What to Do When Your Child Is Charged with DWI in TexasPublished: Sep 28, 2018 in Criminal Defense, DWI, Juvenile Crimes
If your son or daughter was arrested for intoxicated driving in Texas, you need to hire an attorney. Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drivers when it comes to alcohol. When your child is 20 years or younger and an officer believes they have any amount of alcohol in their system, they can expect to face charges. Depending on the circumstances, your child could face charges for driving under the influence (DUI), or they could be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). Either situation needs to be taken seriously.
A lawyer from The Law Offices of Ned Barnett can help your son or daughter defend themselves against juvenile alcohol offenses or an underage DWI. Call us today at (713) 222-6767, or reach out through our online form to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.
Learn the Charges
When it comes to drunk driving laws in Texas, anyone under the age of 21 years-old is considered underage and a minor. Whether your child is 20 or 17-years-old, you may hear the offense called a minor DUI or juvenile DUI. However, you need to determine the actual charges your child truly faces. Different impaired driving offenses have significantly different penalties.
Your child may face class C misdemeanor for violating the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code §106.041, which states that a minor commits a crime if they operate a motor vehicle in a public space with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. This is a lesser crime than a traditional DWI. For a class C misdemeanor, there is no automatic jail time. Your child may be sentenced to a fine of up to $500, between 60 and 180 days of a driver’s license suspension, and between 20 and 40 hours of community service.
Your child is more likely to face DWI charges if they have a certain amount of alcohol in their body. If they are found to have a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher, the legal limit for those of age to drink, then they will be charged with this offense. A class B misdemeanor, this offense can be penalized with up to $2,000 in fines, one-year driver’s license suspension, between three and 180 days in jail, and a yearly surcharge on their license for three years.
Advise Your Child to Remain Silent
If your child was arrested for drunk driving, you might be the first person to get a call. Most adolescents turn to their parents for help in serious situations like this. Your first advice to your child should be to remain silent until you can get a juvenile attorney involved. For your child to revoke their right to remain silent, they must specifically tell the police that they will not answer questions until an attorney is present. Remind your child to not argue with the police or be aggressive. DWI cases are resolved after an arrest, not during.
Call an Attorney Immediately
Once you know your child has been arrested for a DWI, contact an experienced DWI lawyer. At The Law Offices of Ned Barnett, we are ready to take on your child’s case. We are experienced in defending against juvenile DWIs and DUIs.
If your child was not released on their own recognizance after being charged with DWI, our first step would be to seek your child’s release from jail with minimal conditions. You may have to pay bail for your son or daughter be released from jail. Typically, a bail amount is set within 24 hours. The more serious the situation, such as if your child caused an accident or damaged someone’s property, then the higher the bail amount is likely to be.
Is Your Son or Daughter Facing a Juvenile DWI? Contact Us Today
When you hire a DWI lawyer from The Law Offices of Ned Barnett, you can trust us to fight hard for your child. We understand how challenging having a DWI or DUI conviction on their record can be. It can hold them back in their education and career. We will strive to have the charges dropped or dismissed. If the prosecutor insists on moving forward with the case, we may negotiate for the charges to be reduced to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving. If you cannot obtain a fair plea deal, or your child will not accept a plea, then we will prepare to aggressively defend them at trial.
To help your child face a DWI charge, contact us today at (713) 222-6767 to schedule a case consultation.