Underage crimes can lead to serious repercussions, no matter the age of the defendant. One of the most common types of juvenile crimes is underage drinking or alcohol-related violations, which could have a significant impact on your future or that of your child. When facing these charges, building a strong defense is imperative.
When a person under the age of 21 is in possession of alcohol, it could lead to various penalties, even if your child was not actually drinking or driving while intoxicated. It is important to take these charges seriously and confront them with a strong defense. Protecting the interests of your child is critical, and you have no time to lose in taking the appropriate measures.
The penalties for underage possession
In Texas, underage individuals do not actually have to consume alcohol or get behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated in order to face criminal charges. Simply possessing alcohol is sufficient to bring serious charges; the penalties for which include the following:
- Fines that can be as much as $500
- As much as 40 hours of community service
- License suspension ranging from 30 to 180 days
- Mandatory attendance in an alcohol awareness class
The amount of alcohol actually found with an underage person has no bearing on the charges. Second and third violations could lead to an increase in the severity of any penalties.
Underage drinking and driving
It is always illegal for a person under the age of 21 to drive with any amount of alcohol in his or her system. Underage drinking and driving can lead to the following penalties:
- Fines as much as $500
- Community service requirement ranging from 20 to 40 hours
- License suspension of 60 days
- Mandatory alcohol-awareness classes
These fines and penalties can increase in severity if the underage driver has a BAC of .08 percent or higher at the time of arrest.
You can fight back
Fighting back against alcohol-related charges is important, particularly if the defendant is underage. A conviction can have a significant impact on his or her life, affecting school, scholarships and other future opportunities. If your child is facing allegations of misconduct related to alcohol, you have the right to fight back.
One of the most beneficial steps you can take is securing appropriate help as soon as possible after an arrest. This allows you the best opportunity to build a strong defense and appropriately confront these charges.