Anytime someone is charged with a DUI and children were present in the car, they likely face additional charges of child endangerment. Child endangerment is a separate accusation from those that allege intentional abuse or harm. In these scenarios, police or prosecutors believe that a person was DUI with a child under the age of 14 in their car.

Based on child endangerment laws, accusations that someone has committed a DUI with child passengers in Carrollton are serious. Convictions are typically misdemeanors that can result in a jail sentence or heavy fine. If someone is convicted of child endangerment for a 3rd or subsequent time, however, the offense can become a felony and carry prison time. Additionally, if there is a DUI that results in the injury or death of a child, the charges transform into felonies. These penalties are in addition to the underlying DUI punishments.

A DUI attorney may be able to help you if you are facing charges involving child endangerment. This could include fighting back against both the core DUI charge and the separate alleged offense of placing a child in harm’s way.

State DUI Laws and Child Endangerment

It is illegal to operate any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other impairing substance. According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 40-6-391, a conviction for DUI could result in a loss of license, the payment of heavy fines, and even time in jail. However, the situation can become much more serious if there is a child in the car at the time of the arrest.

According to subsection (I) of this statute, having a child under the age of 14 in a vehicle while driving under the influence is a separate criminal offense. Furthermore, this offense cannot merge with the core DUI when determining the punishment after a finding of guilt. As a result, defendants may find they are facing multiple charges and groups of penalties from a single incident. A Carrollton attorney could provide more information about child endangerment laws and how they interact with the state’s DUI statute.

Defending Against DUI and Child Endangerment Allegations

Accusations that a driver has endangered the welfare of a child are serious matters. As a result, it is vital to start building a defense against these charges as quickly as possible. One possible defense strategy is to fight back against the core DUI case. This may include contesting a police officer’s observations during the traffic stop or debating the accuracy of breathalyzers and blood tests.

It may also be possible to dispute a child endangerment charge on its own. Under the relevant statutes, this charge only applies to children who were under 14 years of age at the time of the incident. It may be possible to offer evidence that the child does not fall into this category. A lawyer in Carrollton could work to develop a defense that is best suited to the specific charges someone is facing for driving under the influence with child passengers.

Let a Carroll County Child Endangerment Attorney Fight for You

Any charge alleging DUI is a serious matter. Situations that involve the alleged endangerment of a child may have lifelong consequences on your freedom. A conviction for child endangerment may result in additional punishments on top of whatever results from the underlying DUI charge.

When you face charges for a DUI with child passengers in Carrollton, our attorneys can help. We can work to explain child endangerment laws and how they interact with DUI cases. Then, we can fight to protect your rights, discover powerful evidence, and find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Reach out to J. Ryan Brown Law today to learn more.

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC