An under 21 DUI conviction carries monetary fines and a potentially lengthy driver’s license suspension. But arguably the most damaging aspect of this crime is that a conviction becomes a part of your permanent record. This can keep you from getting into college, getting student loans, getting a job, or even renting an apartment.
This is not a battle you should try to face on your own. An under 21 DUI lawyer in Garland understands how easily one mistake can ruin a young life. The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can protect your legal rights, help you through this frightening and confusing legal process, and potentially offer you a better outcome for your case.
Call us today for help: 214-696-9253.
How Will an Under 21 DUI Affect Your Life?
In Texas, a separate set of statutes govern DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) and underage DWI (driving while intoxicated).
DUI laws, which apply only to drivers under the age of 21, are in the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code (TABC). These laws establish a zero-tolerance standard for drivers (motor vehicles and boats) who are not yet legally allowed to consume alcohol. To qualify for an underage DUI charge, the driver only needs to have a measurable amount of alcohol in his bloodstream.
The penalties for DUI (first or second offense) include:
- A monetary fine of $500
- Driver’s license suspension, up to 120 days
- As much as 60 hours of community service
- Participation in an alcohol awareness program
For subsequent under 21 DUI charges, the penalties include monetary fines up to $2,000, driver’s license suspension of 180 days, and up to 180 days in jail.
Why Do I Need an Under 21 DUI Lawyer in Garland?
A conviction on an under 21 DUI charge can ruin your life just as it is getting started. You must disclose your crime when you apply for college and for student loans. If a potential employer or landlord (or anyone else) runs a background check on you, your conviction will show up, providing them with a perfectly legal reason to turn you down.
Your car insurance cost will increase significantly, potentially to the point where you can no longer afford to drive.
When you find an under 21 DUI lawyer to represent you, your prospects become much less daunting. Your lawyer will protect your legal rights and ensure that the police and prosecutor do not convince you to make a bad choice.
Your lawyer will help you understand what an underage DUI conviction will mean to your future and help you determine the best option for you.
In many cases, your lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor to have your charges reduced, or petition the court to have the charges dismissed. Your lawyer may be able to help you get into a diversion or deferral program. Or, if necessary, your lawyer can build a strong case to defend you in court.
Whatever path you choose, your lawyer will be there with you every step of the way, supporting you and protecting your rights — and your future.
What Deferral Programs Are Available for Under 21 DUI in Garland?
Most Texas counties offer first-time underage DUI offenders the option of deferring their charges.
Not everyone qualifies for the Dallas County deferred prosecution program, but your lawyer can assist you in the application process and make a case to the District Attorney for accepting you into the program.
If the DA agrees to accept you into the deferral program, a judge will develop an individualized deferral plan, based on the details of your case. You must sign an agreement and complete the requirements of the program, typically a combination of restitution, community service, counseling, alcohol awareness courses, or other obligations that the judge believes are appropriate.
Once you complete the program successfully, the judge typically dismisses the charges, leaving you with a clean record. However, if you fail to complete the requirements of the deferral agreement, you will face the maximum penalties allowed by law for your crime.
What If I Do Not Qualify for a Deferral Program?
If you do not qualify for the Dallas County deferred prosecution program, we will help you determine the best way to proceed. That may mean going to court to fight your charges.
In anticipation of your trial, we will use any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case in your defense. For example, if the police made any mistakes or violated your Constitutional rights, your lawyer may argue that they conducted an illegal search, or that yours was not a legal traffic stop.
We will choose a legal defense strategy based on the specific facts of your case, using our insight into how the legal system works.
Protect Your Future. Call an Under 21 DUI Lawyer in Garland Today.
Your choice of attorney may be one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Choosing the right lawyer can potentially help you avoid the hardships that a DUI conviction can cause.
Look for a lawyer who understands the complexities of your case and knows how the legal system in Garland works. Look for a lawyer who is committed to protecting your rights and fighting for you every step of the way.
Attorney Randall Isenberg has more than three decades of experience. He has worked not only as a criminal defense attorney but also as a state district court judge and a felony prosecutor. This experience provides him with invaluable insight into how the system works and ensures that he has what it takes to get the job done for you.
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg provides a free consultation and case review to help you understand your options. Call today: 214-696-9253.