If you were arrested for drinking and driving, you do not have to fight back alone. Texas takes drinking and driving seriously and penalizes younger drivers accordingly. If you face the consequences and aftermath of an under 21 DUI arrest and conviction, the resulting charges and penalties can vary according to age.
An under 21 DUI lawyer at our firm can help minimize the harmful effects of arrest and conviction in Ennis, which can negatively impact present and future education and employment goals. We can also help protect you from the loss of your driver’s license and the damage to your reputation in the community and among family and friends.
Several Factors Determine which Penalties You Should Face for an Under 21 DUI Charge
In relation to drinking and driving, Texas is a zero-tolerance state. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing that reveals any amount of alcohol in the minor’s system can lead to arrest and possible conviction. According to Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Driver License Division guidelines, factors that play a role in post-conviction penalties include:
- Any detectable trace of alcohol
- The number of previous DUI offenses
- The age of the driver in question
- Refusal to submit to BAC testing
In Texas, an under 21 DUI is, in essence, a complex traffic ticket that includes a 60-day driver’s license suspension. Additional penalties will apply according to the driver’s age.
Penalties for Drivers 17 and Under
Drivers in Ennis who are 17 and younger are subject to specific punishments and requirements after an alcohol-related arrest. Penalties are as follows:
- A first offense is a Class C misdemeanor with fines of up to $500
- A second offense is a Class C misdemeanor with fines of up to $500
- A third or subsequent offense is a Delinquent Conduct by Minor charge with fines of up to $500
In addition to costly fines, you will also be required to serve community service for 20 to 60 hours. You―and possibly your parents―will be required to enroll in an alcohol awareness class. Our team can help you fight to avoid these penalties along with the suspension of your driving privileges.
Penalties for Drivers 17 to 21
Minor drivers between 17 and 21 also face specific penalties for drinking and driving. If found guilty, these drivers face:
- Jail time of up to 180 days and fines of up to $2,000 for a first offense
- Jail time of up to a year and fines of up to $4,000 for a second offense
- Jail time of up to 10 years and fines of up to $10,000 for subsequent offenses
Depending on the specific circumstances, additional penalties can include the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock system and non-negotiable suspension of your driver’s license. We fight hard to help limit these sentences, costs, and the loss of your license.
How We Have Minimized Penalties for Past Clients
In the past, we’ve fought for another chance for drivers of all ages. Our goal is to help ensure a youthful mishap does not permanently mar your future. Past clients say:
- “Randall was able to prove that the test given to me failed to comply with NHTSA standards. So, the evidence was ruled invalid, and I’m happy to be free and living life.”
- “I never dreamed that even high-powered attorneys like Randall could get an acquittal! Thank you so much for rescuing me from this DUI hell!”
You are never alone in the fight for your future. When our team is on your side, we fight hard to ensure any violation of rights is uncovered and used as leverage in your defense. We also make sure you are not left wondering about the criminal case’s progress and feel supported throughout the complex legal process.
Young Drivers Have Rights Too
When we represent you, we fight back against any violation of your rights starting with the arrest and proceeding through the legal process. Per Juvenile Justice Handbook of Texas guidelines, you have the right to:
- Remain silent until a lawyer is present
- Make no self-incriminating statements
- Request to end an interview at any time
A team member will make sure you are aware of the full range of rights entitled to you. We will also ask if your rights were violated in any way and will inform you of the impact of any violation on the case.
The Impact a DUI Conviction can Have on Your Future
Criminal penalties are not the only negative outcome of an under 21 conviction. The federal government may also limit or deny education-related financial aid, according to Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) guidelines.
In addition to the toll this can take on higher education goals, our under 21 DUI lawyer serving Ennis can also help you avoid negatively impacting your:
- Vehicle insurance rates
- Current and future employment
- Residential housing options
Our team uses plea bargains, potentially faulty evidence, and other legal facts to help limit the damage to your reputation and to help protect your future.
We will not Hesitate to Challenge the Evidence Against You
Our team keeps you up to date as the case progresses and throughout the plea bargain process if that avenue will limit or eliminate incarceration and help retain your future driving privileges. In your defense, our team will challenge:
- Probable cause
- BAC test results
- BAC testing equipment
- Evidence and witness testimony
Additionally, while DUI is reserved specifically for underage drivers in Texas, you can also be charged with the more serious crime of DWI (driving while intoxicated) depending on the discretion of the arresting officer. If you are facing this more serious charge, Randall B. Isenberg’s more than 30 years of experience as a former prosecutor and state district judge can help.
Get a Free Case Evaluation with an Attorney on Our Team Today
When you are ready to fight for your future, our team is ready to fight by your side. Contact an under 21 DUI lawyer serving Ennis at Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today.