Children in the Car
Sentencing enhancements can substantially increase court punishment in a California DUI case. One such sentencing enhancement is the allegation that the driver was arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23152, and had minor under 14 years of age was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the offense (California Vehicle Code Section 23572 - Minor Passenger: Enhanced Penalty). A California criminal defense attorney experienced in defending DUI cases will use an aggressive defense strategy to negotiate a compromised plea with the prosecutor.
A California driver who had children under 14 years old in the vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest risks a child endangerment charge as well as a sentencing enhancement. Just like the underlying charge of Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs, the allegation must be proven by the prosecutor.
A drunk driver found to have kids in the car at the time of the offense faces 48 hours in jail for a first offense, 10 days for a second offense, 30 days for a third offense, and 90 days for a fourth offense. The jail time, which is added on to any other punishment meted out, is unavoidable if the facts establishing child endangerment are proven.
Anyone facing this serious allegation may want to consider a plea bargain if one is offered. In a negotiated plea agreement, the driver receives sentencing consideration or reduced charges in exchange for pleading guilty.
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Attorneys for the firm represent clients accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or driving with a blood alcohol level at or above the legal limit in San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Sonoma and Napa counties.
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Accepting a plea bargain in this type of DUI case can help the driver put the incident in the past and move on. Drunk driving arrests, particularly involving a parent, can be extremely traumatic for a child. A carefully crafted plea agreement can prevent any additional trauma for the children involved.
The sentencing enhancement for driving in a violation of Section 23152 and a minor under 14 years of age was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the offense, California V.C. Section 23572 - Minor Passenger: Enhanced Penalty, is not taken lightly by judges and prosecutors. Punishments for such crimes resulting in longer jail sentences, higher fines, longer driver’s license suspensions, greater mandatory education requirements, and more restrictive probation. An experienced California DUI defense lawyer can evaluate each case to determine the best strategy to fight sentencing enhancements along with the underlying charge of drinking and driving.
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