Richardson, Texas imposes substantial alcohol-related penalties for anyone below the age of 21 that drinks and drives. If a minor has any detectable blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the police can charge them with driving under the influence (DUI). If a young driver has a BAC of 0.08 or above, they will face DWI charges just as an adult would – and face the same harsh penalties.
A conviction for underage DWI means significant fines, potential jail time, and a lengthy driver’s license suspension, not to mention a permanent criminal record.
If you or a young family member faces underage DWI charges, you need a lawyer to protect your legal rights and fight for your future. The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg provides a free consultation. To speak to an underage DWI lawyer in Richardson, contact us today at 214-696-9253.
What an Underage DWI Conviction Could Mean for Your Future
The penalties you may face for an underage DWI will depend on the circumstances of your arrest, any prior drunk driving offenses, and the underage drinking laws in Texas.
For the first offense with a BAC of 0.08 to 0.149 and no prior convictions or aggravating factors, you will face Class B misdemeanor charges. The penalties upon conviction may include:
- Three days to six months in jail
- Fines up to $2,000
- 90 days to six months’ driver’s license suspension
For a second offense underage DWI, you could face Class A misdemeanor charges if you have no prior convictions or aggravating factors. Penalties include:
- Up to one year in jail
- Fines up to $4,000
- Up to two years’ driver’s license suspension
For any additional underage DWI offenses, you could likely face felony drunk driving charges with potential penalties that may include:
- Up to 10 years in prison
- Fines up to $10,000
- Up to two years’ driver’s license suspension
If you had a BAC of 0.15 or above, if you had an open container in the car, or if you had a passenger age 14 or under, you could face more severe penalties. If you caused an accident while driving drunk, you could face felony intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter charges.
For an underage DWI conviction, the court can also impose supervised probation, community service, and alcohol education or counseling. You may also have to install a deep lung ignition interlock on your car.
However, the most devasting effect of an under 21 DWI conviction is the creation of a permanent criminal record, available for view to anyone who runs a background check. Criminal records can prevent individuals from getting into college, obtaining a student loan, renting an apartment, or receiving a job.
An Underage DWI Charge Can Lead to Driver’s License Suspension
Once the police place you under arrest for underage DWI, it will trigger a series of events known as Administrative License Revocation (ALR).
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has responsibility for the ALR process, which includes an administrative (civil) hearing to determine the disposition of your driver’s license. No matter what happens in your criminal case, you could still lose your license.
A DWI lawyer in Richardson, Texas can help protect your license by representing you for the ALR hearing as well as for your criminal charges. We can ensure the scheduling of your ALR hearing and represent you to protect your legal rights. We might also have the chance to question your arresting officer under oath, providing valuable insight that we may use in your legal defense.
If the judge moves to suspend your license, we can file an appeal or apply for you to obtain an occupational driver’s license, allowing you to drive to work or school.
How an Underage DWI Lawyer in Richardson, Texas Can Help
Although the police and prosecutor may encourage you to plead guilty to under 21 drunk driving charges, and even offer a deal to make this option seem more attractive, you should talk to an underage DWI lawyer before making any such decision.
At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we will explain fully how intoxication and alcoholic beverage offense can affect your future. We will also lay out your options and help you choose the right path for your future. We will answer your questions, protect your legal rights, and work hard to achieve the best outcome in your case.
We will begin by examining the evidence to determine whether the police violated your legal rights or made mistakes that could affect the outcome of your case. We can use this information to negotiate with the prosecutor, with the goal of getting your charges reduced or dismissed.
There are an array of potential defense strategies we can discuss. For example, perhaps the police lacked reasonable suspicion for stopping your car or neglected to read you your rights upon arrest. Whatever legal strategies we use, we will mount the most vigorous and effective defense possible for you.
Meet an Underage DWI Lawyer for a Free Case Review
At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we understand how profoundly an underage DWI conviction can affect your future – or the future of a loved one. That is why we offer a no-cost case evaluation and consultation. We will answer your questions and help you determine the next step.
Do not face these severe charges alone. To schedule a complimentary consultation with an underage DWI lawyer in Richardson, Texas, call us today at 214-696-9253.