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You can fight your teen's DUI charges

The last thing you expected to receive last night was a phone call from your child's university stating that he was involved in a DUI accident. You know the police are already involved, and now the school could issue penalties, too.

Fortunately, your child has some options for a defense against the charges. He's only 17, but that doesn't mean he can't fight back against the DUI charges. This one-time mistake doesn't have to impact his future in the long term.

What are some of the options?

To start with, your child should be treated as a juvenile by the authorities. It's likely that this DUI will result in a misdemeanor charge, since no one was hurt. Juvenile offenders often receive less-serious penalties because they are believed to lack the capacity of criminal intent.

Since this charge is alcohol-related, you and your child will need to appear in court. There is a dress code that you should follow. Dress appropriately with a suit and tie, slacks or other business attire. It's important to present yourself and to have your child present himself professionally at this court date.

Texas is strict and does not allow anyone under the age of 21 to have the presence of any amount of alcohol in their blood at the time of a breathalyzer test. Even if your teen had only .01 percent of alcohol in his blood, he can face a DUI.

Not every state is like this, and some allow minors to have .02 or less in their blood. With such a low amount in the blood stream, there's a good chance you can argue that your teen wasn't drinking at all. It's possible that he could have used mouthwash with alcohol in it or been given a test that malfunctioned. It's worth discussing these possibilities with your attorney before you head to court.

If your teen is convicted of a DUI, he faces a number of penalties including a fine of up to $500 and a driver's license suspension that lasts up to 180 days. Your teen may need to participate in community service and have to take alcohol-awareness classes. Your attorney can help you fight the charges against your teen and work toward having the charges dropped or the penalties reduced, so they have less of an impact on your child's life.

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