Being pulled over for a suspected DUI is enough to cause a serious disruption in anyone's life. But when you are arrested for driving under the influence with a minor passenger as well, you will likely face much stiffer charges and their associated penalties, including potentially being convicted of a felony. If you believe that you have been wrongfully accused of a DUI or simply wish to avoid the harsh consequences being punished to the full extent of the law, you will need to hire a skilled DUI attorney to take up your case and fight for you within the complex and often severe system of DUI law.
Clarifying the Charges Against You
Different states treat DUI laws with greater or lesser severity, but most if not all of them recognize driving under the influence with a minor as child endangerment. This endangerment charge is usually tacked on to the DUI charge and, depending on your situation, may be a much more serious legal issue than the DUI itself. Child endangerment can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, and it can lead to years of prison time or loss of custody in particularly egregious cases. Your attorney should be able to help you assess your case based on your state laws and the charges being brought against you.
Seeking a Deal
In cases where a driver was clearly intoxicated and behaving irresponsibly with a minor present, it may be best to admit wrongdoing in court and seek a softer sentence as part of a deal. You may be able to get certain charges dropped or their punishments reduced, leaving you to accept a less harsh form of justice and then continue on with your life. This is a very serious decision that will still have a long-lasting impact on your life, and it should not be made without an experienced attorney present to negotiate on your behalf.
Fighting a Wrongful DUI
If, on the other hand, you assert that your arrest was unlawful or the testing flawed, you may be able to have your DUI thrown out entirely. Particularly when you are facing a felony or loss of your child's custody, this course of action can keep you from being wrongfully punished for a crime you did not commit. Whenever you are facing serious charges like a DUI paired with child endangerment, you shouldn't wait another minute before seeking the help of an expert DUI attorney. Attempting to handle the case on your own will likely only lead to disaster, whereas presenting your arguments with a legal expert by your side could mean the difference between walking out of court or spending years in prison.
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