In Texas, DUI (driving under the influence) is a less serious offense than DWI (driving while intoxicated). However, it can still have a negative impact on your immediate future as well as your long-term goals.
If you are seeking an under 21 DUI lawyer serving Celina, Texas, to help you protect your rights and build your defense, our team is here for you. Our team will guide you through the legal process and fight for your fair treatment.
You Won’t Go to Jail for a DUI Conviction, But There are Other Penalties Ranging in Severity
As the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) states, DUI penalties get more severe with every conviction; in other words, a third conviction is more serious than a first conviction. Your sentence may also depend on what the judge feels is appropriate, as well as if you face additional alcohol-related charges, such as:
- Child endangerment
- Driving with an open container of alcohol
- Lying about your age to buy alcohol
- Intoxication assault
- Intoxication manslaughter
If you have been charged with DUI and nothing else, you can expect to face the following penalties if you are convicted:
- A fine: The maximum fine for a DUI conviction is $500.
- Community service: A judge may sentence you to anywhere from 20 to 60 hours of community service, depending on how many prior convictions you have.
- A driver’s license suspension: You can expect to lose your license for as little as 2 months or as long as 2 years. Again, this depends on your prior convictions.
- An alcohol awareness course: Such courses are mandatory after the first and second DUI convictions. A parent may or may not be required to attend with you.
Penalties for DWI Charges
Jail time is not a potential punishment for those convicted of DUI. You can only be sent to jail or prison if you receive a DWI conviction. This charge also carries penalties such as:
- A fine: You could be forced to pay up to $2,000 in fines.
- A driver’s license suspension: Depending on the judge’s discretion, you may lose your license for up to 1 year.
- A jail sentence: You could spend up to 180 days behind bars.
Whether or not you are charged with DWI instead of DUI is up to the arresting officer.
Our Attorneys Can Represent You in Court and Protect Your Rights
There are many ways of approaching a DUI case. An under 21 DUI lawyer from our team can go over all of your options and help you figure out which ones are best for you. Some common approaches include:
- Asking for a charge reduction: Your lawyer may try to persuade the judge to reduce the charges so that, if you are convicted, the sentence will not be so strict. You may even be allowed to keep your driver’s license.
- Asking for dismissal of all charges: In some instances, it may be possible to get the prosecution to drop the case entirely.
- Investigating your case: Your lawyer may be able to find crucial evidence that reveals police misconduct or destroys the credibility of the prosecution’s story.
- Representing you in court: If your case goes to trial, your attorney will present your case to a judge and jury, so you do not have to.
While each case calls for different types of defenses, there is one thing that our firm will always do, no matter what: put you first.
We Offer Free Consultations
At Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we understand how upsetting it is to face a DUI charge. We will do everything possible to put you at ease, including:
- Offering a free consultation: Find out what we can do for you at no cost and no obligation.
- Explaining your rights and options: Your lawyer will take all the time necessary to make sure you understand what is happening in your case.
- Being your advisor: You will never have to make a legal decision alone. We are always available to answer your questions and help you figure out which course to take.
Texas has a Zero-Tolerance Policy for Drunk Driving
If an adult has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more, they are legally drunk. For minors, the law is even stricter than that. If a blood or breathalyzer test finds any amount of alcohol in a minor driver’s system, they may be charged with DUI or DWI.
In some ways, this strictness is understandable. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 3,600 people died in alcohol-related traffic accidents in Texas in 2019. However, such severe penalties can have a heavy influence on your:
- Education: Getting to school will be more difficult without a driver’s license, and some schools may not want to accept someone with a criminal record.
- Career: Similarly, many employers are leery of hiring anyone with a criminal record. In addition, if your employer expects you to have reliable transportation, losing your license could put you at risk of losing your job.
- Social life: A conviction can damage your reputation, causing friends and acquaintances to avoid you or change their attitude towards you.
- Finances: Fees and fines can destroy your financial stability. Having to pay for alternate modes of transportation may put another dent in your wallet.
If you are facing a DUI charge, do not hesitate to get legal support. Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg may be able to help you avoid a conviction and get your life back as quickly as possible.
Call Our Attorneys Anytime for a Free Consultation
At Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. An under 21 DUI lawyer from our firm would like to help you build the strongest possible defense. Our team members are waiting to speak with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.