I got a DUI and DUI-child endangerment because my 3 yr old was in the car. What does that really mean, and what should i do?

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I got a DUI and DUI-child endangerment because my 3 yr old was in the car. What does that really mean, and what should i do?

I can not afford an attorney because I have been laid off.  I had 1 cocktail, sips of wine with dinner, and 1/2 of beer after dinner.  I have 3 witnesses that can attest to that, yet when I did the breatalizer it registered, .14 and then 10 min later .15. I don’t know how that could be. I dont know what to do or what all this means.

Asked on June 6, 2009 under Criminal Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

A mother arrested for DUI with children in the car gets a DUI conviction for the initial DUI offense and one for each child in the car.  Therefore the penalties in a case such as this will be enhanced.  They will include jail time, fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol evaluation and/or treatment, community service, risk reduction/DUI school, and an ignition interlock device on your car. 

Note:  You only have 10 business days from the date of your arrest to request an administrative hearing before the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety.  You must request this hearing in order to contest the suspension of your driver's license.  This is separate from the court date you may have received on your citation.

Additionally, any DUI violation that occurs while transporting a minor child under the age of 14 years old is also guilty of a separate offense of endangering a child by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  The DUI and Child Endangerment offenses will not be merged and will be punished separately.  So there will be a separate court proceeding and penalties for that.

Bottom line, you are in a great deal of trouble.  You need to speak with an attorney, preferably one specializing in DUI cases.  I know money is an issue but if there is any way for you to hire private counsel I would urge you to do so; otherwise contact the public defender or legal aid.  This is a very technical area of the law and someone well versed on the subject may be able to get the charges thrown at or at least reduced.  Don't wait, you need legal representation immediately.

If you need help in finding an attorney you can look for an attorney in your area at www.AttorneyPages.com.

 


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