It's always a mistake to drive your vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but this is especially a bad idea when you have a child in your car. If there is a child in your car, you may be charged with both a DUI and child endangerment if the child is under a specific age. This can often be an aggravating factor and you will need to speak with a DUI attorney about the best steps to take going forward.
The DUI Child Endangerment Law
Child endangerment, sometimes referred to specifically as "DUI child endangerment," is a crime that can vary from state to state. Most often, the child needs to be under a specific age, you need to be an adult, and the courts must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were under the influence of alcohol while operating a vehicle.
You are likely to face more severe penalties if you are charged with child endangerment and these penalties will become even more severe if you commit this offense more than once. You may also face a felony DUI child endangerment if your child suffered a serious injury or was killed in an accident while you were under the influence of alcohol.
How to Defend Yourself from These Charges
When you have been accused of a DUI or of child endangerment, you might feel like you are innocent of these charges. However, you have the right to a legal defense, with the help of an experienced DUI attorney service, you may be able to beat your charges.
For example, you might be able to prove that your BAC was not as high as the arresting officer claimed. There may have been a different reason why your BAC was so high such as a medical problem.
How to Reduce Your Charges
You may also be able to have your charges reduced because the severity of your charges depends on whether you have any previous convictions and the severity of the circumstances surrounding your arrest.
You might have been accused of driving recklessly while under the influence of alcohol, but you might later be able to prove that there was an emergency situation such as if you were driving the child to the hospital because you believed they had a medical emergency. In some cases, this might be treated as a mitigating factor and in other cases your DUI attorney may even be able to have you acquitted.
For more information, contact DUI attorneys near you.