The penalties for driving under the influence with a child under the age of 14 in the car are quite severe. You will face additional penalties on top of the standard DUI consequences. If you have been arrested for drunk driving with a child in the car, immediately contact a Vista lawyer with experience fighting drunk driving with a minor in the car charges.
Penalties for Drunk Driving with a Minor in the Car
Those convicted of this crime face a minimum of 48 hours in jail for a first time offense. In many cases, Vista enhanced DUI lawyers can get these charges dismissed as part of a plea agreement. This means you will avoid mandatory jail time.
Child Endangerment Charges
In addition to the enhancement to your drunk driving charges, if you were driving while intoxicated and had a child under the age of 18 in the vehicle with you, you could also be charged with child endangerment. This offense can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Misdemeanor child endangerment charges carry a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail, while felony charges can result in up to six years imprisonment in a state penitentiary. If you are convicted of child endangerment you will also be required to take a year-long parenting class.
If you are convicted of both child endangerment and driving under the influence, you cannot receive the sentence enhancement for driving with a minor in the vehicle, as the child endangerment penalties apply specifically to that part of the offense.
Fighting DUI with Child Enhancements
In many cases, child endangerment charges come down to whether or not the prosecution can make a case that the driver willingly and knowingly placed the child in danger. An experienced Vista DUI with child defense attorney can fight this assertion by showing that you never meant to place the child in harm’s way.
If you have been accused of driving under the influence and had a minor in the vehicle at the time, immediately call a DUI lawyer experienced with child endangerment charges. Vista prosecutors are very aggressive against defendants facing these charges, which is why it is critical you hire a top lawyer like Peter M. Liss to represent you. Please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule your free initial consultation.