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DUI With a Minor Passenger

Drunk driving is a serious crime. Because of alcohol and drug’s ability to inhibit a person’s senses and judgment, driving while intoxicated can result in serious accidents and injuries. Penalties associated with a DUI will become more severe when a minor is present as a passenger. Endangering the life of a child is a serious crime so it is considered an aggravating factor. A Tehama County DUI lawyer can offer experienced legal counsel during your DUI case.

What is the Crime?

Driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol is a crime on its own. It can be dangerous and cause an accident that can result in serious property damage, injuries, and even death. Driving under the influence is a criminal offense in California but the charges can be enhanced if aggravating factors are applicable. One of the aggravating factors that can alter the severity of a DUI charge is if there is a minor passenger present in the car. Under California state law, if a person is guilty of driving under the influence with a passenger who is under the age of 14, additional penalties can be imposed.

What Are the Penalties for a DUI with a Minor Passenger in CA?

In California, the penalties for a DUI can be severe. A first-offense misdemeanor DUI charge can include any of the following penalties.

  • Fines ranging from $390 to $1,000
  • Up to 6 months in a county jail
  • Probation
  • Mandatory participation in a DUI education program
  • License suspension for 6 to 10 months

While the above consequences are stern, they are designed to discourage the driver and other members of the community from participating in such dangerous activities again. If a minor passenger was present at the time of the DUI a judge can impose the enhancement to the charges. For a first offense, 48 hours of additional jail time will be included in the sentencing.

What Are the Penalties for Child Endangerment?

When you are convicted of a DUI with a minor passenger you may also face charges related to endangering the welfare of a child. This is a serious crime that includes willfully allowing a child to enter or remain in a dangerous situation. Driving a child in a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol puts the child at risk of injury and even death.

A child endangerment charge can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the unique circumstances of the situation. Both can result in serious consequences.

A misdemeanor child endangerment charge can result in fines of up to $1,000 as well as up to 1 year of imprisonment in a county jail.

A felony child endangerment charge can result in fines of up to $10,000 as well as up to 6 years of imprisonment in a state prison.

Either of these charges can also be accompanied by mandatory counseling, probation, and more. Enlist the help of an experienced lawyer to gain representation and build a strong defense in your DUI or child endangerment case.