Most people only consider the costs and potential jail time that comes along with a DWI. However, because a DWI stays on your record forever, it can affect your entire future. This is especially true for an underage DWI. But you do not need to take these penalties lying down.
Get help from an underage DWI lawyer in Grand Prairie. An attorney can go you’re your options with you and fight to ensure the best possible outcome in your case. Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at 214-696-9253.
What Are the Penalties for Texas Underage DWI?
Texas takes every DWI conviction seriously. Drivers face the same DWI penalties, regardless of their age. These penalties include:
First Offense DWI
A first offense DWI, regardless of age, is usually a Class B misdemeanor. The penalties for a conviction include 3 days to 6 months of jail time, a $2,000 fine, and a driver’s license suspension of up to 1 year.
Second Offense DWI
A second DWI offense is a Class A misdemeanor offense. You could face 1 year in jail, a $4,000 fine, and a 2-year driver’s license suspension.
Third DWI and Subsequent Offenses
A third offense will merit felony DWI charges. You could spend up to 10 years in jail, pay $10,000 in fines, and/or lose your license for 2 years.
There are some details that could lead the prosecutor on your case to enhance the charges — and the penalties — against you. This may include:
- Your BAC exceeded 0.149
- You had an open container of alcohol in your car
- You had a passenger under 15 in the car
- You caused an accident while driving drunk
- You injured someone while driving drunk
- You killed someone while driving drunk
- You provided a minor with alcohol
In addition, any underage DWI conviction can lead to mandatory substance abuse counseling or alcohol education courses. Probation, community service, and an ignition interlock system on your car are also possible consequences.
Why Is the State Not Charging Me with DUI If I Am Underage?
Under Texas law, driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are separate charges. DUIs are only for underage drivers who do not meet the legal limit of 0.08.
While police officers choose to charge drivers with DUI instead of DWI, this is rare. If you are over the limit, chances are the state will pursue DWI charges, regardless of your age.
How Will My Underage DWI Lawyer Help Me Fight the Charges?
The DWI team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg defends each underage DWI charge differently, depending on the specific facts of the case. However, in most cases, we use one of three different approaches:
- Negotiating Reduced Charges for your DWI
- Requesting a Dismissal of Charges for Lack of Evidence/Illegally Obtained Evidence
- Going to Trial and Establishing Reasonable Doubt
Throughout the entire process, we protect your legal rights and ensure you understand your options and the potential outcomes of each choice you make. Our goal is to fight for what is best for you and your family, and to help you emerge with as little disruption to your everyday life and future plans as possible.
Will I Lose My Driver’s License Because of an Underage DWI?
Yes, although you can fight to get it back. When an officer arrests you for underage DWI, she takes your license and issue you a temporary permit. This is a part of the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) process. From that time, we have only 15 days to request an administrative hearing to attempt to prevent license revocation.
During this hearing, we go before an administrative law judge from the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) who determines if you will lose your license, and for how long. This is separate from the criminal case against you, although we often rely on some of the same evidence to show you do not deserve to face this penalty.
You do not want to try to handle this hearing on your own, or risk incorrectly requesting a hearing. Instead, give us a call and we can guide you through the entire process.
Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg Today for Help in Grand Prairie
Attorney Randall Isenberg from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg has seen all sides of the Texas DWI process, as an attorney, felony prosecutor, and judge. He has more than three decades experience in the criminal justice system and will use that experience to fight for the result you desire.
Call us today at 214-696-9253 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and learn more about how we might be able to help you (or your child) fight the underage DWI charges you are facing.