DUI and Child Endangerment
California Vehicle Code Section 23572 mandates a sentence enhancement in drunk driving cases where it is proven that a person under the age of fourteen was a passenger in the car at the time of driving. The Code Section requires a minimum of 48 hours in county jail if one child was in the vehicle at the time of the commission of the DUI. The period of jail time for this enhancement may be extended up to 90 days depending on the number of children in the car and whether the defendant has prior DUI convictions.
Prosecuting Agencies in Los Angeles and Orange County have a policy of charging a seperate Child Endangerment Charge under Penal Code Section 273(a). This can be filed as a misdemeanor or felony and can cary greater penalties than the underlying DUI charges. Relevant factors include whether there was an accident, the manner of driving, the age of the children and the blood or breath alcohol level of the defendant.
Some police agencies will also file a report with the Department of Justice under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act.
Gold & Witham have many years of experience in avoiding jail time for clients arrested for DUI with children in the vehicle. This situation demands that you hire a DUI Lawyer in Orange County or Los Angels who is farmiliar with the policies of the Court and the issues to be addressed in avoiding a Child Endangerment conviction.