The DUI laws in Texas, a state that also penalizes DWI, can be a bit confusing. Some people do not even know if driving under the influence is considered a crime and if it could carry penalties.
However, depending on a few things, a DUI case can have serious repercussions if it escalates. Fortunately, Sparks Law Firm's attorneys are here to answer those questions and help all those who need it!
What Do Texas Regulations Say about Drunk Driving?
According to Texas Penal Code's Section 106.041, the term DUI or "driving under the influence" refers to when a person aged under 21 operates a car or any other motorized vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in their body.
In DUI cases, the state is not required to prove intoxication or show that the defendant was over the legal limit. Instead, authorities can charge a minor for any amount of alcohol in their system, even if it is a drop.
In other words, under Texas law, a 21-year-old is prohibited from driving after drinking alcohol.
Any minor can be cited for DUI if a traffic officer testifies that they smelled an alcoholic beverage on their breath or suspected they were driving under the influence, even if the person is below the legal limit of 0.80 and does not seem drunk.
How Does Texas Law Classify DUI?
Texas law states that DUI is a C-class misdemeanor. That means offenders probably do not have to spend time in jail. However, DUI offenses can be penalized with fines or driver's license suspensions.
Penalties a Person Can Face If Caught Driving under the Influence
As a C-class misdemeanor, drunken driving can be penalized as follows:
As it is considered a C-class misdemeanor, DUI offenders can be punished with fines of up to $500. However, in most cases, they should not spend any time in jail.
Minors caught driving under the influence may also have their driver's license suspended for 60 days.
In addition, the state may require DUI offenders to perform 20 to 40 hours of community service or enroll in and complete an educational program related to alcohol abuse when they commit the first offense.
Second and Third Offense
However, the case can escalate if a person is convicted of DUI more than once. The third offense is considered a Class B misdemeanor. Therefore, offenders can be fined up to $2,000.
After the second offense, DUI offenders can also face jail time of up to 180 days, as long as they are over 18 but under 21.
DUI convictions are also recorded in people's records. Therefore, minors must be very careful when driving!
What Can a DUI Lawyer Do for Offenders?
Anyone charged with DUI can seek expert legal help, but what can lawyers do for them?
DUI attorneys can help offenders understand the charges they are facing. Moreover, DUI attorneys in Tarrant County help clients define a smart legal strategy to handle their cases and all related administrative tasks.
If the case escalates to a la carte or the DUI is being charged as a felony, a DUI lawyer can also help a person defend their case before a jury.
DUI attorneys can also:
Negotiate with prosecutors
Keep offenders aware of deadlines for legal filings
Fight for the legal rights of those accused
Handle all related paperwork
Negotiate lower sentences or fines
Prove officers' abuse of authority
Refute lab test results
Define whether or not there is probable cause for DUI arrest
Prove the absence of reasonable doubt
Suggest DUI program courses if needed or if the second-time offender applies for probation
How Sparks Law Firm Can Help
Sparks Law Firm has a team of experienced DUI attorneys who can help all minors charged with drunken driving build a strong defense.
Our reliable attorneys understand Texas law and all its nuances. Also, we know that anyone can make mistakes. Therefore, we are ready to provide DUI offenders with the legal assistance they need to deal with their cases.
Sparks Law Firm has helped hundreds of people build strong defenses in DUI cases, collecting evidence, finding discrepancies in test results, and more! Also, its legal team offers a free consultation for everyone who needs help now.