Making a mistake at a young age shouldn't follow you around for the rest of your life, but that's exactly what will happen if you get convicted for drunk driving. Protect your future with help from a Williamson County underage DWI lawyer.
The legal age to drink alcohol unattended by a guardian is twenty-one, but many youths make poor decisions, like driving after a drink or three. A driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction at a young age might not seem like a big deal, but the consequences will follow you for the rest of your life.
If you or a loved one is in legal trouble such as this, you need to speak with a Williamson County underage DWI lawyer from Hines Ranc & Holub to find out how to defend against the charges.
Why Am I Being Charged with DWI and Not DUI?
In Texas, people under the age of twenty-one are not allowed to have any amount of alcohol in their system while driving, even if they show no signs of impairment. Under these circumstances, you might instead be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). However, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher, you'll be charged with DWI and face the same penalties as an adult.
The penalties for DWI are more severe than DUI and depend on how many of these offenses you have been convicted of in the past:
- For a first offense, you'll be charged with a class B misdemeanor. If convicted, you will face a fine of up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail, twenty-four to one hundred hours of community service, and up to a one-year license suspension.
- If your BAC is above 0.15 percent at the time of your arrest, your first offense jumps up to a class A misdemeanor and the fine and jail time increase to $4,000 and up to a one-year imprisonment.
- For a second offense, you'll be charged with a class A misdemeanor. If convicted, you will face a fine of up to $4,000, up to one year in jail, eighty to 200 hours of community service, and a 180-day to two-year license suspension.
- For a third or subsequent offense, you'll be charged with a third-degree felony. If convicted, you will face a fine of up to $10,000, between two and ten years in prison, 160 to 600 hours of community service, and a 180-day to two-year license suspension.
All of these carry annual surcharges of up to $2,000 for three years, DWI intervention and education classes, and possibly an order to install ignition interlock devices (IID) in all of your vehicles. By working with a Williamson County underage DWI lawyer from our firm, you might be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed and avoid the worst of these penalties.
Lost Liberties After an Underage Drunk Driving Conviction
Beyond the legal penalties, there are severe repercussions that you'll experience in your personal and professional lives. You will lose your license for quite a while, which will make getting to a job or a party difficult.
You will also have a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life. For example, you will have to say "Yes" on every application that asks if you have a criminal record. This can make getting a job, an apartment, or even a car or student loan very difficult-if not impossible.
Work with a Wilco Underage DWI Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been charged with drunk driving, then you need to fight it. Protecting your future is even more important than the legal penalties, and to do so you need a solid Williamson County underage DWI lawyer from Hines Ranc & Holub. Call us for a free, confidential consultation at 512-473-8745 or fill out the form below.
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No matter how complex your charges may seem, you can have peace of mind knowing our legal team is behind you. You aren’t in this battle alone. Get our Austin criminal attorneys on your side today.