Being arrested for driving under the influence can be harsh enough, but when a child is involved in a DUI charge, Georgia punishes to the fullest extent of the law. When a driver is accused of being under the influence with a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle, they face DUI child endangerment charges in addition to their DUI charges.
DUI Child Endangerment Adds Separate Criminal Charges
Being charged with DUI and DUI child endangerment counts as two separate sentences. This means that even if these charges are the result of the same arrest, the driver will be facing penalties for two DUI charges. This can increase with the number of children under the age of 14 in the car. For example, if two children were present, the driver will be facing the same sentencing as someone with three individual DUI convictions.
In addition to the standard DUI penalties, a driver faces:
- First conviction: One year imprisonment and $1,000 in fines
- Second conviction: One year imprisonment and $1,000 to $5,000 in fines
- Third conviction: Felony charge with five years in prison and $10,000 fine
Sentencing for DUI can be made more severe by a judge if children are involved in the arrest. A judge may add additional jail time since children were involved. Since this is separate from DUI child endangerment, jail time can easily be in excess of six years, depending on the case.
Being charged with DUI child endangerment is serious business. Only one arrest can lead to a number of additional charges that can land you behind bars for years, prevent you from seeing your children, or even put you in financial hardship. Don't go into trial without the aggressive legal representation you deserve.
With over 19 years of experience, The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson can provide legal defense that keeps your life intact following a DUI child endangerment arrest.