Underage drinking is a serious crime that can bring serious consequences, especially in the state of Texas. If you are facing charges related to underage drinking, underage DWI or other charges related to minors and alcohol, you would be wise to take your situation seriously. You may be under the age of 21, but that does not mean that you could not face repercussions that can affect your life for years to come.
There is much at stake. Not only are your future and personal freedom on the line, you may be surprised to learn that an underage DWI could lead to consequences in other areas, such as your school and future career. Do not face these charges alone, but seek to understand your defense options by reaching out for help as soon as possible.
Minors and alcohol do not mix
Texas has a zero tolerance law, which means that a minor caught driving with any discernible amount of alcohol in his or her system could face criminal charges. The consequences of a conviction are as follows:
- Punishable by fines up to $500
- Attendance in alcohol awareness class
- 20 to 40 hours of community service
- 60 day license suspension, ineligible for occupational license for first 30 days
- Fines up to $500
- Mandatory alcohol awareness class
- 40 to 60 hours of community service
- 120 days license suspension, ineligible for occupational license for first 90 days
- License suspension of 180 days
- Ineligible for occupational license for duration of suspension period
- Fines could range up to $2,000
- Jail time possible
These consequences are not only going to have an impact on your wallet, they could affect your social standing, your educational opportunities and may even influence potential hires in the years ahead. Fortunately, a conviction or entering a guilty plea is not your only option.
More than just avoiding jail time
It is possible to confront underage DWI charges. Depending on the nature of your situation, you could challenge the legality of the traffic stop or the validity of any chemical test results. With the right help, it may even be possible to have charges against you reduced or dropped.
State law takes a strong stance against underage drinking, but that does not mean that you should not work to fight any criminal charges against you. You will find great benefit in discussing how you can protect your rights and your future interests with an experienced criminal defense attorney.