DWI charges are serious enough. But being arrested for DWI while driving a child in the car carries much higher penalties. If a police officer suspects you are driving intoxicated with minors (anyone under the age of 16 in most states), they can arrest you and charge you with a felony. Felony charges carry much more weight than misdemeanors. They can affect your employment and other aspects of life that make it more difficult to move on from a past discretion. It’s imperative that anyone arrested for suspected drunk driving with minors in the car contact a reputable lawyer with experience in similar cases. It can make a huge difference in how your case is handled and the results of any charges.
DWI While Driving a Child Carries Heavy Penalties
Driving drunk with minors in a vehicle carries a minimum punishment of 180 days confinement. Two years in state jail is the maximum sentence. Additionally, fines can reach up to $10,000. Probation is usually mandatory with convictions. Probation means that a person has to check in on a monthly basis with a probation officer. If a convicted person can still drive, an interlock ignition device will be installed in the vehicle. Drivers use the device as a breathalyzer that permits the car to start when blood alcohol levels are within legal limits. Judges frequently suspend the licenses of those convicted of DWI with a child in the car. There are also other restrictions a judge can place on the ability to drive with children and other aspects of court-ordered probation that could make life difficult.
The Potential for a Felony Conviction
Deferred adjudication is not an option for a conviction for DWI while driving a child. The felony arrest will stay on a person’s criminal record for good. Every time a convicted felon applies for a job, they must explain the arrest and conviction. This could impact employment opportunities. People with felony convictions also cannot vote or own a firearm.
The view of a judge or jury is often impacted when children are involved. This can make mounting an effective defense challenging. It can also affect any possible plea bargaining. Finding the right attorney to argue on your behalf is vital. Stephen Bowling & Associates serves the greater Travis, Hays, and Williamson County areas. We have helped many clients work through the legal challenges facing them over DWI-related charges. Contact us to speak with us about how we can help you today.