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San Antonio DUI Lawyers

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol by a minor is a very serious offense. All Texas drivers under the age of 21 are subject to a Zero Tolerance policy when it comes to alcohol. A minor in violation of this policy can be cited or arrested. They will face criminal charges, administrative penalties, and life-long consequences.

DUI and DWI are often used interchangeably in Texas, but they are actually very different. In Texas, a person of any age can be convicted of DWI for operating a motor vehicle, while DUI is only applicable to minor drivers’ under the age of 21. 


What is a DUI in Texas?

DUI is a Class C Misdemeanor. A minor commits the offense of DUI, if they are found to be operating a motor vehicle in a public place while having any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. 

Unlike with DWI, there is no threshold number for BAC. It doesn’t matter how much alcohol a minor has in their system. Any detectable amount is enough. An officer doesn’t even have to administer a breath or blood test (and they often don’t).

You read that right. It’s super easy to be charged with DUI if you’re under 21. Because an officer often doesn’t collect any evidence, it makes it very difficult to dispute. It sounds crazy, but a person under 21 can be arrested for DUI in Texas on nothing more than a police officer’s opinion. 


What are the Penalties for DUI in Texas?

DUI, like all other offenses in Texas, has serious consequences — even for first-time offenders. 

The consequences for DUI first offense include: 

  • Court costs and a fine of up to $500
  • Life-long criminal conviction 
  • 60-day Driver License suspension
  • Court-ordered community service 
  • State-approved Alcohol / Drug Awareness course(s)
  • State-approved Driving Safety courses 

DUI 3rd Penalties

San Antonio DUI Lawyers

A minor in Texas with two DUI convictions, facing a third DUI charge, is subject to serious consequences, including: 

  • Up to a $2000 fine 
  • Life-ling criminal conviction 
  • Up to a 180 day Driver License suspension
  • Court-ordered community service 
  • State-approved Alcohol / Drug Awareness course(s)
  • State-approved Driving Safety courses 
  • Court-ordered Alcohol Monitoring device 

DWI by a Minor (17-21 Years Old)

DWI by a Minor between the ages of 17 and 21 is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by:

  • Court costs and a fine of up to $500
  • Life-ling criminal conviction 
  • 60-day Driver License suspension
  • Court-ordered community service 
  • State-approved Alcohol / Drug Awareness course(s)
  • State-approved Driving Safety courses 
  • Court-ordered Alcohol Monitoring device 

A second offense is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $4,000, 30 days to 1 year in jail, and license suspension for up to 18 months. A third offense is a third-degree felony, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, 2 to 10 years in prison, and license suspension for up to 2 years.


 

 

Get Your DUI Charge Dismissed

If you’re facing a DUI, don’t hope for the best, and don’t just pay a fine and forget about it. A DUI conviction is a criminal conviction, and it stays on your record forever. Criminal convictions can ruin job opportunities and negatively impact college admissions. 

It’s important to do every single thing possible to get the DUI dismissed. 

DUI Frequently Asked Questions

DUI is only for minors. While a minor can be charged with DUI or DWI, an adult over 21 can only be charged with DWI.
DUI is a Class C misdemeanor that only applies to minors under the age of 21. If you are under 21 years old, you are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in your body.  DUI carries with it a driver’s license suspension, a fine of up to $500 and a possible lifelong criminal conviction.

DWI applies to adults over 21 years old. A person can be charged with DWI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 or higher, or if a police officer believes they have lost the normal use of their physical or mental faculties.

Obviously, the second part of that definition is incredibly subjective. Law enforcement officers are trained to use a series of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests to determine if someone has lost the normal use of their faculties. The tests are garbage, often administered incorrectly, and are not scored for passing, only failing.

Can you be charged with drunk driving if you are not actually driving?

Yes.

In Texas, you don’t need to be found driving your vehicle to be charged with DUI (or DWI).

The State  must prove every element of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) as defined in Texas Penal Code Title 10 Chapter 49: Sec. 49.04. DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED. (a) A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.

  • Intoxicated: The law defines “intoxicated” as having lost the normal use of your mental or physical faculties due to the introduction of any substance including alcohol or a drug or a combination of the two or having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater.
  • Operating a Motor Vehicle: It is important to note, the word “driving” does not appear in the definition and operation is somewhat broadly interpreted. If the keys are in the ignition, and the vehicle is on, that can be enough.
  • Public Place: A “Public place” is defined in Section 1.07 of the Texas Penal Code as any place where the public or a significant portion of the public has access. This includes neighborhoods and the parking lot at Whataburger
How much does a DUI in Texas cost?

First-time offenders face a fine of up to $500, as well as the cost of court and court-ordered classes. Additionally, if a license suspension occurs (which it almost always does), there will be costs associated with reinstatement and obtaining an Occupational License during the pendency of the suspension. 

The biggest cost, however, is impossible to quantify. A conviction for DUI means a life-long criminal conviction. A DUI conviction cannot be expunged or sealed. It will be there for every college application, job interview, background check, security clearance, forever. 

Spending money to fight for a dismissal today, could save you hundreds of thousands in lost opportunities down the road. 

How long does DUI stay on your record in Texas?

In most cases, a DUI conviction will remain on your record forever. That is why it is critical to fight for a dismissal. Once a DUI has been dismissed it can be expunged (permanently deleted) from the record. 

However, in 2017, the Texas Legislature passed a law allowing for certain individuals to seal their DUI conviction if certain qualifications are met.

Find out if you qualify for that here.

Is a DUI in Texas a misdemeanor or felony?

A first DUI offense is a class C misdemeanor. Though repeat offenders face enhanced penalties, a DUI can never be upgraded to a Felony. 

Will a DUI affect a background check?

