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Under 21 DUI Lawyer in Plano

A conviction for under 21 DUI in Plano means hefty fines and a suspended driver’s license. It also means having a permanent criminal record, which can significantly affect your chances of getting into a good college or getting a job after graduation. If you or your child is facing underage drunk driving charges, do not attempt to fight this battle alone.

An under 21 DUI lawyer in Plano can protect your legal rights, explain your options, and represent you through the legal process. Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today for help: 214-696-9253.

What are the penalties for an under 21 DUI in Plano?

In Texas, the laws that govern driving while intoxicated (DWI) are different than those that deal with driving under the influence (DUI).

Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code establishes that drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or above qualifies for criminal DWI charges, no matter their age.

For drivers under the age of 21, however, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code (TABC) establishes a zero-tolerance standard. An under 21 DUI charge only requires that the driver have any measurable level of alcohol in her body.

However, if an underage driver registers a BAC of 0.08 or more, she may face a more serious underage DWI charge, just as an adult would.

The penalties for a first offense DUI typically include:

  • A $500 fine
  • 60-day driver’s license suspension (no occupational license for 30 days)
  • Mandatory attendance at an alcohol awareness course
  • 20 to 40 hours of community service

A second DUI offense elevates the penalties you face:

  • A $500 fine
  • 120-day driver’s license suspension (no occupational license for 90 days)
  • Mandatory attendance at an alcohol awareness course
  • 40 to 60 hours of community service

Third and subsequent under 21 DUI convictions carry fines up to $2,000, a 180- day driver’s license suspension, and up to 180 days in jail. DUI statutes only apply to alcohol consumption, not illegal drug use.

Note that the underage DUI statutes also apply to operating a boat.

Do you need an under 21 DUI lawyer?

An under 21 DUI conviction can compromise your future in several significant ways. You may have to disclose your conviction when applying to colleges and seeking employment. Your car insurance premiums will significantly increase as well.

Fortunately, Plano offers under 21 offenders plenty of options for a better outcome. An under 21 DUI lawyer can explain all the available options and how each one might impact your future.

If deferral programs are not an option and your case must proceed to court, your attorney can examine the prosecution’s evidence against you and use that information to build a strong case in your defense.

Above all, a DUI attorney can protect your rights — or those of your child — under the law.

Is an under 21 DUI eligible for deferral in Plano?

To help set under 21 DUI offenders on a better path, Texas offers most first-time (and some second-time) offenders an option for deferral of their charges.

If you have subsequent arrests for under 21 DUI, you will not have the option for deferral.

A Plano under 21 DUI lawyer can facilitate entry into a deferral program by assisting you with the necessary application and representing you in court.

If you qualify for deferral, you must pay the fine associated with the underage DUI charge and attend the mandatory alcohol awareness course. The judge may order parents or guardians to attend an alcohol awareness class as well.

Upon completion of the penalty requirements, the judge may dismiss the under 21 DUI charges, leaving the young offender with a clean record. Your attorney can assist you with this aspect of the process as well, to ensure that the court has wiped the slate clean.

What is Plano Teen Court?

For an under 21 DUI charge in Plano, you may wish to consider the Plano Teen Court program. Teen Court, offered in many Texas cities, allows underage DUI offenders to pay for their crime through community service.

Teen Court holds the offender responsible for their actions and helps them learn more about the legal system and their responsibilities under the law.

Volunteer teen “attorneys” present the participant’s case to a jury of the defendant’s peers. Once both sides have presented their case, the jury will assign community service.

Voluntary participation in Plano Teen Court and completion of community service hours can lead to the dismissal of under 21 class C misdemeanor DUI charges.

If you are between the ages of 13 and 18 and have not previously participated in a Teen Court program, your attorney can ask the judge to refer you to the program. If the judge agrees, you will have 90 days to complete the program.

In Plano, additional requirements include paying court costs, writing assigned essays and serving on the mock court. You are permitted to participate in Teen Court only once in a 12-month period.

Failure to complete the program will result in your case being returned to court for sentencing.

Call Randall B. Isenberg today.

Attorney Randall Isenberg has more than 30 years’ experience in the criminal justice system, including many years as a felony prosecutor and state district court judge. This allows him to approach your case with an insider’s knowledge and perspective.

Whether negotiating with the prosecutor for a lesser charge, convincing the state to drop your case, or assembling evidence for trial, Randall will fight vigorously to protect your future.

At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we offer free consultations and case reviews for underage DUI clients throughout the Plano area. Contact us today to schedule an appointment: 214-696-9253.

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