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

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.


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