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What Are the Penalties for a DWI with a Minor in the Car?

Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is never a safe choice. Because of the way these intoxicating substances alter a person’s reaction time, vision, judgment, and perception, it is a crime to drive while intoxicated. Being charged with a DWI can have severe consequences, even more so if there is a minor under the age of 16 in the vehicle. If you were arrested for a DWI with a minor in the car you need the help of an experienced lawyer. Reach out to a New City DWI defense attorney today to begin discussing the details of your case.

Will I Go to Jail for a DUI with a Minor Passenger?

There are various penalties that you may be given for a DWI, including jail time. Certain aggravating factors can cause the charges and penalties for a DWI to increase. Having a minor passenger at the time of the DWI is one aggravating factor. In New York, a first-offense DWI is typically charged as a misdemeanor. However, if a passenger was under the age of 16 your charge will be increased to at least an E felony. Below are some consequences for a DWI with a child in the car.

  • Fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000
  • Imprisonment of up to 4 years
  • License revocation of one year or longer
  • Probation
  • Mandatory attendance at a Victim Impact Panel
  • Mandatory use of an ignition interlock device

If the child sustains an injury during the course of your driving while under the influence your charges will jump to a C felony with a punishment of up to 15 years in prison. If the child dies as a result of your actions you will face a B felony and up to 25 years in prison.

The penalties for a DUI are severe in general, but endangering the life of a child results in even harsher consequences.

What is Child Endangerment?

Child endangerment is exactly what it sounds like. It entails putting the life of a child in danger by depriving them of basic needs or allowing them to enter or remain in an unsafe environment or situation. As an adult, and especially a parent or guardian, you have the responsibility of ensuring the safety of the children under your care. When you get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you are putting all of the passengers’ lives in danger.

If you are charged with a DWI with a minor in the car you may face an investigation from Child Protective Services and have to deal with a family court case. New York police officers must report a parent to the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment if they are arrested for a DWI with a child in the vehicle.

It is important to have a skilled attorney on your side when facing charges related to child endangerment and a DWI. Speak with an experienced lawyer today to retain their services.

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