Deciding what to do when your child is arrested for a juvenile DUI in Texas can be difficult. Parents are sometimes not sure if they should hire a lawyer or if it’s even legal for them to do so.
The short answer is that yes, parents have the right to hire an attorney on behalf of their child, and they should. After all, the laws and punishments associated with juvenile DUIs are similar to those of an adult DWI charge, but they’re different enough that it’s crucial that your child receives quality legal help from a Fort Worth DUI lawyer at Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC.
The Differences Between Underage and Adult Drunk Driving Charges
If your son or daughter is between the ages of 16 and 20 and has been charged with a DUI in Texas, you may be wondering what the differences are between an adult drunk driving offense and a juvenile DUI.
While the penalties for each are somewhat similar, there are some differences:
- A juvenile may be required to perform community service in addition to paying fines.
- Adults only get community service if it’s their first offense.
- Underage DUIs are kept off criminal records.
In addition, the quantity of alcohol consumption plays into how much time a convicted juvenile or adult is required to spend in jail or prison.
Factors That Affect Punishment
The consequences involved with a DUI arrest in Fort Worth will be different depending on a number of factors, including:
- Age at time of the arrest
- Whether anyone was injured or killed as a result of the juvenile’s driving behavior
- Blood alcohol content
While the legal BAC limit for drunk driving is .08%, Texas charges drivers under the age of 21 with a DUI if they have a BAC of just .02% or above. At .04% or higher, those under 21 are considered impaired and charged with a class A misdemeanor.
There is one factor that remains constant regardless of age: the penalties for violating drunk driving laws are always much more severe than those for only possession of alcohol. In Texas, getting behind the wheel after drinking is highly discouraged and often has far-reaching consequences.
Contact a DUI Lawyer in Fort Worth to Review Your Options
Underage drinking is a serious offense that may affect your child’s future. The best way to deal with underage DUI charges and other legal charges is to partner with a lawyer experienced in DUI cases.
We’ve handled many underage DUI cases and know how to seek the best possible outcome for your child and how to help your family deal with the stress. Call Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC to talk to a Fort Worth DUI lawyer at 817-334-7900, or fill out our online form to find out how we can help resolve your child’s legal issues and get your life back to normal again.