Felony DUI and Child Endangerment

According to media reports in New York this week, a twelve year old girl called 911 from a car being driven by her mother who had been drinking and was weaving all over the interstate highway. The police arrested the mother, forty eight year old Jamie Hicks who reportedly had a blood alcohol level of over twice the legal limit. She now faces one year in jail for felony drunk driving. The law in New York makes it a felony to drive under the influence of alcohol with children in the vehicle. This amendment to the law was enacted on December 18th 2009 and is called "Leandra's Law" after Leandra Rosado, an eleven year old girl who was killed after her mother crashed her car while drunk.

In California, driving under the influence of alcohol with kids in the car is not automatically a felony, although there is an enhancement requiring county jail time if this is proven. However, Child Endangerment can also be charged which may be a felony or a misdemeanor. Typically, this would be filed as a misdemeanor, unless there are aggravating facts such as a traffic accident, in which case it could be filed as a felony.

Los Angeles DUI Lawyers Gold & Witham have been defending Felony DUI charges in Los Angeles and Orange County Courts for over fifteen years and have a reputation for being one of the leading DUI defense Law Firms in Southern California.

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