Texas Zero Tolerance Policy: 5 Tips for Minors Facing Texas DUI Charges
What Is the Texas Zero Tolerance Policy?
The Texas zero tolerance policy for minors driving under the influence is strict. A minor caught with any detectable amount of alcohol in his or her blood can face charges for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUIA). Unfortunately, this is the fate of many Texas minors, defined as those less than 21 years of age, who make the mistake of getting behind the wheel after drinking. If you find yourself making the same error, here are five tips that can make or break your case.
Think Before You Speak
Minors and adults alike have a right to remain silent when arrested and interrogated. Don’t think because you are a minor no one will take advantage of you. It’s best to limit what you say until you can speak with an attorney. Even better, hire a criminal defense attorney to do the speaking for you.
Find Legal Help
Some minors mistakenly plead guilty to DUI/DUIA because they assume it’s a less serious charge and carries minimal penalties. But the specific penalties you face, such as fines and a license suspension, aren’t the only negative consequences of a conviction. You will also have a criminal record that can hold you back for the rest of your life. That said, find an experienced attorney who can help you keep your record clean.
Learn About the Consequences
Speaking with an attorney about the potential consequences of a conviction is an excellent first step. You’ll want to thoroughly understand the ramifications of a plea before you appear in court. Likewise, learning about all the costs you may face can give you a better idea of what is at stake. These costs can be hard to assess, especially if you are unfamiliar with the criminal justice system.
You may be ordered to abstain from drugs and alcohol if put on deferred adjudication. Likewise, staying sober while your case is pending can help demonstrate to the judge you are responsible.
Don’t Drive on a Suspended License
Minors under 17 years of age will have their license suspended for 60 days for a first DUI offense. That suspension shoots up to 180 days if you refuse to submit to a blood alcohol content (BAC) breath or blood test. Minors between 17 and 20 years of age will face a one-year license suspension, although it might be reduced if you meet certain requirements. If you don’t have a license, you will be ineligible to obtain one for the duration of your suspension. Do not drive on a suspended license. Rather, speak with a DUI attorney about what you can do to save your license or have it reinstated as soon as possible.
Every Texan deserves to have a bright future ahead. To preserve that future, you should absolutely fight your charges. The Texas zero tolerance policy is self-explanatory. Expect no tolerance and no leniency. Find a Texas DUI attorney who has helped minors navigate the DUI process. With an experienced attorney assisting you, you will have a much better chance at obtaining a favorable outcome.
If you’ve been arrested for DUI/DUIA and need a legal advocate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to minimize the consequences of your charge. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.