As is true for many states, driving while under the influence of either alcohol or drugs—or both—is against the law. Getting a DUI when you have a child in the car automatically changes your charge from a misdemeanor to a felony, with the added charge of child endangerment. Child endangerment is a separate offense with more severe penalties of its own. If you have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence and had a child in the car with you, you will need the assistance of an experienced and aggressive Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney.
Consequences of a DUI With Child Endangerment Charges
For many professionals, a criminal conviction of any kind can result in disciplinary action at work, issues with professional licenses, and the loss of employment. You may not be able to get to work because your DUI conviction cost you your license, or your employer may have a zero tolerance policy toward Driving Under the Influence. Tossing in the child endangerment charges will only make it worse, especially if your job is one where you work with children. The added charges could mean you will never work in that field again. Some jobs that this applies to include:
- Sports coaches
- Daycare workers
- Bus drivers
If the child was your own, you will face scrutiny by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Office of Children, Youth, and Families. You may find yourself fighting to keep your child and any of its siblings with you.
DUI With Child Endangerment Penalties
Pennsylvania law calls for first-time offenders to be required to perform 100 hours of community service and to pay a fine of $1,000 or more. Second-time offenders will go to jail for one to six months and pay a fine of at least $2,500. For a third or subsequent conviction, the jail term is six months to two years.
Additionally, the regular penalties for driving under the influence still apply. This means you will have to pay to have an ignition interlock device installed on your car, and be forced to deal with the inconvenience of breathing into it every time you need to start the vehicle. It also means stiff fines, possible jail time, and lost work hours. You may find your license totally suspended for a period of time, which means calling around asking for rides when you need to go somewhere that’s too far to walk.
Pennsylvania’s DUI laws are complex, and its court system confusing. A DUI attorney with training and experience is your best bet for a good outcome. Trying to represent yourself will only lead to pain—you will be convicted and receive the worst of the punishments available. You don’t have to face it alone!
Remember that the Pittsburgh DUI attorney that you hire will need all the facts of your case in order to adequately defend you. Don’t hesitate to trust and confide in him, so he can work his hardest for you. Give him all the details you can, even if they don’t seem important. Your attorney will be able to explain your charges to you in detail, as well as describe your options. He will stand beside you as you navigate the criminal justice system. He will speak for you, as your representative, and protect your rights.
If you are facing Driving Under the Influence and Child Endangerment charges, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Logue Criminal Defense team serves Pittsburgh, PA, plus West Virginia and Ohio. For a free initial consultation with a Pittsburgh Criminal Defense lawyer experienced in DUI defense, call Logue Law Group today at (412) 612-2210 or (412) 389-0805. Or, you can contact us online.
Be sure to call immediately upon being charged! The longer you wait to hire an attorney to defend you, the more difficult it becomes for you to get the good outcome you want and deserve.