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DUI With a Minor in the Car Means More Severe Penalties

Posted on in DUI

California DUI defense attorneyCalifornia is famous for having some of the country’s most strict DUI laws. Even a simple, first-time DUI with no injuries or property damage can cost you your driving privileges, in addition to probation and exuberant fines. Committing a DUI at any time is a terrible idea, but it is an even worse one when you have a child in the vehicle with you. California courts do not take kindly to DUI offenders who endanger children and will most likely punish you to the extent the law allows. Not only will you be facing any applicable normal DUI charges, but you will also be facing an enhanced charge because of the child in the vehicle and you could also be facing child endangerment charges.

DUI With a Child in the Vehicle Calls For a Sentence Enhancement

When certain aggravating factors are present when you committed a DUI, California courts can choose to increase the penalties. In addition to any DUI charges you may be facing, you will most likely face an enhancement to your DUI charge if you had a child passenger at the time of your arrest. California VEH 23572 allows for this sentence enhancement if it is found that you committed a DUI with a child in the vehicle under the age of 14. In addition to other penalties, you will also be facing extra time in prison. These times can vary from 48 hours to 90 days of extra jail time.

Child Endangerment Charges

If you are caught with a child passenger under the age of 14 and you are found to be intoxicated while driving, you could also be charged with child endangerment. Under California’s Penal Code 273(a), you could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime for putting the child in a situation where death or great bodily injury was likely. Though you cannot be convicted of both a DUI with a child endangerment enhancement and a penal code charge for child endangerment, you can be convicted of both a normal DUI and a penal code charge for child endangerment.

Contact a Knowledgeable San Jose, CA DUI Defense Attorney

Drinking and driving is never a good idea -- we all know that. Sometimes, people make mistakes and a DUI is a big mistake -- especially when there is a child in the vehicle with you. Not only will you be facing DUI charges, but you can also face child endangerment charges that can result in your children being taken away from you.

At the Law Office of Erik Steven Johnson, we strongly believe that everyone deserves a second chance. Our highly-skilled Santa Clara County DUI defense lawyers can help you keep your name clear and keep your children with you. Contact our office today to determine what your best option at defense would be. Call our office at 408-246-3004 to set up a free consultation.

Sources:

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&division=11.5.&title=&part=&chapter=2.&article=4.

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=PEN&division=&title=9.&part=1.&chapter=2.&article=

 

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