Dallas Public Intoxication of a Minor Defense Attorneys

With some of the most broadly defined public intoxication statutes in the country, police officers in Texas may arrest anyone they believe to be so intoxicated as to pose a threat to themselves or others. As such, Dallas police officers are not required to administer field sobriety tests to validate their suspicion prior to making an arrest. The Dallas public intoxication of a minor defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter understand how devastating these charges can be, especially for Dallas individuals under the age of 21; we will do everything we can to help you protect your future.

If you have been charged with public intoxication in the Dallas area while under the legal drinking age of 21, our Dallas legal team will help you build a comprehensive defense against your charges.

What Does it Mean for a Juvenile to be Publicly Intoxicated?

Texas law makes clear that public intoxication is the act of appearing anywhere in a public location while intoxicated and under the influence of alcohol to the point that the person could pose a danger to others. There is no exception. Under this statute, even a minor under the age of 21 can be punished if they are caught appearing in public visibly intoxicated and posing a danger to others.

What does being intoxicated mean? Most people understand what being drunk looks or feels like, but there are different specifications for what constitutes intoxication under the law. Texas law specifies that intoxication is legally defined as not having the normal use of an individual’s mental or physical faculties due to alcohol, drugs, or a combination of these substances. A person can also be legally considered intoxicated if a test reveals they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher.

To fully understand the implications of public intoxication, it is also important to breakdown the definition of “public.” The law considers a public place to be any type of common area or space that members of the public have access to use. Public places can include schools, hospitals, offices, apartment buildings, streets and sidewalks, and parks. Bars and restaurants or places that serve alcohol are also technically considered public, so being intoxicated in a restaurant to the point where the individual or minor is posing a danger to other patrons or staff members could result in a public intoxication charge.

Texas’s Zero Tolerance Policy

Texas takes underage drinking very seriously, hence the state’s Zero Tolerance Policy. Zero tolerance is a tool that law enforcement and the juvenile justice system uses to impart the gravity of drunk driving and alcohol-related crimes to minors. The policy also applies strict penalties to minors who are caught possessing or consuming alcohol.

While these laws are typically used to deter and punish minors for alcohol-related driving offenses, they can also be applied to non-driving situations. Minors under the age of 21 can face serious penalties for any form of alcohol-related offense, including purchasing alcohol, consuming alcohol, or possessing an alcoholic beverage. These penalties scale up depending on the number of prior offenses on a minor’s record. Breaking the Zero Tolerance Policy in Texas not only carries the potential for legal consequences, but it can also impact a minor’s future.

Penalties for Public Intoxication of a Minor

A conviction for public intoxication as a minor has the potential to severely affect your opportunities to apply to college, find work, and secure a place to live. Aside from these long term consequences, minors convicted of public intoxication may be subject to the same penalties Dallas adults face for public intoxication, including:

  • Fines not to exceed $500 (for a first-time charge)
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Mandatory community service hours

Whatever the circumstances of your arrest were, it may be critical for you to consult with an experienced Dallas criminal defense attorney to better determine what your legal options may be.

Why You Need an Experienced Juvenile Defense Attorney

The juvenile justice system is not unlike its adult counterpart. It can be difficult to understand, and navigating your way through the system to achieve the most positive outcome for your child can be challenging. Some people think that a juvenile charge is not “as serious” as an adult charge. This is not the case. Having a criminal record as a minor can significantly impact a person’s ability to seek higher education, a job, and potentially even a place to live.

Taking a public intoxication or any alcohol-related charge seriously is a must. The best way to protect your child’s future is by retaining dedicated and experienced legal representation immediately. The team at Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter has a solid record of helping clients and their families maneuver through the juvenile justice system. We want to help you take steps to make sure your child’s future is safe.

Consult With a Dallas Public Intoxication of a Minor Defense Attorney

At the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, our Dallas public intoxication of a minor attorneys will work with you to challenge any and all of the aspects of your arrest in an effort to reduce or altogether eliminate your charges. To discuss the particulars of your case with a member of our legal team, please call our Dallas offices at (214) 845-7007.

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