How should I defend an MIC citation?

I am 19 and was charged with an MIC. I want to know whether I should plead guilty or not as well as any, and all, other advice I can get. It is the first time for anything to go on my record. I did blow over the legal limit on a breathalyzer test. I am very nervous about the whole thing and need to be prepared.

Asked on July 5, 2012 under Criminal Law, Idaho

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Because you are 19 years old, you have a few more defenses than someone who is 17 or younger.  If you were at a residence and your parents or guardian approved your consumption, then this would be a defense to your MIC charge.  If you were on road or a public place... you're not going to have much luck with a defense. 

Whether or not to plea guilty or how to defend you case will depend on the facts of your case.  As noted above, the facts will determine wether or not you have a statutory defense.  Another possibility is to challenge the stop or detention that resulted in your charge.  If the initial encounter was illegal, then the evidence against you obtained after the encounter should be suppressed-- including the breath test you took.

If you're good for the charge, then your best bet is to pled guilty or no contest and see what is the best deal you can get.  It seems you are stressed-- which is understandable considering it is a criminal charge--- but you should keep in mind that you are a first offender and the court has the option of approving a lighter sentence for you because you are a first offender.  The court can also order community service hours to replace a fine-- which could save you a few dollars.  If you go two years without any new issues, then this charged can be expunged-- which means it's off your record and can't be used against you.


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