Yes. A conviction for DUI means a life-long criminal conviction. A DUI conviction cannot be expunged or sealed. It will be there for every college application, job interview, security clearance, forever. 

A DUI that has been expunged will not appear on a background check. This is why it is critical to fight for a dismissal. 

Is it worth fighting a DUI charge?

Yes, no matter how bad you think it is, your situation is not hopeless.

Choosing to hire an experienced DUI attorney can be the difference between a temporary inconvenience and a life-long conviction. 

Can you go to jail for a DUI?

Yes, but only if you have prior convictions for DUI. 

Award-Winning DUI Defense

in 2019 Trey Porter was selected by Three Best Rated as best DUI lawyer in San Antonio. Additionally, Mr. Porter has been selected in the National Trial Lawyers’ Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense, received Avvo’s Client’s Choice Award, and has been recognized by San Antonio Scene Magazine as one of the Best Lawyers in San Antonio every year since 2015. You can read more about Trey Porter here


DUI Testimonials

We hired Trey Porter to assist us last year. From the initial consultation up to and including the court hearing, Trey had a straight forward approach to the situation at hand. He explained everything along the way and was available at any time to discuss/answer any questions we had either by phone/text/email. With his experience and professionalism, we obtained the best outcome possible. We would highly recommend Trey Porter with no hesitation whatsoever. Five stars is definitely not enough!

-R Valdez
Review From Google

 

Trey Porter is amazing at what he does! He’s extremely knowledgeable with the laws and will give it his all. Down to earth, and understanding; he is my favorite and best lawyer by far!

-Violet Gonzales
Review From Google

 

Trey is the man! I hired him because I had overheard a county court judge mentioning how awesome of an attorney he is, so if an endorsement from a judge won’t convince you then I’m not sure what will. I sure do hope I never find myself in a pickle ever again but if I do, I would hire Trey in a heartbeat. He’s honest, transparent, doesn’t beat around the bush, and will work tirelessly so that your clean record stays clean and unblemished. 5 stars, highly recommend!

–Joey Psykosis
Review From Google

 

I recently hired Trey Porter Law to help our teenage daughter with a drug charge. In the state of Texas she was being charged as an adult which carried a much stiffer penalty. Trey is very responsive, helpful, knowledgeable and is always available to answer any questions or concerns via phone, text or email. He was able to negotiate on her behalf so it was a pleasant experience. I would highly recommend Trey Porter Law.

–Wendy C.
Review From Google

 

Trey really helped me out. He was straight forward and professional, and really helped me in my case. I thought i was going to lose my job, but trey did everything in his power to help me keep my way of life, and still keeps up with me any details on my case. I really appreciated all he did for me.

–Juan Lopez
Review From Google

 

Best lawyer thus far, highly recommend him, helped me get out of a sticky, stressful situation and ended up getting the case dismissed; we worked hard for about 8 months. 👍 Appreciate you man !

–Justin Sanchez
Review From Google

 

Trey is a phenomenal attorney that gets the job done right! He is dedicated to help his clients.
He made himself available and answered all my concerns immediately! I had faith in him and he continued to prove his expertise by helping me. I highly recommend Trey Porter!!

–Bindia Patel
Review From Google

 

I was wrongfully charged with a crime. I hired Trey after a recommendation from a family friend. He was very thorough, and he got my case dismissed. I am grateful. 5 Stars FOR SURE!

–Mark
Review From Avvo

 

Trey Porter fought for me! I am a nurse and thought my career was over. Very thankful I got Trey Porter involved.

He responds to messages regularly and was very thorough. He saved my career. Forever grateful!

–Stevie
Review From Avvo

 

Trey Porter came recommended by my boss. When I hired him he was very friendly and explained the details of my situation with no bs.

He was able to get me out of my DWI, and I am forever grateful. Would give him 100 Stars if I could. God bless.

–Alina
Review From Avvo

 

Visiting from out of town and got arrested for Pub Intoxx. Trey promised a stress-free, turnkey experience and that’s what I received. Well worth the money and highly recommended.

–David
Review From Avvo

 

I hired Trey Porter and was totally impressed with him. I found him after reading google reviews and checking out his website. He was awesome. 5 stars Mr Trey!!!!

–Kristin
Review From Avvo

 

Best lawyer I have ever had. Super professional. Super knowledgeable. Hiring Trey was the difference in keeping // losing my career. Grateful && recommending him to everyone.

–Richard
Review From Avvo

 

Trey Porter got my DWI DISMISSED! I was scared, anxious, and at my wits end. Trey was very confident, and calming. He formulated a game plan and executed it. I have my life back, and could not be more grateful. Hire Trey Porter!!!!!!!!

–Chad
Review From Avvo

 

Trey came highly recommended to me by a colleague. He lived up to his reputation — highly responsive, organized, professional and always gave me a good feeling when I saw him enter the court.

–Quentin
Review From Avvo

View All Reviews

    National Trail Lawyers

    AVVO Client's Choice Winner

    NHTSA Certified

    I hired Mr. Trey Porter after getting a D.U.I. Was very much scared because I am a nurse and thought I would lose my livelihood. Mr Porter was reassuring and kind. He was also very confident.

    Stephen, October 2017

    Mr Porter was recommended to me by a coworker. He helped her out of a DWI 3 years ago, and he did the same for me.

    Sammy, September 2017

    Mr. Porter is very professional, he works diligently, efficiently, is in constant contact, and prompt!!! The key ingredients for a great lawyer.

    Sheila Torres, July 2018

    Trey is one of the best in the business. I was in complete shock of the outcome for the case, the best scenario was achieved in a not so great situation. Would absolutely recommend to everyone.

    Stacey Reyes, November 2018

    Trey is a phenomenal attorney that gets the job done right! He is dedicated to helping his clients. He made himself available and answered all my concerns immediately!

    Bindia, March 2018