Underage drivers caught with any amount of alcohol in their system can face an under 21 DUI charge. Underage drinking and driving charges carry the potential for a hefty fine, driver’s license suspension, and permanent criminal record. This can prevent a young person from getting a job, renting an apartment, or getting into the school of their choice.
An under 21 DUI lawyer in University Park at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg understands how an under 21 DUI conviction can hinder your (or your child’s) hopes and plans for the future. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation consultation and case review to help you learn more about your options.
Call 214-696-9253 today for your consultation.
Under 21 DUI Charges Carry Significant Penalties
An under 21 DUI conviction can derail your hopes, dreams, and plans, just as your life is getting started.
In Texas, drivers who have not reached the legal drinking age of 21 cannot legally have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.00 while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. That means that you will face underage DUI charges – and the harsh penalties that accompany them – if the police pull you over and you have any trace of alcohol in your system.
A first-offense underage DUI charge is punishable as follows:
- A 60-day driver’s license suspension
- $500 monetary fine
- Alcohol safety education
The judge may assess additional penalties such as community service and probation. A second-offense under 21 DUI conviction carries the same penalties, although the potential license suspension time doubles. However, subsequent offenses will carry much harsher penalties including the potential for:
- 6 months in jail
- $2,000 in fines
These offenses will remain on your criminal record permanently, available for any potential employer, landlord, or university to see when they perform a background check. Your record can prevent you from getting into a good school or getting a student loan.
How an Under 21 DUI Lawyer Will Help You
Getting arrested and charged with a crime is frightening at any age. For a young person, it can be especially daunting. And, sometimes, the police and prosecutors may attempt to take advantage of your fears.
Before you agree to give a statement or enter a guilty plea, consider talking to an under 21 DUI lawyer in University Park to explore your options.
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg provides a free, no-obligation consultation so that you can get answers to your questions and make important decisions about the future. When you trust us to handle your case, we will provide a full range of services that include:
- Protecting your legal rights
- Analyzing and investigating your case
- Developing responsive legal strategies
- Representing you at the ALR hearing
- Fighting for your future
We will start by obtaining all available evidence in your case and carefully analyzing it. We will use any errors or potential violations of your legal rights to persuade the prosecutor to reduce or drop your charges. If necessary, we can prepare your case for court. However, we have other options we can explore as an alternative.
We will also represent you at your Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing. This offers our best chance to fight your suspension and provides us with important insight about your criminal case.
Your Under 21 DUI Charge May Qualify for Pre-Trial Diversion
As an alternative to entering a guilty plea or taking your case to court, we may recommend that you participate in a pre-trial diversion program such as Dallas County’s Divert Court.
This program helps young, first-time offenders avoid some of the penalties they might otherwise face and provides valuable information designed to help avoid recidivism. If you complete the requirements of the program, you can petition the court to drop your underage DUI charges.
You must apply for participation in the Divert Court program, and you have no guarantee of being accepted. You may qualify if you meet the following standards:
- You have no prior criminal record
- You agree to complete all requirements of the program
- You do not get arrested on additional charges
Our legal team can help you determine whether you qualify for Divert Court or any other programs. We can prepare your application and speak on your behalf to the judge. Once you complete the obligations of your diversion agreement, we can petition the court to have your charges dropped and your record sealed.
Driver’s License Suspension Hearings for Under 21 DUI Charges
At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, our top priority is to get your drunk driving charges reduced or dropped before you have to go to court. To accomplish that, we will attempt to negotiate with the prosecutor or file court motions, if appropriate. However, if we have to go to court, we will build the strongest possible case on your behalf.
To argue against the suspension of your driver’s license, however, you must attend a hearing. This hearing provides us with an opportunity to argue against license suspension. It also gives up an opportunity to see the prosecutor’s evidence as early as possible in the criminal process.
For the license suspension hearing process, we will:
- Schedule your ALR hearing
- Obtain all available evidence
- Subpoena witnesses to testify
- Prepare you for your testimony
- Question witnesses under oath
- Make a strong case for you to keep your license
If the judge does elect to suspend your license, we can appeal that decision or request that the court issues you a provisional license, allowing you to legally drive to work or school during your suspension.
Get Help from an Under 21 DUI Lawyer in University Park Today
Facing criminal charges at any age is daunting but, for an underage driver facing DUI charges, the process can be especially frightening. You do not have to face these charges alone.
DWI attorney Randall Isenberg has more than 35 years of experience in the Texas criminal justice system. We will put our background to work for you.