Fort Worth Underage Offense Attorney
There are many laws in Texas that apply to those who are underage. For instance, adolescents cannot consent to sex until they turn 17. They cannot buy cigarettes or other forms of tobacco until they are 18. Additionally, they are not allowed to buy or drink alcohol until they turn 21.
If you participate in an activity before you are the legal age, you could find yourself facing charges. A Fort Worth underage offense attorney may be able to help you. They can explain the ramifications and stand up for you in court. Here at Cole Paschall Law, we want to assist you with your legal troubles.
What Are Underage Crimes in Texas?
Regardless of your age, committing a crime can result in charges. However, some offenses are more common among underage individuals. Many of these offenses are related to state laws. Therefore, you have to look at Texas laws to understand some of the specific underage crimes. Some of those crimes include:
1. Possession of Alcohol
Individuals who are under the age of 21 cannot be in the possession of alcohol. Whether the alcohol is in their room, vehicle, or hand, the individual could be charged with possession of alcohol. Usually, this crime is only a misdemeanor.
2. Intoxication in Public
An underage individual who is intoxicated broke the law by consuming alcohol. Therefore, it should be no surprise that public intoxication is a crime for an underage person. You could be arrested for your actions.
3. Underage Driving Under the Influence
The state of Texas takes drinking and driving seriously. This is true of adult DWIs and DUIAs committed by minors. However, there are some differences between the two types of drunk driving charges.
If you are 21 or older, you have a legal blood alcohol concentration of .08. But drivers under the age of 21 have stricter limits. If the police find a level of .01 or higher, they can arrest you. The arrest often results in a misdemeanor charge. Even that can have a serious impact on your future.
4. Possession of a Fake ID
Obtaining or using a fake ID might seem innocent, but it doesn’t always end well. In Texas, it is a crime that could result in serious charges.
5. Disorderly Conduct
Adults and juveniles alike can be charged with disorderly conduct. And although underage individuals only receive a misdemeanor offense for this crime, it can look terrible on your record. The crime usually involves starting a fight in public, mooning someone, showing a weapon, or disturbing the peace.
Consequences for Underage Activities
There are several consequences you might face for performing illegal underage activities. If you are 16 or younger, then your case is likely to be in the juvenile court. However, individuals who are 17 or older could find themselves in the adult court. In the adult courts, the penalties are more serious.
Some underage crimes might not seem as if they have harsh consequences. In reality, they could. You could find it difficult to continue your education or find employment. If you don’t have citizenship in the U.S, you could be deported. Other possible consequences include:
- Being expelled from college
- Inability to get into college or to transfer
- Difficulty getting internships
- Ineligibility for certain professional licenses
- Inability to obtain a federal student loan
If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you could be forced to pay a fine or do jail time. For example, a Class C misdemeanor can result in a fine as high as $500. Meanwhile, a Class B misdemeanor comes with up to 180 days in jail and a fine as high as $2,000. For a Class A misdemeanor, you could spend as much as one year in jail and receive a fine as high as $4,000. There could also be probation, community service, and restitution. The outcome of your case depends on the specifics of your crime. Additionally, it depends on your lawyer and your judge.
Whatever your charges may be, the stakes are high. A conviction can completely turn your life around. A Fort Worth criminal defense attorney could help you fight the charges. In some cases, they may be able to dismiss the charges completely. At other times, they can convince the court to try the defendant in juvenile court rather than adult court. They may be able to get you a lesser sentence.
Working with a Fort Worth Underage Offense Attorney
In Fort Worth alone, there are 68,551 college students. Many of those students are underage and could find themselves facing charges. If you or a loved one is in legal trouble, you should contact us at Paschall Law Group. Call us today and learn more.