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DUI and Child Endangerment in Orange County

If you’re caught driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs (even prescription drugs) or alcohol in Orange County, you face an array of consequences such as fines, DUI probation, possible jail time, DUI School, community service, AA classes, skyrocketing insurance premiums, and attending a MAAD victim impact panel.

Of course, you’ll also have to deal with the DUI being listed on your driving record for 10 years and on your criminal record indefinitely, which will affect employment and housing opportunities for years to come.

Being arrested for DUI when you’re driving alone or with adult passengers is one thing, but what if you were arrested for DUI and you had your children in the vehicle? Will you face additional criminal charges for putting your kids at risk?

Child Endangerment Charges

In California, if you’re arrested for DUI and you had one or more children in your vehicle who were under the age of 14, you will face child endangerment charges in addition to your DUI charges.

Child endangerment can be found under Section 273a of the California Penal Code. Under this section, you can be charged with child endangerment even if your child did not sustain any injuries in the incident. Under California’s child endangerment law, any person who willfully causes or permits a child to be placed in a situation where they are endangered, can be found guilty of this offense.

Child endangerment is a “wobbler” under California law, meaning, it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case. As a misdemeanor, child endangerment is punishable by up to one year in jail. As a felony, it’s punishable by two, four, or six years in prison.

Unlike child abuse, a conviction for child endangerment does not require that the child suffered any actual injuries. Therefore, it’s easy for someone who has been drinking and driving to be slapped with this charge, even if they weren’t violating any major traffic laws.

Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc.

If you are facing DUI and child endangerment charges, you and your family are at risk. Think about what would happen if you were sent to prison. What would happen to your children? To fight your charges, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for help!