Many people are extra cautious when their children are in the car. Most won’t even have a sip of alcohol if they have to drive their children home after. But what happens if you get pulled over for driving under the influence and your children are in the car? Children-involved DUI’s are much more severe than a regular DUI. Not only are you endangering yourself and others on the road, you are endangering minors within the vehicle.
Children-Involved DUI’s: How This Changes Things
Usually, the presence of a minor will severely increase your fines. Depending on if its your first offense or not, your DUI may be considered a felony (rather than a misdemeanor). However, even if it is your first and a child is in the car, your charge could be a felony. Children-involved DUI’s are taken very seriously. In addition to higher fines, you could also serve a longer sentence behind bars.
What’s a felony DUI?
Any felony can leave a deep mark on a record. A misdemeanor DUI and a felony DUI are totally different. Children-involved DUI’s usually result in a felony charge. Felonies can make it difficult (sometimes impossible) to get certain jobs or living spaces. While misdemeanors can be overlooked by some employers, felonies usually cannot.
Is that it?
No. Not only will you potentially face a felony charge, the judge and jury will change their views once they find out there were children in the car. Children-involved DUI’s make it difficult for defense tactics, which make plea bargaining tactics more difficult. Judges and juries will not be willing to give second chances for those who involve children in poor decisions.
In conclusion, children-involved DUI’s are more serious than others because of the severity and difficulty to defend. They can include other charges, like child endangerment. These charges can affect many aspects of your life. If you have shared custody or sole custody, a child endangerment charge can cost you your custody agreement. If you are in this situation, seek help from your attorney.