Your DUI Charge: Can You Get Into More Legal Trouble When Children Are Involved?

A DUI charge can impact your life in a seriously negative way, particularly if your children were in the car with you at the time of arrest. Not only can you lose your driving privileges and serve time in jail, you could also suffer consequences that will have major implications when it comes to your kids. The following are some examples of possible repercussions of a DUI with your children in the vehicle:

You Could Harm Your Children

Aside from the legal issues you face, one of the most devastating consequences of driving while under the influence with your children is the fact that they could get seriously injured or even killed if you were to get into an accident. A car accident is significantly more likely when you have been drinking or using drugs before you get behind the wheel. In addition to facing legal charges, you will have to live with the thought that you caused harm to your kids due to your behavior.

You Could Lose Custody

Another possible consequence of driving under the influence with your children the car is the fact that you could lose custody of your children. Once you are pulled over and arrested, the officers cannot let your children go to jail with you. If there is another custodial parent or guardian who can pick them up, the kids can typically go into their custody. However, if you are the primary custodian of your children and there is no one else to take custody of your children, they could go into a foster home or other temporary protective custody while you work out your DUI charges.

You May Face Harsher Penalties

In some states, the law enacts a harsher penalty for DUI convictions that include minor children. For example, California has an enhanced penalty for cases like these in which a person charged with a first-time DUI may have to serve jail time rather than possible probation they likely would have gotten for a first offense.

You may also face additional charges alongside your DUI charge. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, you may even face child endangerment charges. This would be a separate charge and comes with additional penalties, including time in jail.

If you are facing a DUI charge and your children were in the car with you, it is crucial that you speak to your attorney right away to better understand the penalties you could face. Look for a DUI attorney in your area.