Penalties are More Severe for DUI with a Minor in the Vehicle

dui with a minor in the vehicleEvery DUI charge is serious and can carry harsh penalties such as suspension of your license, fines, and some jail time, not to mention the financial cost of a DUI in the form of missed work and higher insurance. However, some DUI charges are even more severe and can come with life-altering consequences.

Elevated Penalties

One type of DUI that carries elevated penalties is driving over the legal limit while your child is in the car. Other types of DUIs that can carry increased penalties include repeat offenses and/or drunk driving accidents that result in injury or death.

New Jersey Law – DUI with a Minor

In New Jersey law NJSA 39:4-50.15 sets out the laws affecting parents who drink and drive with their minor children in the car. The law establishes that this offense is a “disorderly persons offense” and creates a criminal history. Disorderly persons offenses are not severe criminal charges and will not affect most kinds of employment when it appears in a background check.

However, there is a trend in New Jersey law elevating the criminal penalties for parents or guardians who drive drunk with minors. This trend would allow felony charges to be brought against the offending drivers. While not driving specific, prosecutors can bring Endangering the Welfare of Children charges and/or Neglect of Children charges against offending parents and get felony indictments based on drunk driving facts. If you are convicted of any of these charges, the effects will be severe and life-long. It is critical that you contact an attorney immediately if you are facing these or any related charges.

Consequences for Family

If a parent is found driving drunk with a minor, the police will contact the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS). DYFS will then conduct an investigation to determine if the child was abused and/or neglected. In the case of driving drunk, DYFS may be able to prove neglect. If a finding of neglect is substantiated, DYFS may take protective custody of the child and restrict parenting activities by the offending driver. Even if the child is not removed, any future background check will reveal the child neglect charges and can bar you from many work and volunteer opportunities.

Call 973-686-9787 today for more information.

If you have been charged with a DUI, you should contact an experienced New Jersey DUI attorney right away. The faster you have an attorney defending your rights, the more likely you are to have a successful outcome. At the Law Office of David W. Polsky, you will get the help of experienced attorneys along with the individual attention required to defend against DUI charges. Call 973-686-9787 today to schedule your free consultation.