If you have been charged with a DUI, educating yourself on the risks and facts surrounding this issue is the first step you can take to show authorities that you are remedying your behavior for the better.
In Texas, an adult can get pulled over for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and arrested on that drunk driving charge. For a minor with any amount of blood alcohol concentration, the police may charge the driver for driving under the influence (DUI). This is a class 3 misdemeanor in Texas with separate penalties from a DWI.
A DUI in Texas is an advanced form of traffic ticket and can come with a 60-day driver’s license suspension. If the police officer determines that you were dangerously intoxicated, the officer can charge a minor beyond a DUI, with a more serious charge of DWI. A DWI is not available to be expunged and stays on a person’s permanent record. It cannot be sealed after a person is convicted of one.
If found guilty of a DUI, you could be sentenced to one or any combination of:
- Community service
- Jail time
- Driver’s education
- Substance abuse counseling
The consequences of a DUI can be severe and lasting on one’s permanent record. Some DUI defendants face other serious charges, such as reckless driving, destruction of property, or additional potential crimes for any injuries they may have recklessly caused. If a DUI is all you are facing, there is a chance it could be negotiated down or dealt with via a plea bargain. However, if you are facing more than just a DUI, it is more of an uphill struggle. Either way, some people in this instance choose to work with a defense attorney to potentially maximize their time value rather than spend unnecessary time in jail.
The health consequences alone of drinking too young are dire. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol may alter brain development for people younger than 21. The safety risks of operating heavy machinery under the influence of intoxicating substances is also a potentially life-threatening mistake. Drunk driving kills over 10,000 people a year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If you plead guilty and apologize, it can go a long way. You may fulfill community service and drivers’ education classes, which can cost hundreds of dollars extra and are not paid for by the state. There are some instances where the law allows opportunities for defense and mitigation of intoxicated driving charges.
If you or a loved one is facing a surprise DUI, a Mesquite under 21 DUI lawyer from our team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg may be able to help you defend against your DUI charges to the fullest extent allowable by law. Call us at (214) 696-9253 to get started with your free consultation.
Know the Law on Underage Drinking and Driving in Texas
Texas Code § 106.041 states that any amount of alcohol concentration found in a minor’s blood is enough to warrant a DUI if they are found driving under the influence. This is the relevant law that the police are working under.
If there were no human victims of your crime, you may have a better chance of negotiating down the charges. DUIs are often charged alongside other issues like careless driving for swerving between lanes. A member of our team can take a look at the facts of your case and provide a free case evaluation.
Some people choose to go with a Mesquite under 21 DUI lawyer to help ensure their rights are protected as they go through the criminal justice process. There are a number of risks facing youth in the penal system, and authorities are sometimes willing to make a good-faith effort to help a young adult turn things around.
We can help you get involved with rehab programs and make progress towards definitive goals in that front. This helps authorities see that you are taking positive steps toward your own recovery. The law does not have to come down hard on minors, especially if it is a first-time violation. The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg is prepared to do everything within the law to protect your rights and ensure you are treated fairly. Call us today at (214) 696-9253.
How a Mesquite Under 21 DUI Lawyer May Be Able to Help You
Keeping the charge off of your permanent record may become a high priority as you deal with the aftermath of a DUI charge. The District Attorney listens to reason and sound logic backed up by evidence. So, if we can help you make a strong character argument in court, it can potentially boost your case’s strength.
Many factors start going into motion once a person has been arrested for a DUI. The police typically handle evidence collection, and there is little argument over what went on. You must submit to a breathalyzer test if an officer requests or you risk arrest and suspension of your license anyway. If you blow alcohol as a minor, you might have to spend the night in jail and inquire about bail bonds. Our legal office can help you with this process.
Jailtime Can Range Widely for Texas DUI
For a first-offense DUI in Texas, prison sentencing can range from three days to six months. A Mesquite under 21 DUI lawyer may be able to help minimize this sentence for their clients. Because there is no mandatory minimum jail time for a DUI first offense, there are legal ways to negotiate your release from a Mesquite-area jail.
For example, if you have an open cup or bottle of alcohol in your vehicle, it becomes a worse offense with more potential jail time. Some people think it is not a big deal to have an open container in a car, but this alone can lead to a DUI, whether or not the driver even had a sip of alcohol. This is true whether a driver is above or below 21.
For drivers under the age of 21, there is no allowable blood alcohol concentration legally. Thus, it is presumed that you are driving drunk, which might be viewed as unfair by some drivers, but that is still the way the law works.
For more information about what we can do to defend you and reduce your charges, call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at (214) 696-9253.