Getting a conviction for an Under 21 DUI is no way to start out life. The repercussions could haunt you for many years and close doors to you that will change the path of your life. If you get charged with an Under 21 DUI, you will want to work with a Kaufman Under 21 DUI lawyer to fight the charges. The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg is on your side.
In Texas, if you are under the age of 21 and operate a motor vehicle after using alcohol or drugs, you could get charged with either a DUI or a DWI. Texas has a zero tolerance for drugs or alcohol in the bloodstream of an underage driver. Any detectable amount of alcohol in the system could support an Under 21 DUI conviction.
Potential Consequences of an Under 21 DUI Conviction in Kaufman County
One simple mistake by you or your child could alter the course of their life path. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDoT) warns that:
Under 21 Alcohol Possession
If you were even found in the possession of alcohol while under the age of 21, you could have your driver’s license suspended for up to 180 days. The judge could also impose a fine of up to $500, as well as up to 40 hours of community service and mandatory alcohol-awareness classes.
These penalties are not limited to hard liquor. Beer or wine in any amount could be grounds for these consequences. A defendant who is 17 years or older could get fined up to $2,000.
Under 21 DUI
The term Under 21 DUI causes confusion because it stands for Under 21 Driving while Under the Influence. You do not actually have to be under the influence of alcohol to get charged with being under the influence of alcohol if you are an underage driver in Texas. Any detectable amount of alcohol in your system could support a conviction of Under 21 Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
For a first offense Under 21 DUI, the judge could impose these penalties:
- A maximum fine of $500.
- Having your driver’s license suspended for 60 days.
- Between 20 and 40 hours of community service.
- Mandatory alcohol awareness classes.
Second, third, and subsequent offenses all carry increased penalties.
A driver who is 17 or older who gets pulled over under suspicion of driving while intoxicated and shows a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit could face these penalties:
- A maximum fine of $2,000.
- Suspension of the driver’s license for up to a year.
- Up to 180 days in jail.
After the first offense for this driver, the penalties increase.
How an Under 21 DUI or DWI Conviction Can Harm Your Future
It is a popular misconception that you cannot get a DWI unless you are over the age of 21. In fact, if your BAC is 0.08 or higher or the arresting officer believes you are driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of those substances, Texas could charge you with a DWI instead of a DUI.
An Under 21 DWI can mean jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, and losing your driver’s license for up to a year or two. Also, if convicted of an underage DWI, the judge could also sentence you to:
- Alcohol education courses.
- Substance abuse treatment or counseling.
- Community service.
- Having to use an ignition interlock system on your car, which will make it obvious that you got convicted of an alcohol offense.
- Successfully complete probation, which can be lengthy.
After the court system is done with you, you could still face consequences of the conviction for years. For example:
- You might not get accepted to the college of your dreams with a criminal conviction on your record. You might have to attend a lower-tier educational institution instead of going to the university with your friends.
- It could be difficult to rent an apartment if you have an alcohol-related offense on your record. Many apartment applications require you to consent to a background check. These background checks usually include the applicant’s criminal record.
- Getting a good job could also be a challenge because competitive positions usually involve background checks. If another candidate for the same position has similar credentials to you but no criminal record, you might get passed over for the job.
- Getting convicted of an alcohol offense carries a social stigma.
For a free legal consultation with a Under 21 DUI Lawyer in Kaufman, call (214) 696-9253
Avoiding These Consequences
The best way to avoid these and other problems is to avoid getting the criminal conviction in the first place. You do not want to fall victim to the mistake of a quiet guilty plea to try to hide what happened. We understand your embarrassment, but pleading guilty in exchange for promises of little or no jail time could come to haunt you when you struggle to get a good job or get into college.
Instead, you will want to work with a strong Kaufman under 21 DUI lawyer to fight the charges and try to avoid getting the criminal conviction. Our firm’s founder has worked in law for more than 30 years. He has served as both a prosecutor and a state district judge.
Results Our Lawyers Have Won for Our Clients
On our results page, you can see real-life examples of great outcomes we have won for our clients who were facing alcohol-related charges. From getting charges reduced to Deferred Probation, to getting evidence thrown out and charges dismissed, we have fought and won battles that changed our clients’ lives.
Texas Law on Underage Drinking and Driving
The Texas Department of Public Safety warns that your car could get stopped by the police if a police officer has probable cause or reasonable suspicion of the driver having consumed alcohol. The procedure for minors when the police think the minor has any detectable amount of alcohol in their bloodstream can be:
- The minor can get arrested.
- Their car can get towed.
- The minor can get handcuffed and asked to take a breathalyzer test at a county jail or police station.
- The minor can get transported to a medical facility for a blood test.
Call Now to Learn Your Options
With so many potential negative repercussions to your life if convicted of an Under 21 DUI or DWI, you will want to give yourself a chance to salvage your future. The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can protect your rights and fight hard for the best possible result in your situation.