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Austin, Texas Underage DWI Defense Attorney

Hays County Underage DWI/DUI Defense Attorneys

Lawyers in Travis County for Clients Facing Charges of Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

In every state in the country, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle on a public roadway while impaired by drugs, alcohol, or another substance. According to the law in Texas, the offense commonly known as drunk driving is statutorily called "driving while intoxicated (DWI), but it goes by other names in other states. For example, the state of Wisconsin calls the offense "operating while intoxicated/impaired," or OWI. About half of all states use the term "driving under the influence" and the associated abbreviation "DUI." The abbreviation "DUI" is so prevalent that it is generally used in national awareness campaigns designed to reduce and eliminate drunk driving.

It may come as a surprise to learn that Texas law also uses the term "driving under the influence" to describe an offense that is distinct from DWI. In particular, DUI refers to the offense that a person under the age of 21 commits by operating a motor vehicle after consuming any amount of alcohol. "Regular" DWI charges are possible instead of DUI charges if an underage driver is suspected of being intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle. If you or your child is facing charges for DWI or DUI, the skilled attorneys at Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC. are here to help.

Understanding Underage DUI Charges in Midland County and Williamson County

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a violation of the Texas Penal Code. The offense of driving under the influence of alcohol by an underage person is technically considered a violation of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, but it is still a criminal offense. The law provides that a minor under the legal drinking age of 21 commits DUI by driving on public highways or roads with "any detectable amount of alcohol" in his or her system. It is important to realize that the law does not specify how the alcohol should be detected, meaning that a law enforcement officer can arrest an underage driver based solely on the smell of alcohol on the driver's breath.

In most cases, DUI is handled as a Class C misdemeanor, which means that an underage driver can usually avoid jail time. Penalties for a DUI conviction may include a $500 fine and mandatory participation in an alcohol awareness or intervention program. The driver may also be ordered to perform up to 40 hours of community service. A second conviction could result in similar penalties, with an increased community service obligation of 60 hours. Beginning with a third conviction, jail time is possible, and fines increase to as much as $2,000.

DUI charges can quickly transform into DWI charges if prosecutors or the police believe that the driver's normal mental or physical faculties were impaired by alcohol. Likewise, if a blood or breath test shows that the driver had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08, he or she may face DWI charges. Texas law does not provide a minimum age for a person to be charged with DWI.

Experienced Georgetown DUI and DWI Defense Lawyers

The compassionate lawyers at Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC. understand the effects that a conviction on DUI or DWI charges can have on a young person's life. We also know that it can be very easy to get caught up in a bad situation. If your child is dealing with charges of DUI or DWI, we will do everything we can to help him or her obtain a favorable outcome. We will work closely with your family to ensure that your child's rights and best interests are fully protected, no matter what challenges may arise along the way.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

For more information about DUI and underage DWI defense in central Texas, contact our office. Call 512-474-2222 or 432-570-1499 for a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team today. At Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC., we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to meet your needs. We serve clients in Austin, Odessa, Midland, Georgetown, Travis County, Midland County, Williamson County, Ector County, Hays County, and the neighboring communities. Hablamos Español.

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