Posts Tagged ‘Texas DUI/DWI Defense Attorney’

What to do if Your Teenager is Arrested for Underage Drinking and/or Driving

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Not many things can terrify a parent more than receiving a phone call in the middle of the night where the caller informs you that your teenage son or daughter has been arrested for drinking and driving. Upon hearing this news, part of you may be relieved to learn that your child is physically okay. But very quickly, that feeling of relief may be replaced with other emotions, such as anger and disappointment. Learning that your child is facing criminal charges can be downright devastating. However, there are things that you as a parent can do to make this bad situation better, including:

  • Do not panic: Many parents panic when they learn that their teenager son or daughter is facing charges for drinking and driving. Just the thought of their child being arrested and sitting in jail is enough to make any parent crazy. While panic is a normal feeling under these circumstances, it is not a helpful emotion for either you or your child. Important things need to be done and panicking will not help. Your child needs you to think clearly.
  •  Research attorneys: It is quite likely that when you learn that your child has been arrested, you realize that you do not know a single attorney. Or, maybe the only attorney you know is the one that drafted your will or handled your divorce. When a young adult is facing underage drinking and driving charges, it is critical that you hire only an experienced DUI/DWI attorney. While the other attorneys that may you know are probably very good at what they do, they are not criminal defense attorneys.
  • Schedule an appointment with a DUI/DWI defense attorney ASAP: After you find one or two attorneys whose practices are focused on DUI/DWI defense law, it is important to immediately schedule an initial consultation with each one. While it is importantly to act quickly, you do not want to hire the first attorney that answers the phone. You can learn a lot about an attorney and how he or she handles a case at this consultation.
  •  Do not let anger cloud your judgment: When you meet with a DUI/DWI defense attorney, is important that you listen to him or her not only with open ears, but also with an open heart. While you may still be furious that your child did what he or she did (despite your multiple conversations to the contrary), it important that you do not let anger cloud your better judgment. A conviction for underage drinking or DUI could follow a teen into adulthood. While you may be tempted to let your child your child learn his or her lesson the hard way—having a criminal record could severely impact his or her future. This is not to say that you should be “okay” with what your child has done, but there other ways to discipline him or her than to allow the justice system to dish out what is “fair.”

If your teenager has been arrested and charged with underage drinking or driving under the influence, the first thing you as a parent need to do is schedule an appointment to speak with an experienced Texas DUI/DWI Defense Attorney. Your child’s future is at stake, so do not just hire any attorney. For more than 30 years, Attorney Jack Pettit has represented clients in Dallas and throughout Dallas County. Mr. Pettit is a seasoned advocate who will take the time to carefully investigate the facts of your child’s case and make certain that all possible defenses to the charges are explored. To schedule a free and confidential consultation call our office today at (214) 521-4567.

Make Sure Your Texas Teen Understands the Consequences of Underage Drinking and Driving

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Too many teens in the Dallas area and across the United States choose to consume alcohol. All too often, these teens do not realize the severe consequences that they could face if charged with underage consumption. As a parent, one of the best ways to discourage your teen from drinking is to educate him or her on the law. Many teens think that because they are “only teens” that the biggest punishment they could face is if their parents found out they had been drinking. Some teens do not even realize that they could be arrested and placed in jail for underage drinking and driving. Teens need to be made aware of how drinking (or drinking and driving) can affect their lives and their future, so they can make better choices. The following are a few of the consequences of underage drinking:

Underage drinking

A minor (a person under the age of 21 years of age) who is found to be in possession of alcohol, or has consumed any amount alcohol, or attempts to purchase alcohol can be found and charged with a Class C misdemeanor. He or she will also face the following penalties:

  • Fines up to $500;
  • Mandatory attendance at an alcohol awareness class;
  • Serve between 8 and 40 hours of community service; and/or
  • Loss or denial of driver’s license for between 30 and 180 days.

If the minor is 17 years of age or older at the time of the arrest, he or she can face fines up to $2,000 and jail time is also possible for a third offense.

Zero tolerance driving under the influence (DUI)

In the State of Texas, it is against the law for a minor to operate a motor vehicle if he or she has any detectable amount of alcohol in his or her system. This means that a minor cannot consume any beer, wine or liquor and drive a car, even if he or she is not intoxicated. A teen who has consumed alcohol and drives can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor and faces the following consequences for a first time offense:

  • Fines up to $500.00;
  • Serve between 20 and 40 hours of community service; and/or
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to 60 days.

This law not only prohibits a minor from driving a vehicle under the influence, but also a watercraft.

Driving while intoxicated (DWI)

If any person is found to be driving while intoxicated, which is typically measured by a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more, he or she can be charged with DWI. In Texas, a DWI is a Class B Misdemeanor, and the person faces the following penalties:

  • Fines up to $2,000;
  • Loss of driver’s license for between 90 days and 1 year; and/or
  • Jail time between 3 and 180 days.

Talk to your teenager and make sure that he or she understands the state’s zero tolerance policy.  Have the talk often and remind your teen to never get into a car with anyone who has been drinking.

If you receive a phone call that your teenager has been arrested for underage drinking or driving under the influence, it is important not to panic. The first and most important thing you need to do to help your child in this situation is to schedule an appointment to speak with an experienced Texas DUI/DWI Defense Attorney.  Only a seasoned DUI/DWI Defense Attorney can make sure that you understand the charges against your child and that he or she has an aggressive advocate on his or her side. With more than 30 years of experience, attorney Jack Pettit is the attorney you need if facing DUI/DWI charges. Mr. Pettit represents clients both in Dallas and throughout Dallas County. To schedule a free and confidential consultation call our office today at (214) 521-4567.