It’s bad enough to receive a DWI charge. The penalty is much worse, however, if you have a minor in the car with you. Two things could result, past the DWI charge. The minor in the car:
1.) Could be a separate charge
2.) Could be a circumstance that triggers a sentencing enhancement
In all cases, any DWI penalties will be heightened over just a simple DWI charge. Heightened penalties include imprisonment terms and fines.
Louisiana has its own Child Endangerment Law (Bates & McMillin). The Louisiana Code directly deals with DWI cases and says that somebody will be convicted of child endangerment if the child in the car during the incident is 12 years old or younger. This doesn’t include just cars. This also includes other forms of transportation such as boats, aircraft, and motorcycles.
If convicted of a DWI with a child as a passenger, you will have to undergo jail time from the child endangerment charge.
Additionally, probation is often part of the punishment. Fines also may range from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the situation. Since the courts look down at crimes involving children, plea bargains for lesser sentences are much less available.
One of the most devastating results of a DWI charge with child endangerment is the possibility of losing custody of the children involved.
It’s not worth it to face jail, fines, and the loss of child custody from DWI Child Endangerment. Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer is your best bet.
Regardless of the circumstances of your case, Southern Oaks Law Firm will use every resource available to advocate on your behalf. Lafayette criminal defense lawyer Taylor Fontenot will make sure your rights are protected because we know there is nothing more precious than your freedom.
We practice with integrity and empathy while delivering expertise at every step. Contact us today and breathe easy knowing that we can help.