Crimes involving children lead to severe consequences, and driving under the influence with a child passenger is a severe form of child endangerment. Not only do individuals face the consequences for driving while intoxicated, but also for endangering a child or causing harm in any way. Though these situations may vary, even a first offense is challenging to overcome.
With a dedicated attorney knowledgeable in DWI, child endangerment, and varying criminal cases, you can rest assured that your case is reviewed honestly. At John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm, our experienced attorneys are available to help you and may be able to assist you in resolving a serious criminal case.
What Is Louisiana’s Child Endangerment Law?
In Louisiana, the child endangerment law specifies that any acts that put a child at risk of harm to their well-being, including their mental and physical health, have serious consequences. Additionally, a child does not need to incur physical and visible harm for an adult to be charged with endangerment.
If enough evidence supports the chance of injury in a given situation, this may equate to a conviction. In Louisiana, child endangerment laws regarding DWIs apply to any case where a child aged twelve years or younger is a passenger at the time of a DWI arrest. Even if there may be a lack of intent, the prosecution may build enough evidence to convict an individual for endangering a child.
Many cases and mistakes have led to an individual being charged with child endangerment and suffering severe consequences. Many parents lose their child custody rights in DWI cases when they are found guilty of endangering their children. Speaking with a DWI lawyer about your case and how to build a strong defense may help you avoid severe penalties and jail time.
Can a DWI Involving a Child Passenger Be Considered a Child Endangerment Charge?
If you are pulled over to the side of the road by a police officer and are found to be driving under the influence with a child passenger, you are likely to be threatened with the guilt of a DWI and face a child endangerment conviction. Crimes involving children almost always result in jail time unless you have an aggressive legal team that may be able to discredit the prosecution’s claims against you.
Penalties for a DWI Involving a Child Passenger
Regardless of the number of occurrences you face with DWIs, penalties are almost always unavoidable. Especially in a case where an individual is charged with drunk driving with a child passenger, individuals may face varying consequences.
Penalties you may face for a child endangerment DWI in Louisiana include:
First offenses may include a fine between $300 and $1,000, imprisonment from ten days to six months, enrollment in a court-approved substance abuse program, enrollment in a court-approved driving improvement course, and the use of an ignition interlock device.
In addition to the possible first-offense penalties, second-time offenders face a $750 to $1,000 fine, prison time from 30 days to six months, and the use of an ignition interlock device for no later than six months.
Third-time offenses are punishable by up to $2,000 in fines, up to five years imprisonment, evaluation of a substance abuse disorder, court-appointed treatment, the use of an ignition interlock device, and other requirements such as home incarceration and a restricted license.
In addition to the penalties for previous offenses, fourth-time offenders may face up to $5,000 in fines, imprisonment for up to thirty years, court-appointed treatments, vehicle seizure and sale, license restriction or revocation, and other court-appointed consequences.
We understand that mistakes and accidents can occur. Seeking a knowledgeable attorney that works diligently to help clients resolve criminal cases with the bare minimum penalties may be the help you need to resolve your case.
How Can an Attorney Help Me After a Drunk Driving Charge Involving a Child?
Drunk driving accidents and DWIs occur on Louisiana roads every year. The dangers of these collisions and the drunken behavior of the driver behind the wheel are often reckless and dangerous for anyone involved, especially child passengers. As experienced defenders in Louisiana, our criminal defense lawyers understand the challenges and consequences of DWI cases. You could face jail time even in a first offense depending on the circumstances surrounding a drunk driving arrest.
When children are involved, drunk driving cases can escalate. A skilled attorney can review the evidence against you, review the events leading up to your arrest, challenge the efficacy of field sobriety or breathalyzer results, and work to ensure that your rights are upheld.
Child endangerment is severe and disrupts the family life of many each year. Typically, the court will appoint a social worker to examine your family life and a child’s well-being. If you are imprisoned and taken into custody, it’s possible your child may be sent into child service programs or appointed a new guardian. Hiring a skilled attorney can help you resolve the charges with the law and attempt to lessen the severity of penalties you face. Additionally, we work hard to get our DWI clients into the proper health and treatment programs instead of facing years of jail time. We care for your rights and your family’s future.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Seasoned Louisiana DWI Attorney at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm
A combined DWI and child endangerment case is severe, and often the punishment is entirely avoidable. Although, a dedicated and experienced legal team may be the help you need to get the best help possible and resolve any wrongdoings with the law.
With varying penalties in jail time, fines, license suspension or revocation, lengthy treatment programs, and other consequences, you may find it challenging to navigate through a child endangerment case independently. To get the help of a successful lawyer that can review your case, complete a contact form or call (318) 377-1555 to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm.