A wave of emotions will overcome you if you are charged with a DUI in the presence of your child. Not only will you feel incredibly guilty for your actions, you will also be ashamed and angry with yourself for putting your child in harms way. You may have not realized that you had overindulged and thought you were okay to drive. Unfortunately, the ramifications of a DUI while a child is present can be far more severe than if you had been alone. You will need to contact the help of an attorney who understands this area of practice. They will play a vital role in providing you with the legal representation that you are in desperate need of.
Penalties when a Child is Involved
Depending on the state where you reside receiving a DUI with a child in the car could have severe consequences. In some situations, child endangerment laws may apply. With a child present, it will be difficult to take a plea deal or to receive leniency from a judge or jury. An attorney can help you go over your case and lay out the potential options that you may have. Depending on where you live, there will be a number of factors for a judge to look over including:
Whether or not the child was injured
The age of the child (penalties are more severe with a child under the age of 14 in most states)
Previous offenses you may have: other criminal charges or previous DUI convictions
An attorney can go over your options with you as the consequences may include:
Jail Time (ranging in severity depending on the number of offenses)
Suspension or permanent loss of your license
Child Protection: Unintended Consequence
It’s never a good idea to drink and drive, by adding a child to the equation; the situation becomes far more heightened. By doing so, you are putting your child at risk of being harmed if you were in an accident. As a result, the child protection agency where you reside could become involved with you and your family. Retaining the services of an attorney will be beneficial through the entirety of this process. You will want to be sure that your interests are protected and that you do not become a victim of an overwhelmed system. When child protection is involved they may begin an investigation surrounding the DUI and the care of your child. This is not always limited to just the isolated DUI. A child protection worker will look closely at the risk you may pose to your child. Depending on their findings they may make the following determinations:
1. Open your case for ongoing support and services through the state
2. File an affidavit with the courts to bring your child into state’s custody
3. Find that your child is not at risk of further endangerment and close your case
An attorney can help you navigate this complicated process while you also resolve your pending DUI charge.
You will need to acquire the services of an attorney when facing any type of DUI charge, especially when a child was present. When a child is present, the complexity of your case and the magnitude of potential consequences increase. Ensuring that you have an attorney by your side will be the best way to protect yourself through the legal process. Contact child custody lawyer Bloomington IL in the event that you have any questions or are facing a DUI charge.
Thank you to Pioletti & Pioletti Attorneys at law for providing this key insight and information DUI’s and child custody.