Drunk driving is a serious offense in New Jersey but drunk driving with a minor in the car is even worse. If you were charged with drunk driving and you had a child in the car with you at the time, you need to consult a diligent New Jersey DWI lawyer as soon as possible. This is an extremely serious charge that can adversely impact your personal and professional life. Our firm is committed to protecting your rights and making sure that you obtain the most favorable outcome in your case.
Actor Marion “Pooch” Hall was recently placed under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol with his toddler son apparently in his lap and crashing into a parked car. Witnesses called 911 after seeing the toddler on his lap and noticing that the vehicle had been weaving in and out of traffic before hitting a parked car. Fortunately, no one was injured. According to police, Hall showed obvious signs of intoxication and was unable to perform field sobriety tests. In addition, his blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.25, three times the legal limit. The police also determined the toddler was inside the car and he was not restrained as mandated by the law. Hall was charged with drunk driving and child endangerment.
While this incident took place in California, the sad truth is that these sorts of accidents also happen in New Jersey and everywhere else in the country.
Drunk Driving with Minor in the Car
If any passenger in your case is 17 years old of younger at the time you are charged with a DWI, you can also be charged with driving under the influence with a minor as a passenger under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.15(c). A parent or guardian, who is convicted of a DWI and who, at the time, had a minor in the car can be guilty of a disorderly persons offense. This is a criminal conviction that carries serious consequences such as a fine of up to $1,000.00, possible jail time, loss of driving privileges and more.
Endangering the Welfare of a Child
You may also be charged with endangering the welfare of a child under N.J.S.A 2C;24-4 if the court deems that your drunk driving is evidence of abuse or negligence. For this offense, a child is defined as someone under the age of 16. This is a felony and the penalties are much more severe penalties than a disorderly persons offense. If convicted, you could face up to ten years in prison.
Hiring a Skilled New Jersey DWI Defense Attorney
DWI charges are bad on their own but they can be even worse when a child is in the vehicle. If you have been charged with drunk driving or drugged driving and your child was in the car at the time, you need to contact a seasoned New Jersey DWI attorney without delay. We will examine your case and vigorously help you fight these charges. You can rest assured that we understand the nuances of this area of law and we will try our best to get your charges reduced or your case dismissed altogether. Call our firm today at 877-450.8301 or contact us online
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