What is worse: if you get a DWI underage or over 21?
Drivers under 21 can face drunk driving charges just as adults can. In fact, those charges carry the same penalties, including substantial fines, driver’s license suspension, and the threat of jail time. Upon conviction, you will also have a permanent criminal record.
To understand what these serious charges could mean, talk to an underage DWI lawyer in Allen. The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg offers a free consultation, so you can learn more about your options. Contact us today at 214-696-9253 for help.
Penalties for Underage DWI in Allen, TX
The penalties for underage DWI are the same as they are for drivers age 21 and above. In other words, youth does not give you any breaks when it comes to a drunk driving conviction.
If this is your first alcohol-related arrest and you had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) result of 0.08 to 0.149 at the time of your arrest, you will likely face a Class B misdemeanor charge. Upon conviction, you will face penalties that include:
- Jail time
- Monetary fine of up to $2,000
If you have a prior under 21 DWI, or if your BAC registered 0.15 or above, the prosecutor will likely pursue Class A misdemeanor charges, punishable as follows:
- Jail time of up to one year
- Monetary fine of up to $4,000
For subsequent offenses, or if you caused an accident, injuries, or a fatality while driving drunk, you will face felony charges for underage driving while intoxicated DWI. For third-degree felony charges (the least serious felony classification), you face penalties that include:
- Prison sentence of up to 10 years
- Monetary fine of up to $10,000
In addition to fines and jail or prison time, you also face penalties including:
- Supervised probation
- Community service
- Alcohol education and treatment
- Ignition interlock installation
Upon conviction for underage DWI in Texas,, you will also have a permanent criminal record. This will potentially interfere with your ability to get into the university or college of your choice, get a student loan, find a job, or rent an apartment.
Underage DWI Also Includes Driver’s License Suspension
In Allen, all DWI arrests carry the risk of driver’s license suspension.
At the time the police arrest you, they confiscate your license and initiate the Administrative License Suspension (ALR) process. If you request a formal hearing, you have the opportunity to argue against license suspension. If you fail to schedule your hearing, the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) will automatically proceed with your suspension:
- First offense: 90 days to 1 year
- Second offense: Up to 2 years
Once the suspension period ends, you must pay a surcharge of up to $2,000 to get your license back. You must pay this surcharge annually for a total of three years to keep your license in good standing.
Let an Underage DWI Lawyer in Allen Protect Your Rights
The prosecutor will try to convince you to plead guilty to your offense, likely in exchange for waiving any potential time behind bars. Before you agree, and before you make any statements to police or investigators, take advantage of the free, no-obligation consultation offered by the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg.
Our team will explain why taking a deal from the prosecutor may not be in your best interest. Even without spending time behind bars, you still face every other potential penalty—including the suspension of your driver’s license.
When you trust an Allen underage DWI lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, you benefit from services that include:
Investigating Your Case
We obtain key evidence and investigate the circumstances of your arrest, to identify any potential errors or violations of your legal rights.
Developing Defense Strategies
Based on our investigation and any potential flaws we discover, we identify appropriate defense strategies for your case.
Negotiating with the Prosecutor
Using information from our investigation and our selected defense strategies, we negotiate with the prosecutor with the intent of getting your charges reduced or dismissed.
Representation for Your ALR Hearing
Not only do we represent you in every detail related to your criminal charges, but we also handle all matters related to your ALR driver’s license suspension hearing.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
Throughout the legal process, we protect your legal rights and ensure that you have every opportunity afforded to you under the law.
If you don’t have a record or any prior underage drunk driving charges, you may qualify for deferred adjudication or a diversion program. If so, we can explain your options and handle preparing your application.
Potential Legal Defense Strategies for Underage DWI
Our legal team will identify defense strategies tailored specifically to the details of your case. However, some of the most effective strategies we use to defend underage DWI clients include the following:
Lack of Reasonable Suspicion
To make a legal traffic stop, police must have a reasonable suspicion that you have broken the Texas underage DWI law. If the officer who pulled you over failed to establish reasonable suspicion, we can call the legality of the stop into question.
Failure to Establish Probable Cause
Police must establish probable cause of your intoxication before placing you under arrest. Your arresting officer may have used a portable breath testing device or field sobriety testing during your traffic stop. However, both methods have vulnerabilities that could allow us to question the legality of your arrest.
Problems with Chemical BAC Testing
Police typically use either blood or breathalyzer testing to establish your level of intoxication. Any problems with the testing procedures, equipment, or the technicians who collected your sample can invalidate the test results. A variety of substances can also produce a false-positive breathalyzer result, including certain medications, foods, beverages, and even oral hygiene products such as mouthwash.
Violations of Your Legal Rights
The police must honor your legal rights when placing you under arrest. This includes advising you of your rights verbally as well as in writing. If the arresting officer in your case failed to advise you of your rights in accordance with Texas law, we may question the legality of your arrest.
Whatever strategies we use in your case, we will work tirelessly to defend you and produce the best possible results for your underage DWI case.
Free Case Review for Allen Underage DWI Charges
Before you make any decisions about your underage DWI case, learn more about what these charges may mean to your future and what options you have. An underage DWI lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can fight for you and your future.
Contact us today at 214-696-9253 for a free consultation with a member of our legal team. We can explain your options and tell you more about how an underage DWI attorney in Allen, TX can help.