Driving while impaired is considered a crime in California. It is the most often charged criminal offense since it’s deemed to be illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or a combination of both. If you’re charged for DUI, you may face administrative and criminal penalties. For instance, your driver’s license may be revoked or you may be enrolled in an alcohol treatment program, among other punishments. But the crime can be more serious if you’re charged for DUI with a minor in your vehicle. If you have been arrested for Dui with a minor in the car, it’s next to impossible to deny or argue that a minor was not present. The only thing you can do is to look for a legal expert who can come up with the relevant defense strategies to be used.
Being Charged For Dui With A Minor
If you’re a first time offender, your Dui charge will be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of your case. When driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a minor in a vehicle, California law recognizes this as child endangerment. It’s worth noting that Dui charges are separate from child endangerment charges. Meaning, if you’re charged with both, you will be convicted and charged with two separate offenses. Consequences are severe; you can even lose your employment. There can be added penalties too if you had prior record. Below are the penalties for an individual who is convicted of violating California’s Dui statute with a minor who is age 14 or below:
- Remain in the county jail for 48 consecutive hours for the 1st time conviction
- Be imprisoned for 10 days for the 2nd conviction
- Be imprisoned for 30 days for the 3rd conviction
- Have an additional 90 days for the 4th or any subsequent offense
Depending on the circumstances of your case, the prosecutor must show that:
- You were found guilty of DUI
- You had a minor of the age of 14 or below in your vehicle at the time of DUI arrest
- You acted in a criminal negligence
Which Are The Defenses For Dui With A Minor?
To be able to argue in a Dui case, you need to look for a criminal attorney in San Diego. The attorney can help you understand how child endangerment charges will apply to your case. This is vital since these laws differ by state. Depending on the facts of your case, the attorney may be able to argue and provide defense on the below:
- Whether the road tests were administered correctly: Your attorney may be able to question whether the police officer administering these tests was adequately trained. If not trained, the results could be inaccurate; hence there could be a case to drop the charges
- Whether the BAC level resulted in 0.08% or more: Your attorney can use the rising blood alcohol defense to argue that your levels continued to rise even after you stopped drinking
- Whether there was any breath test, blood test, or file sobriety tests conducted: The tests are conducted to gauge the impairment. If the police officer fails to conduct them, then there is nothing to prove probable cause
- Whether the traffic stop was illegal: Your attorney may argue that the arresting officer violated the driver’s right of not being subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures.
- Whether the tool used to measure was calibrate properly: There have been many cases of false breathalyzer readings. This can apply to your case too. Your attorney can question the breathalyzer calibration.
- Whether there was any probable cause of arrest: A police officer needs probable cause to stop your vehicle. If your attorney can prove that you were pulled over without a legitimate reason, then that evidence is considered to be inadmissible in court.
Talk With An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged for Dui with a minor, you can’t ignore hiring a criminal attorney who is conversant with Dui laws. The charges may have a negative impact on your future. You may be jailed or have your license suspended. Due to the aggravating factor of having a child in your car, there will be other penalties in addition to your normal Dui charges. Again, the prosecutor will be reluctant to offer you a reasonable plea bargain. That’s why you should consider hiring an experienced criminal attorney who can fight back. A criminal attorney who is familiar with the local laws can considerably offer the best defense strategy that can be used to preserve your rights. He/she can also fight to get your charges reduced or even dropped.