Under Texas law, a minor does not have the right to purchase, possess, or consume alcohol. In addition, they cannot obtain it by knowingly providing false information. If you are under the age of 21 and caught breaking this law, you may be charged with a juvenile alcohol offense and suffer from harsh consequences that can negatively impact your current life and future.
The highly skilled Houston juvenile lawyers at The Law Offices of Ned Barnett have years of experience handling cases that involve Texas juvenile alcohol offenses. If you’ve been charged with a juvenile alcohol offense, call us today (713) 222-6767 to ensure your rights are protected and increase your chances of a favorable case outcome.
Types of Texas Juvenile Alcohol Offenses
There are a variety of alcohol offenses that Texas minors may face. Although some offenses are more serious than others, they all come with penalties that can make life very difficult for a minor. The most common Texas juvenile alcohol offenses we see here at The Law Offices of Ned Barnett include:
If you are under 21 and drunk driving, you most likely be charged with an underage DWI, which is considered a Class B Misdemeanor and may lead to consequences such as a fine up to $2,000, a jail term that does not exceed 180 days or both the fine and jail term. In addition, if you are arrested for a DWI, you’ll lose your driving privileges and be required to complete an alcohol awareness class. Penalties for DWI increase in severity with each subsequent offense.
Minor in Possession
Unless a minor is in the presence of a parent or guardian, working in a job that requires the possession of alcohol, requesting medical attention for someone who may be overdosing on alcohol or possessing alcohol while assisting law enforcement with enforcing minor in possession laws, it is illegal for them to possess alcohol in the state of Texas.
Therefore, if you are a minor who is caught with an alcoholic beverage, you may be charged with minor in possession of alcohol or MIP. The punishments for a MIP include a fine of up to $500, a driver’s license suspension of 30 days, and 8 to 12 hours of community service that relates to alcohol education, rehabilitation, or the prevention of similar offenses.
Minor in Consumption
If you younger than 21-years-old and a law enforcement officer can establish that you have consumed alcohol, you are likely to receive a minor in consumption or MIC citation. A MIC citation can leave you with a fine of up to $500, mandatory completion of alcohol awareness training, 8 to 40 hours of community service, and a 30-day driver’s license suspension.
In the event that you are 17-years-old or older or have been convicted of two or more alcohol related offenses, you may be struck with harsher consequences like a fine that ranges anywhere from $250 to $250, a 6-month driver’s license suspension, and up to 40 hours of community service.
Why Hire An Experienced Juvenile Attorney
Although all criminal charges are stressful, those that involve juveniles are even more nerve-wracking because a conviction may result in lost education and employment opportunities and potentially destroy a minor’s future.
Through a strong defense strategy, a juvenile lawyer from The Law Offices of Ned Barnett may be able to drop a minor’s charges. If this is not a possibility, our firm will attempt to have them reduced and aggressively defend a minor in court.
Contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett
If you or your child has been accused of a juvenile alcohol offense in Texas, it’s imperative that you contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767 as soon as possible. We are committed to the best interests of all of the juveniles we represent and look forward to providing you with a free case consultation that may be the first step towards improving your situation.