If you or your child has been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), the experience can be frightening, especially if you do not know what to do. To fight a DWI charge, you may want to consider working with a Mesquite underage DWI lawyer. They can explain the legal process and keep you updated on what to expect. They may be able to have the charges against you dismissed or reduced.
For more information regarding your case, contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg at (214) 696-9253.
Texas Law for Underage DWI
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), in the eyes of the law as it refers to drinking and driving, a minor is a person under the age of 21. When facing a DWI charge, the consequences can be severe and far-reaching, depending on the nature of the offense.
If this is your first offense, you are under the age of 17, and you are pulled over with any detectable amount of alcohol in your system, the following penalties could apply, per the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):
- A fine no more than $500
- A 60-day suspension of your driver’s license
- 20 to 40 hours of community service
- Mandatory alcohol awareness courses
TxDOT also notes that if you are over the age of 17 and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is .08% or higher, you could be facing:
- A fine no more than $2,000
- Three to 180 days in jail
- The suspension of your driver’s license for 90 days to a year
The type of misdemeanor you could be facing rests on the details of your situation. For example, if you are under the age of 17, you could be facing a Class C misdemeanor. However, if you are over the age of 17, you could be looking at a Class B misdemeanor.
When you work with a Mesquite underage DWI lawyer, they can review the details of your charge and determine a plan of action that benefits your case. Again, they may be able to take measures to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed. Additionally, they may be able to expunge the charge from your record. To learn more about what this means, call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at (214) 696-9253.
Minor in Possession of Alcohol Under Texas Law
According to Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code §106.05, a minor caught with alcohol can face legal ramifications, including a minor in possession of alcohol charge. This could go along with a DWI charge and increase the penalties against you.
Being in possession of alcohol could lead to the following consequences:
- A fine no more than $500
- Suspension of your license from anywhere from 30 to 180 days
- 8 to 40 hours of mandatory community service
- Mandatory alcohol awareness classes
Yet, according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, minors are able to drink alcohol if in the presence of a parent, guardian, or spouse who is over the age of 21. For example, it can be acceptable for minors to drink when supervised by their parents at home. This element could be factored into your defense strategy to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed.
A Mesquite underage DWI lawyer will examine the details of your case to implement a plan of action for moving forward. We encourage you to reach out to the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today.
Secondary Consequences of an Underage DWI
Other than the legal penalties that we have outlined here, you or your child could be facing secondary consequences when it comes to their DWI charge.
They could include:
Limitations to employment. Many employers do not want their business or company associated with someone who has a criminal record. You do not want to have a conviction that prevents you from getting gainful employment.
Limited housing opportunities. When considering selling or leasing to someone, companies run background checks on potential residents. Similarly to what we mentioned before, you do not want anything on your criminal record that limits your future wellbeing.
Severe consequences for future convictions. If you are charged with a DWI for the second time, the penalties against you rise in severity. You could face hefty fines, jail time, and other consequences. A conviction at a young age could follow you for the rest of your life.
You may be facing additional setbacks to the ones we have listed here. Texas takes DWI cases very seriously. For that reason, you may want to consider working with a Mesquite underage DWI lawyer today.
Evidence in a DWI Case
The prosecution will need to have evidence that supports the charges against you or your child. Their goal will be to establish probable cause that the person in question was driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Some of the evidence in your case could include:
- Results from a field sobriety test
- Results from a breath, urine, or blood test
- The arresting officer’s testimony
- Eyewitness testimony
- Any forms of evidence found in your vehicle, such as an empty alcohol container
The evidence in your case may influence your defense lawyer’s course of action. For example, if the arresting officer did not perform a blood or urine test, your Mesquite underage DWI lawyer may argue that you were not intoxicated at the time of your arrest. Another example could include contesting the results of a field sobriety test. Your lawyer could say that your erratic behavior was due to anxiety regarding the situation.
Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg Today
If you or your child has been arrested and is facing underage DWI charges, do not assume it’s a minor offense without long-term repercussions. A Mesquite underage DWI lawyer will offer guidance according to the circumstances of your case. Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg at (214) 696-9253 to get started.