Parents have the legal responsibility to provide for and protect their children. If you are arrested for DUI while you have child passengers, how does this affect your case and custody? The Lerch Law Firm explains this serious situation.
Enhanced Charges for Kids in Car During DUI
In some states, your DUI charge may be elevated to a felony if you have a minor in your car during your stop and arrest. In Georgia, the driver will face an additional child endangerment charge rather than an elevated DUI charge. This means they will face a standard misdemeanor DUI charge and then a separate DUI child endangerment charge. This is true if the children are your own or are unrelated to you, and if they are under 14 years old.
If an accident occurred or other aggravating factors increased the severity of the offense, then the charges may vary on a case-by-case basis.
Parental Rights after DUI
Getting a DUI with or without your child in the car will not automatically result in your loss of custody rights. However, your child’s other parent may pursue primary or sole custody after a DUI if they build a case proving that you are a danger to your child. This is something to be mindful of.
You may face numerous consequences if you are convicted of DUI and/or DUI child endangerment. First, you are subject to legal penalties such as jail time, fines, and probation. Additionally, you may lose your professional license that you need for your career, or may even lose your job. This is especially true if you work in a school, in healthcare, or as a professional driver.
DUI Defense in Savannah
Having a minor in your car at the time of a DUI instantly complicates your case. The judge and jury are less sympathetic toward drivers who are accused of endangering children. If you are facing DUI and child endangerment charges, contact The Lerch Law Firm today. We don’t shy away from complicated cases, and we have the knowledge and experience needed to fight for you. Reach us at (912) 417-5008 to set up a case consultation.