As you probably well know, the state of California takes driving under the influence very seriously. One way that California’s DUI laws have been hardened is by adding additional penalties that are associated with child endangerment. Specifically, these laws refer to DUI cases where the driver that has been arrested is found to have a child 14 years old or younger in the automobile with him or her at the time of arrest. In order for you to understand how severe the penalties for this can be, we thought we’d explore them.
How the Child Endangerment Enhancement Works
If you are pulled over and arrested for a DUI in the state of California with a child that is 14 years old or younger, then you will face additional charges for child endangerment. It is important for you to understand that either these child endangerment charges can be an enhancement of your DUI charge, or they can be considered a separate felony. As such, there are different levels of penalties that you can expect.
As with the DUI itself, a number of different factors will be taken into consideration by the prosecutor when deciding whether the child endangerment charges you face should be an enhancement or a separate felony charge. Primarily, the BAC that you register when you’re arrested will be taken into consideration. In addition to this, the prosecutor will also consider whether or not the DUI resulted in an accident, bodily injury or death. If your DUI resulted in any of these things, then you can bet that you will be charged with felony child endangerment in addition to the DUI charges that you face.
Provided that the child endangerment charge is only considered a misdemeanor, then you can expect the penalties that you face to be an enhancement to your DUI charges. In these cases, you could be sentenced to a jail term of up to six months, but generally you will face two days in jail that are in addition to any other jail sentence you are required to serve as part of your DUI conviction.
If the charges are separated, then you can bet that the penalties will be even greater than that. In these cases, an offender can expect to be sentenced to a jail term of two years to six years. Regardless of whether or not the child endangerment component of your DUI charge is considered a misdemeanor enhancement or a separate felony charge, you will be required to serve a jail term. There is no exception to this.
Dealing With a DUI Charge That Includes Child Endangerment
There is no reason that any individual should confront a DUI charge in the state of California without proper representation. I have extensive experience representing individuals who have been arrested for DUIs in California, including those whose charges include child endangerment. Given the potential penalties that you can face when dealing with a DUI conviction with child endangerment, it’s vitally important that you have a lawyer that can represent you to the fullest extent possible.
If you or someone that you know is facing a DUI charge attached to child endangerment, then get in touch today. I'll look at your case and give you a strategy for beating or mitigating your charges. You can call me at (760) 613-5384?. When you do call, I will offer you a free consultation to review the facts of your case and to offer my expert legal advice as to how to fight the charges. I know how to defend you against these charges in a manner that gets results, and I know how to help you face the minimum penalties possible.