What to Know About DUI with a Minor Passenger in Los Angeles

Latest News

Driving Under the Influence Can Lead to Severe Consequences

Charges and consequences for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) have progressed over the years to try and mitigate the severe risks of accidents or deaths caused by the behavior. Those charges can increase exponentially if a minor passenger is in the vehicle with you.

Having a minor child in the vehicle with you is considered an aggravating factor. If you have a regular charge of a DUI without aggravating factors, you are likely facing the average punishments or consequences, such as some time in jail and fines. If you have a child with you, those charges may be enhanced by the aggravating factor, making them far more severe than those of a typical DUI charge.

Mandatory Jail Time May Occur

Courts and officers will view having a minor passenger in your vehicle while driving under the influence as a disregard for human life. Therefore, mandatory jail time may be involved. If it’s your first offense, you may face up to 48 hours of mandatory jail time. For your second, it could be up to 10 days. If you are convicted of a third DUI with a minor in the vehicle, you could face up to 30 days in jail or up to 90 days for a fourth offense or more.

Additionally, courts may add an additional charge for child endangerment if you are convicted of a DUI with a minor in the car. This offense may result in charges on a federal or misdemeanor level, which will be determined based on the facts of your specific case. If felony charges are pursued, you could be facing up to six years in prison, and for a misdemeanor child endangerment charge, you could face up to a year in jail.

Burden of Evidence

For a DUI charge, the burden of evidence is on the prosecution. The prosecutors must prove in court that you were rightfully charged with a DUI and that you had a minor child in the car with you at the time if you are to receive the aggravated charges.

It’s important to note that you may face charges if you are found to have a Blood Alcohol Content of less than .08 if you have a minor present in the car. Though you are below the legal limit, driving with a minor in the vehicle could still lead to consequences.

Also of note is that even if you can avoid a DUI charge through aggressive defense strategies, you may still be charged with child endangerment, and you will have to defend against that action separately.

Other Potential Consequences of Driving While Under the Influence With a Minor in the Vehicle

In addition to the potential jail time that you may be facing, you may also be required to take some additional steps following a DUI conviction with a minor present.

You may be required to attend a Victim Impact Panel with required classes and associated fees.

You may be required to attend a DUI school for three to six months, which is typically dependent on the level of BAC when you are arrested.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you may also lose your license for several months or longer.

Fines may also be imposed, ranging from $390 to $1,000, which can vary depending on the circumstances.

Finally, if you are required to be on probation, you must comply with all aspects of said probation. You may be prohibited from committing any other crime or driving with any alcohol in your system, regardless of your BAC.

Possible Defense Options for a DUI Charge

There are some viable defenses that your attorney can seek to help you avoid severe penalties.

“Mouth alcohol” can include someone using mouthwash or some medicines that contain alcohol before their arrest, which were enough to affect their BAC.

Testing such as Field Sobriety Tests (FST) may have been inaccurately conducted, or there could be room for error. For example, if you were partaking in the FST while you were on an uneven surface, this could cause you to have inaccurate results.

Other factors can include being overly fatigued, bad weather, clothing getting in the way of the tests, or natural physical limitations that may have affected your results.

Officers are held to strict standards and must comply with them. If your attorney can prove that the officers weren’t in compliance, this may lead to lesser charges or a complete dismissal of the charges. Some examples are that the officer must inform you of your Miranda rights and have probable cause to pull you over. You may have a viable defense against the charges if these items can’t be proven.

An Aggressive Advocate That You Can Rely On

Facing a DUI charge is never easy, and if you have a minor present in the car, the potential consequences can be troubling. It’s important to remember that you have options, and a skilled attorney will understand what aspects to look for and what options you may have for lesser charges or penalties or complete dismissal of the DUI or other relative charges.

Since 2008, our team has been specifically dedicated to defending those charged with a DUI. We are well-versed in this area and have a proven track record of aggressively defending our clients at all costs.

Contact our office today at (866) 927-3295 to learn more about why our clients are happy with the results we achieve for them. Remember that everyone makes mistakes, and we are here to help.

Related Articles