If you or a family member has been charged with underage DWI, the situation may be more serious than you think. You could face jail time and hefty fines; however, our DWI team can help.
At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, a Keller underage DWI attorney can fight the charges, working to dismiss them or negotiate for a lesser charge. Our legal team is led by Randy Isenberg, who has over three decades of criminal law experience. In a simple consultation, we’ll tell you what you can expect from the legal process and how our lawyers can build your defense.
How an Underage DWI Differs From a DUI in Texas
Texas has a zero-tolerance alcohol policy for underage drivers. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), a DUI is a charge for a minor who has any detectable amount of alcohol in their system while driving. This charge is reserved for minors—individuals under 21. However, if the minor is at or over the legal limit (0.08 BAC), they can face an underage DWI charge.
An underage DWI charge is serious. If an individual is convicted, they’ll face penalties under the Texas Traffic Code and even the penalty of jail time.
The following details penalties for DWI offenses:
- A first-offense underage DWI is typically a class B misdemeanor. Penalties include jail time of 6 months or less, a fine of up to $2,000, and a license suspension up to 1 year.
- A second-offense underage DWI is typically a class A misdemeanor. Penalties include between 1 month and 1 year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, and a license suspension up to 2 years.
- A third-offense underage DWI is typically a felony. Penalties include 2 to 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, and a license suspension of up to 2 years.
The circumstances of your or your child’s DWI can elevate the charges and penalties.
How Serious Is a Texas Underage DWI Charge?
An underage DWI charge is especially serious. If you’re convicted, you could face additional issues beyond the penalties under the Texas Penal Code. You also won’t be able to get your criminal record sealed, so the conviction will always be visible to others, like employers. As a result, you may not be able to get a job easily and get other things, like a mortgage.
If you are convicted, employers aren’t the only people who can see your record. An academic institution’s admissions team may also take note of your conviction record and decide against admitting you into a program. This can have a long-lasting effect on your career just as you are embarking on your academic and professional path.
This is why it’s important to take your underage DWI charges seriously and begin building your defense as soon as possible.
Penalties for a DUI
In some cases, a compassionate officer can choose to charge you or your child with a DUI instead of DWI. The charges for a DUI are much less severe and include:
- A fine of $500 or less
- A driver’s license suspension of 60 days
- 20 to 40 hours of community service
- Mandatory alcohol-awareness class
- No jail time
Should I Hire a Keller Underage DWI Attorney?
Since the situation is so serious, you should take your defense seriously, as well. You can hire a Keller DWI lawyer from our firm, who may be able to get your charge dismissed or reduced so you can avoid jail time. And your lawyer can help you in many other ways. Your lawyer will take on every legal task for you, including all of the following:
You may not be able to protect yourself from the police and the prosecution. They can contact you and even question you about the incident. If they do, they may get you to incriminate yourself further.
Your lawyer can speak to the police and prosecution for you.
Building a Case
You could have a very solid case, especially if your lawyer finds strong evidence in your favor. Such evidence could include body camera footage of your arrest, for example. It could show that you were arrested illegally, which could lead to your charge getting dismissed.
The case could also show issues with the prosecution’s evidence. For example, if your breathalyzer test results are unclear, the results and the charge may be dismissed. Or, there simply may not be enough evidence against you.
Fighting for Your Freedom
With evidence in your favor, your lawyer may be able to fight for a charge dismissal. Or, your lawyer can fight for a lesser charge if there’s strong evidence against you. For instance, your lawyer could demand a reckless driving charge instead of an underage DWI charge.
If you’re being charged with your first DWI, your lawyer could negotiate for a deferred disposition. This is probation that can lead to charge dismissal. As another option, you and your lawyer could aim for a plea bargain. This means pleading guilty to a lesser charge, like reckless driving, in exchange for leniency.
Contact Us for One of Our Keller Underage DWI Lawyers
If you or a family member have been charged with a DWI, our firm can provide you with a Keller underage DWI lawyer. Our lawyers practice criminal law exclusively, and they’re led by Randy Isenberg, who has over three decades of criminal law experience, including experience as a former prosecutor and as a state district judge. We will use all of our resources to build your defense and walk you through the legal process.
To learn more about our team and consult with us, contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today.