Dealing with an OUI Charge if you are under the age of 21
Being charged with OUI in Massachusetts if you are under 21, has different consequences in terms of your license as opposed to if you were over the age of 21. When you are under 21, you should understand the following about your case:
- License implications for refusing a breath test;
- Taking a breath test with a result over .02 and over .08
- That the legal limit for someone under 21 is still the same as for someone over 21 for purposes of proving the offense in Court.
The BAC is still 0.08 for someone under the age of 21. For license purposes, the BAC is 0.02. However, for court purposes, it is 0.08. Often, the jury will not be given your age at the time when the offense occurred. However, as I mentioned before, your age is most crucial in regards to the license suspension you will face. If you lose the trial, your license will be suspended for 210 days. For adults, the license loss is only 45 days.
An underage driver is generally considered impaired by alcohol if they have a breath test result of .02 or greater. When examining the case, an attorney often looks at the reason the person was stopped initially. They examine how the person interacted with the officer in terms of their observations. The officer looks for slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, alertness, and the person’s balance and coordination of the field exercises.Understanding your Underage OUI Case Process
The process of an underage OUI case takes between six to nine months, depending on the court. We may be able to file a motion to suppress evidence (case specific), or the case may be fast-tracked and put on for a quick trial date. During the process, DelSignore Law will go out to at the scene, examine the evidence, interview witnesses, and gathers medical records. There is an initial fact-gathering process once the case begins, followed by court dates and whether the case requires a motion, goes to trial, or is resolved.
Even though you are under 21, the legal limit is still .08 for court purposes. In many cases that I have had, the government has never gotten evidence that my client was under 21 at the time of the arrest. Attorney DelSignore has had numerous trials with individuals under 21 who have been found not guilty based on the legal standard, burden of proof, and the presumption of innocence. At trial, there are strong defenses that can be raised regardless of the age of the individual charged. Again, it is important to remember that in court, the legal standard is .08 regardless of your age.
When a person is under 21 and they are pulled over for OUI, a couple of things happen. First, if the person is under age and refuses a breathalyzer test, they get a three-year license loss. If the person takes the breathalyzer test and fails, a couple of different laws govern that situation.
There are two suspensions: a 30-day suspension for the breath test being over .08 and another seven-month suspension based on the youth alcohol program. When someone is under 21, they will want to enroll in the youth alcohol program because that waives the seven-month suspension. For a six-month suspension, the person is left with only 30 days.
When a person is under the age of 21 and their breath test is over 0.08, they face a seven-month suspension. If a person’s breath test was over 0.04, they still have to do the youth alcohol program but do not face the 30-day suspension. In almost all cases, someone under 21 should probably enroll in the youth alcohol program regardless of how the case turns out because it allows them to potentially regain their driving privileges within a shorter span of time.Value of Working with a DelSignore Law Underage OUI Attorney
If you are under 21 and were charged with OUI, you need an experienced underage OUI lawyer who understands the license implications. If you refused the breath test, it is a three-year license loss, and you will need a lawyer who can help appeal the suspension at the RMV. An experienced lawyer may have an understanding of how the prosecutor is likely to prosecute the case and what questions they might ask in cross-examination. Work with an underage OUI attorney and know that you are in capable hands. Contact us at DelSignore Law today; we accept both phone calls and texts anytime, at 781-686-592.