In terms of the legal aspects of driving while intoxicated (DWI) and other general laws involving the same, Houston (specifically the state of Texas) laws categorize people under age 21 as minor. The DWI rule specifies that minors are prohibited from driving any sort of motor vehicle with any detectable trace of alcohol in their body.
When caught for this offense, minors may face penalties, probation, loss of driving license, mandatory enrollment to the alcohol education classes, or community services etc. However, the penalties may increase with subsequent offenses, which may ultimately lead to jail time in case of chronic offenses.
Upon receiving these charges, the best way out is to approach an experienced Houston DUI or DWI lawyer who can help minimize the penalties and long-term complications that the offenders may have to face.
Usually, probation is the common first-time consequence minors need to face upon being charged with DWI.
Probation – It is basically an agreement to be entered between the offender and the judge. That is when the judge agrees not to sentence a jail time to the minor offender in exchange of him or her agreeing to do or not to do certain things over a set period of time. This restrictive time period is known as ‘probationary period.’ For the first-time offenders, this probationary period may last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.
Generally, if there are no prior convictions to the offender, the judges will usually avoid the jail sentence and place the minor under probation for a minimum of six months or so. On an average, the probation can be one year altogether. The accused is asked to do the following things during probation. For a comprehensive list, visit The Houston DWI Lawyer website.
- Pay the entire court fee, fines, and a monthly probation fee.
- Timely reporting to the probation officer who will be assigned by the judge.
- To attend a Houston DWI education class.
- Mandatory community service, which may range from one day to four days.
- Attend the VIP (Victim Impact Panel) schedules.
- To work and support the dependents.
- Get alcohol and drug evaluations and.
- Random urinalysis tests.
In addition to these general things, there are a few things which one must not do during probation. Some of these are:
- Drinking alcohol
- Doing drugs
- Visiting bars or clubs
- Violating any law, not just related to drinking and driving.
- Socializing with people of questionable moral character or criminal background.
- Refrain from getting involved in crime or activities of illegal nature.
On violating probation
If there is a second case of DWI conviction, then the consideration as a minor may be deduced and penalties may include jail sentence. For third DWI conviction, it may be considered as a felony conviction, and you may have to spend 10 days in the county jail.
DUI or DWI charges have serious consequences not just for minors, but for adults as well. That is why it is essential to take the assistance of an expert Houston DWI attorney in order to avoid any troublesome aftereffects.
Author Bio: Bill Williams is a practicing attorney in Houston, and he also works as a legal consultant. He used to publish articles on blogs and websites like The Houston DWI Lawyer website, and also a columnist on legal magazines.