Terri Daniel, Attorney at Law, PLLCTerri DanielAttorney at Law, PLLC

Underage DUIs: What happens when a child faces arrest?

As a young adult, you're bound to make mistakes. The trouble is that when you make certain mistakes, they can come back to haunt you for some time into the future. One of those potential mistakes is having a DUI on your criminal record.

A DUI is easier to get when you're under the age of 21 than when you're older. Texas is a zero-tolerance state, meaning that if you have any alcohol in your system at the time of a traffic stop, you can be arrested for driving under the influence and end up with a DUI on your record. The trouble with this is that many things cause a breathalyzer to read above 0.00 percent, from mouthwash to eating food with wine reduction sauces.

What happens when a minor gets a DUI?

The first thing that happens is that he or she is taken to the station to be booked. After that, the minor's parents are informed. Many stay in jail or juvenile hall for a night or two while awaiting a hearing.

It's vital at this point to have an attorney work with you to make sure your child isn't treated unfairly. Your child may not know not to admit to drinking. Your child may say more than he or she should. It's his or her right to stay silent, which protects him or her in the end.

If the case goes to court, then a judge decides if the minor deserves a DUI based on the evidence. Many cases settle outside court, which is good for you for a few reasons.

Why is settling outside court a good idea?

Unless you have proof that your child was not intoxicated, it's a better idea to settle in any way that keeps a DUI off his or her record. Sometimes, the court will allow the DUI to stay off the record if your child agrees to substance abuse treatment or other penalties in exchange. Everything depends on how much your child had to drink and how much evidence there is against him or her.

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Terri Daniel, Attorney at Law, PLLC
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