What Happens if I Get a DUI With a Minor Passenger?

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Being arrested for a DUI can be scary and overwhelming, especially when you consider the trial and penalties that are to come. The consequences of a DUI are severe and even more so when a minor passenger is in the vehicle. If you were arrested for intoxicated driving with a child in the car you must acquire the skills of an experienced attorney. Contact a Mercer County DUI lawyer for assistance during your case.

What is Child Endangerment?

Child endangerment occurs when a parent or guardian fails to provide a child with certain needs. This neglect could come in the form of inadequate clothing, housing, food, health care, or supervision. A serious act of child endangerment can be found when an adult places their child in a dangerous and unsafe situation. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous. Any adult who is operating a vehicle while inebriated and with a minor in the car is participating in child endangerment.

What Are the Penalties for a DUI With a Minor Passenger?

The penalties for a DUI can be severe because of how serious the crime is. A standard first offense for a DUI in New Jersey can result in the following penalties.

  • Fines ranging from $250 to $400
  • Imprisonment in a county jail for up to 30 days
  • License suspension
  • Mandatory attendance at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • Automobile surcharges of $1,000 for three years
  • Mandatory use of an ignition interlock device

Any DUI charge can be accompanied by additional penalties when aggravating factors are present. Aggravating factors can include having a blood alcohol content level of over 0.15, refusing chemical testing, having prior convictions, or having a child present in the car. If you are arrested for a DUI while a minor is in the car, you will face the above penalties and the following may also apply.

  • Fines of $1,000 or more
  • Mandatory community service
  • Up to 6 months in jail

Depending on the circumstances of your situation you could also face charges related to endangering the welfare of a child. The penalties for these charges will vary depending on the state you are in and the details of your case. New Jersey takes this crime very seriously. Endangering the welfare of a child is typically charged as a second-degree indictable crime and is punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $150,000.

Do I Need an Attorney For My DUI Case?

If you are arrested for a DUI you should always enlist the help of a skilled attorney. It is even more important to do so if you are being charged with a DUI with a minor passenger. Because of the additional charges and penalties you may face, having a lawyer on your side can prove greatly beneficial. Using evidence from your case they can work to have your charges reduced or negotiate a plea bargain on your behalf. Reach out to a knowledgeable attorney today to begin discussing the details of your case.


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