If you’re being charged with an underage DWI, even if you’re a first-time offender, you could suffer significant penalties. Addison, Texas has a zero-tolerance policy toward underage drinking and driving, so Texas judges can be very strict with offenders.
However, our firm may be able to have your charge dropped or reduced or help you in other ways. One of our DWI attorneys may be able to get you sentenced to probation rather than jail. In a case review, we’ll go over your situation with you and tell you more about working with our Addison underage DWI attorney.
What Is an Underage DWI in Addison?
An underage DWI is the same, legally, as a standard DWI. It is not the same as a DUI charge. If you were under 21 and arrested with a blood alcohol concentration at or over 0.08, the police can charge you with driving while intoxicated (DWI).
What Is the Difference Between Underage DWI and DUI?
If you’re under 21 years old and you drove with any detectable amount of alcohol in your system, you can be charged with a DUI. A DWI charge means you are over the legal limit.
In some cases, a compassionate officer will charge you with a DUI instead of a DWI.
Penalties for Underage DWI and DUI
The penalties for an underage DWI are as follows, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety:
- 1st-offense DWI: Class B misdemeanor with a punishment of 72 hours to 6 months of jail time, a fine of no more than $2,000, and a license suspension of up to a year
- 2nd-offense DWI: Class A misdemeanor with a punishment of 30 days to a year of jail time, a fine of no more than $4,000, and a license suspension up to 2 years
- 3rd or subsequent-offense DWI: Third-degree felony with a punishment of 180 days to two years in jail, a potential 2-year license suspension, and a fine of up to $10,000
If you committed intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter, you will also face felony charges.
If you are charged with DUI instead, you will face the following penalties:
- Up to a $500 fine
- A license suspension of up to 60 days
- Between 20 and 40 hours of community service
- Mandatory alcohol-awareness classes
Other Penalties You Could Face if You Are Found Guilty of Underage DWI in Addison
If you are found guilty of driving while intoxicated, you can face other penalties beyond fines and potential jail time. Once you’ve finished with your state-mandated punishment, you may face penalties like:
- Having trouble finding housing
- Experiencing difficulties getting into college
- Living with a criminal charge on your record
- Having issues finding a job
- Facing scrutiny from your peers
An underage DWI charge in Addison can impact every area of your life. Get started with our team so we can defend you.
How Our Addison Underage DWI Attorney Can Help You
Right now, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the charge and potential penalties you’re facing. However, you don’t have to face it all alone. You have the right to an attorney, and one from our firm will fight for a dismissal or reduction of your charge.
As a criminal defense lawyer, your attorney will be able to defend you and advocate for you throughout your case. To benefit you, your attorney will:
- Protect you from other parties: The authorities or even the prosecution can contact and even question you about the incident. To protect you from them and from accidentally incriminating yourself, your lawyer will take the calls for you.
- Collect evidence for a case: You may have a convincing case that contradicts the one against you. To build a case, your lawyer will seek out supportive evidence, such as the BAC test results and any police body camera video footage of the arrest.
- Corroborate your case: To bolster your case, your lawyer will also collect corroborative evidence, such as a written statement from a witness and even verbal testimony from an expert witness, like a car accident reconstructionist.
- Challenge the evidence against you: There could be issues with certain evidence that would make it inadmissible. For example, if the BAC test was not administered properly, the results could be skewed and inadmissible.
- Establish the best defense(s) for your case: Depending on the circumstances and the evidence, there could be many potential defenses for your case. Your lawyer will choose the ones that make sense for your case.
- Fight for a charge or penalty reduction: If you are arrested for DWI, our team can fight to reduce your charge to a DUI. If we are unable to get a charge reduction, we can fight for lesser penalties.
Potential defenses we may use to fight your charges include:
- Lack of probable cause or unlawful arrest: If the officer did not have a valid reason to pull you over, your arrest may have been unlawful.
- Inaccurate Breathalyzer results: There are several reasons a Breathalyzer could give an inaccurate result. These include improper calibration of the machine, improper maintenance, certain foods you may have eaten, electronic interference, or a medical condition.
Contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg To Work With Our Addison, TX DWI Attorney
If you’re facing a DWI charge, our firm may be able to have the charge dropped or reduced or help you in other ways. In a case review, we’ll review your situation with you, advise you on your legal options, and tell you more about how your Addison underage DWI attorney will assist you.
To get started on your case, contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today.