A Rockwall DWI conviction can damage anyone’s life. For a young driver, however, it can bring much more serious consequences. A conviction for DWI will mean steep fines, driver’s license suspension, and, in some cases, time behind bars. It also means a permanent criminal record, which can prevent you from getting student loans and going to college. Potential employers and landlords may also reject you, based on your criminal record.
Contact an underage DWI lawyer in Rockwall as soon as possible, if you (or a young family member) face drunk driving charges.
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg would like to offer you a free consultation, to answer your questions and help you make the right choices to protect your promising future. Call us today at 214-696-9253 for help.
Why Do You Need an Underage DWI Lawyer in Rockwall?
To have any hope of avoiding the life-changing penalties that come with an underage drunk driving conviction, you must explore fighting the charges pending against you.
An underage DWI lawyer, especially one like Randall Isenberg who spent time as a felony prosecutor, understands how prosecuting attorneys think, and how they go about building a case against young defendants. This knowledge provides an important advantage for you and your defense.
The prosecutor must meet a high burden of proof to obtain a guilty verdict. Your lawyer can scrutinize the evidence in your case to identify potential weaknesses in your case and use those to negotiate a reduction or dismissal of your charges.
The police and prosecutors may try to take advantage of a young defendant, attempting to convince you to plead guilty. They may promise you will avoid jail time and maybe that your parents do not have to find out. What they will not tell you, however, is how that guilty plea will affect your future.
You will still have to pay substantial fines as well as court costs and fees. You will likely still face probation, suspension of your driver’s license, and mandatory alcohol education courses.
Most importantly, pleading guilty means you will have a permanent criminal record. So, when you apply for college or a student loan, renew your car insurance, apply for a job or try to rent an apartment, the truth will certainly come out.
You owe it to yourself and your future to do whatever you can to fight these charges.
How Harsh Are the Underage DWI Penalties in Rockwall?
Every Rockwall DWI charge is harsh. In fact, underage drivers face the same penalty structure that older drivers do. The Texas Penal Code, Chapter 49, establishes the basis for these laws.
In Texas, having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or above qualifies as intoxication. However, the police can charge you with DWI even without a BAC test, based solely on your behavior.
While all underage drivers with any measurable amount of alcohol in their bloodstream will face DUI charges, if you registered a BAC of 0.08 or above, you face the full force of the DWI statutes:
First Underage DWI Charge
Your first offense carries a Class B misdemeanor charge. Conviction means you will face between 3 days and 6 months in jail. You will face fines of up to $2,000, and license suspension of 90 days to 1 year.
Second Underage DWI Charge
Your second offense carries a Class A misdemeanor charge. Conviction means you will face as much as 1 year in jail. You will face fines of up to $4,000, and up to a 2-year license suspension.
Subsequent Underage DWI Charges
For third and subsequent offenses, you will face felony charges with fines up to $10,000 and as much as 10 years in prison. You will also face a 2-year driver’s license suspension.
Aggravated Underage DWI Charges
If you had a passenger under age 15 in your vehicle at the time of arrest, you could face felony charges. Likewise, if your BAC registered 0.15 or above, you will face aggravated underage DWI charges.
In addition to fines and jail time, you must attend a mandatory alcohol education program. The judge may also require you to perform community service, install an ignition interlock on every vehicle you drive, and even go to rehab.
And, of course, you will have a permanent criminal record to remind you of your youthful indiscretion.
Is Underage DUI Different than Underage DWI?
Underage DUI charges are not as serious as underage DWI.
If the police caught you driving with a BAC below 0.08, they will likely give you a citation for underage DUI, detailed in the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code (TABC). The police will typically charge you with underage DUI if you have any measurable trace of alcohol in your system.
If your BAC starts to approach the legal limit for DWI, however, the police may charge you the same way they charge of-age DWI offenders. If you meet or exceed the 0.08 BAC limit, they will almost always charge you with the more serious offense.
Legal Strategies for Fighting Underage DWI Charges
Once you have an underage DWI lawyer in Rockwall, your attorney will carefully evaluate the prosecution’s evidence in your case.
The best possible scenario is that your attorney from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can convince the prosecutor or a judge to dismiss your charges. Failing that, your lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce your charges.
Failing those options, your lawyer will go to work building the strongest possible case in your defense. By exploiting mistakes made by the police or the BAC testing technician, your lawyer can potentially introduce sufficient reasonable doubt.
During this process, your lawyer will remain by your side, providing support and helping you make the best possible choices for you and your future.
An underage DWI lawyer in Rockwall can also represent you at your Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing. The ALR process determines the fate of your driver’s license. However, this proceeding also provides an important glimpse into the evidence in your case.
Talk to an Underage DWI Lawyer in Rockwall FOR FREE
At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, Attorney Randall Isenberg brings more than three decades of experience. He has spent time as a felony prosecutor and judge, in addition to his years as a criminal defense lawyer, and he is ready to put that experience and insight to work for you.
Call our office today at 214-696-9253 to schedule a free consultation with an underage DWI lawyer in Rockwall.