California DUI Law
In Fresno, a person will be arrested on charges of driving under the influence (DUI) if they are found to be operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater. It's possible that DUI offenses will result in penalties that involve significant fines, as well as some time in jail. However, DUI offenses will result in penalties that are even more enhanced especially if there are additional circumstances involved.
What Happens if a Fresno Driver Gets a DUI with a Child in the Backseat?
A DUI offense that is considered to be more severe is the charge of DUI with a child passenger. The laws in the state of California specify that a person that is under the age of 14 is considered to be a child under state law. If you are stopped under the suspicion of DUI in Fresno with a child in your vehicle and the law enforcement officer determines that you are DUI, it's likely that you will face additional penalties to those normally associated with DUI charges in the state of California because this is considered to be a form of child endangerment. In some situations, the offense can even be considered a form of child abuse. Penalties may involve more jail time, as well as enrollment in alcohol treatment programs and/or counseling.
Most persons will agree that children are often innocent victims when their parents or other adults abuse alcohol while in their presence. There can be violence and other dangers in the home and often times, there are dangers on the road when the intoxicated adult chooses to drink and drive with a child present.
Are There Child Endangerment Laws in California?
According to California law, any person who willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts physical pain or mental suffering upon the child, or otherwise endangers the health of the child, will be punished through imprisonment in the county jail for up to a year or in the state prison for 16 months, two years or three years.
The crime of child endangerment will be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the severity of the situation. In court, the burden of proof is on the prosecution to show sufficient evidence that the crime of child endangerment actually occurred.
Misdemeanor Penalties Related to Child Endangerment in California
If the defendant is convicted of the crime, their probationary terms will likely be strict. Terms of probation related to a charge of child endangerment will often be a minimum of three years and include:-A protective order shielding the victim from any further acts of violence or threats of violence; and,-Required enrollment and attendance in a state certified child abuser's treatment counseling program for one year.
Contact an Attorney
If you are facing charges related to a first offense DUI, do not think that your only choice is to plead guilty. Take a moment to contact Terry A. Wapner and schedule a consultation in order to discuss the facts of your case and be advised of your options.