of underage DUI, minors could face jail time, fines and other detrimental consequences. A conviction will remain on the individual’s record permanently, even if that person is under the age of 18.
If you or your child is currently dealing with the repercussions of alcohol-related criminal charges, a strong defense is necessary to adequately confront these charges. A conviction could affect educational opportunities, scholarships, and even career options. An underage DUI or other type of alcohol-related crime can affect your future, but a conviction or a guilty plea is never your only option.