Charged With DUI Child Endangerment? Call Us Now
Although the vast majority of people in Georgia, and throughout the United States, understand the seriousness of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), far too many of us ignore the laws against DUI when it suits us to do so. Even more disturbing, many people not only drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs but do so when they have children under the age of 14 in their cars, a crime known as DUI Child Endangerment. The penalties for DUI in Georgia are harsh; the penalties for DUI Child Endangerment, as one would expect, are even harsher. If you have been arrested for DUI Child Endangerment in Georgia, you owe it to yourself to hire the first-class DUI attorneys at Carter Pilgrim to defend your liberty and your reputation.
How We Fight the Charges Against You
When you come to Carter Pilgrim, you are coming to a superior team of DUI attorneys who specialize in Child Endangerment charges. We are experienced in strategizing defenses and are aggressive, savvy litigators. Nonetheless, we will always be honest with you in terms of your options. There are times when we will advise you to let us negotiate a plea bargain to protect your best long-term interests.
There are many ways we can fight your DUI and DUI Child Endangerment charges. Most of them involve questioning:
- The reason for the initial traffic stop (Was it frivolous? discriminatory?)
- Flaws in the collection of evidence or contamination of fluid samples (Did devices function properly? Was the lab sterile?)
- Incompetence or misconduct of the police at the scene
- The verifiable age of the passengers in the vehicle
Trying to extricate yourself from the difficult situation you are in without sharp legal counsel is nearly impossible. The stakes are too high not to contact the competent team at Carter Pilgrim. We have a fine track record of successful outcomes and are committed to making your outcome one of them.
Georgia DUI Penalties
Being arrested for DUI in Georgia may depending on the severity of the offense and on whether you are a repeat offender, result in
- Jail time
- Public service
- Treatment programs and their associated costs
- Increased car insurance rates
- Suspended license
- Required use of an interlock device
In addition, a DUI conviction will threaten any job that involves driving, such as truck driving, using a company car for sales or delivery, being a real estate agent, chauffeur, taxi driver, Uber or Lyft driver. Even if you just use the car to commute to work or drive a bunch of kids to soccer practice, your license suspension and your damaged reputation are likely to interfere with your normal routine. No matter how bad the consequences of DUI seem, however, those that follow DUI Child Endangerment are much worse.
DUI Child Endangerment Results in “Multiple DUI” Charges in Georgia
DUI Child Endangerment charges can make ordinary DUI charges appear relatively mild since they Involve even more severe long-term punishments. For one thing, DUI Child Endangerment cannot “merge” with the underlying offense of DUI; if you are convicted of both charges in Georgia, you will be penalized for each charge separately.
Penalties for DUI Child Endangerment in Georgia
If convicted of a first or second offense along with a DUI, Georgia law dictates that the defendant is guilty of a misdemeanor and will be fined not more than $1,000, or imprisoned for not more than 12 months, or suffer both penalties. Since the offenses compound upon one another, they act as additional DUI’s. Therefore, one DUI with two child endangerment charges will result in “three DUI”s” causing a defendant to be declared a habitual violator, requiring a 5-year suspension of his/her license.
If convicted of a third or subsequent offense along with a DUI, the Georgia defendant will be found guilty of a felony and fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not less than 1 year nor more than 3 years, or both fined and imprisoned.
In some ways, however, the suspension of your driver’s license may be almost as restrictive to your lifestyle as incarceration. If you are convicted of both DUI and DUI Child Endangerment, you may have your license suspended for as long a period as if you had been convicted of two DUIs within a 5-year period.
Not only does license suspension represent a serious inconvenience, but it may also threaten your job or your ability to maintain your household. Because each child in the car at the time of your arrest adds another, separate offense to your record, depending on the circumstances your license may be suspended or revoked for a considerable period of time. The more children you were transporting at the time of your arrest, the more likely you are to have committed a felony which will, upon conviction, result in a state prison term of between 1 and 3 years and a fine of between $1,000 and $5,000 per child.
Other Consequences of DUI Child Endangerment
In addition to the penalties already mentioned, committing the crime of DUI Child Endangerment may also have long-term repercussions regarding your family and your employment. When you are arrested for DUI with children in your car, the police will call the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services (DFACS) in order to have a responsible adult take temporary custody of any youngsters.
If you are separated or divorced, or about to become so, your arrest will almost certainly negatively impact your child custody arrangements. Not only may you lose custody of your child (children), and perhaps be allowed only supervised visits, but you may be required to pay your spouse’s or ex-spouse’s attorney’s’ fee.
If your job involves taking care of, and/or transporting children, your employment is likely to be jeopardized as well. This means that if you are a teacher, a coach, a daycare employee, a bus driver, crossing guard, healthcare provider, camp counselor, or anyone else who is charged with protecting children, you are likely to lose your job.
Call on Carter Pilgrim as Soon as Possible
The more promptly you get in touch with us, the sooner we will have our investigators on the case, collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, looking at police reports and examining any pertinent medical records. Get a jump on the process by calling us or filling out one of our website contact forms. We are eager to help residents in Gwinnett and Forsyth.