Can I fight a civil citation for smelling of alcohol if I’m underage?

UPDATED: Oct 10, 2011

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Can I fight a civil citation for smelling of alcohol if I’m underage?

Was at a party, before cops breathalyzed me to see if I was going to get cited, I had to go to the hospital. Once at the hospital I got a citation from a cop who was never at the party and said on the paper that “smelled of alcohol”.

Asked on October 10, 2011 under Criminal Law, Maryland


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The way to fight the citation is for you to appear in court and have the prosecution present its case against you for the citation that you received for being a minor with alcohol on your breath.

You need to remember that the prosecution bears the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt of the charges against you. Since you are a minor, most likely you will have to appear at the hearing with a parent or a legal guardian.

If no police officer appears at the hearing and/or if he or she does but fails to have the necessary test results as well as the chain of custody documentation against you, the citation most likely should be dismissed due to the prosecutions failure in its burden of proof.



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