Child Endangerment Lawyers
What Is Child Endangerment?
Child endangerment describes the group of offenses or the added penalty given to an offense when a minor is endangered. Endangerment of a minor is any activity that would put the minor's social, moral, physical, or mental well-being in peril.
What is Child Endangerment in Relation to DUI Charges?
Child endangerment relates to DUI as a parent, care-taker or guardian is making a conscious decision to endanger the moral and/or physical well-being of the minor he/she is transporting by illegally driving under the influence of alcohol. Thus, when a court conducts an analysis into the question of “What is child endangerment?”, it typically involves an inquiry as to whether the parent was drunk at the time.
What Are the Penalties for DUI with a Minor?
Over half of all states have enacted statutes pertaining to child endangerment while driving impaired due to the influence of alcohol. The penalties imposed by these statutes vary depending on the:
- Age of the minor passenger
- Age of the driver
- Severity of the passenger's injury
- Number of similar prior offenses the person has committed
Penalties, in addition to or in conjunction with any other DUI penalties, can include one or a combination of the following:
- Jail time
- Community Service
- Fines ranging from $500-$10,000
- Suspension or revocation of license
What Defenses Do I Have?
Some defenses that may be used to mitigate or eliminate one's culpability for child endangerment while driving under the influence can include:
- No knowledge that the child was in the car
- A defense advocating that the tests used to determine sobriety administered by the police officers were flawed due to faulty equipment or improper training
- Contributory negligence by the minor's parent or guardian who should have known or knew the driver was unfit to provide transportation for the minor
What is Child Endangerment with Drug Paraphernalia?
In addition to child endangerment DUI laws, some jurisdictions also enforce child endangerment in relation to drugs. Child endangerment with drug paraphernalia is the act of exposing a child to dangers related to drug paraphernalia. For example, leaving hypodermic needles or razors used to prepare drugs within a child’s reach children may present dangerous hazards. In most cases, exposing children to the actual illegal drugs, substances, or even drug residue is also considered child endangerment.
Thus, a parent who is being charged with possession, use, or distribution of drugs may also be charged with child endangerment if their child was exposed to such materials.
Should I Consult an Experienced Attorney for Child Endangerment and DUI Issues?
If your child was a passenger of a car with a drunk driver, you should speak to a lawyer to learn how to get compensation for any injuries he/she may have suffered. If you have been arrested for Drunk Driving DUI DWI with a child passenger, you should speak to a lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses and the complicated legal system.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 07-29-2013 10:15 AM PDT
Did you find this article informative?