Tennessee has some of the strictest drunk driving penalties in the country, and those charged with this type of crime face penalties that include jail time and steep fines. A charge of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is serious, but it can be even more serious if there was a child under the age of 18 in your vehicle at the time.
Child engenderment charges in addition to your drunk driving charge could lead to life-altering penalties. If you currently face this type of charge, you would be wise to seek defense help in order to effectively confront the case against you. A conviction or guilty plea may not be your only option.
The penalties for driving drunk with a child in the car
Child endangerment charges can be added to any DUI if there was a person under the age of 18 in your vehicle at the time of the suspected drunk driving traffic stop. This can include your child, a friend or any other minor. If convicted, the penalties include:
- Class D felony if the child suffers serious injury
- Two to 12 years behind bars
- Class B felony if child death occurred
- Eight to 30 years jail time
- License revocation
The length of your potential jail sentence depends upon your criminal history. If you have previous DUI convictions on your record, your sentence will likely be longer if convicted.
An appropriate defense is critical
Facing criminal charges of any kind can be intimidating. While child endangerment and DUI charges are serious, you do not have to face them alone. When you have an appropriate defense strategy, you will be more prepared to effectively confront the charges against you.
Depending on the circumstances of your individual case, it may be appropriate to challenge the case against you. This can include questioning the result of a Breathalyzer test or the legality of the initial traffic stop. A complete case evaluation will reveal how you can move to protect your rights and interests when facing this type of criminal charge.
The importance of experience
It is not easy to defend against DUI with child endangerment charges. Your future and freedom are on the line, and you could benefit from the assistance of an experienced legal ally to help you navigate the challenges ahead. It is possible to protect your future interests, and you can take the first step to do this by securing help as soon as possible after your arrest. When there is much at stake, experience and a close knowledge of the law count.