Driving under the influence (DUI) is considered a criminal act in California. Convictions for a DUI can result in fines, jail time, and other penalties. There may be additional penalties for a DUI if there are other people in the car in some situations.
Let’s go over the specific penalties for getting a DUI arrest with another person in the car. The Simmrin Law Group can also help you focus on defenses for DUI charges in California. Find out more by calling (310) 997-4688.
Passenger Age Determines if Drivers Face Extra Penalties
Drivers will not face additional penalties for a DUI every time they carry a passenger in their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Generally, the California court system can only add extra penalties if the passengers are under the age of 18.
A DUI with a minor passenger can result in serious criminal penalties. In this situation, drivers may face charges for:
- A DUI sentencing enhancement
- Child endangerment
A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help if you are accused of a DUI with a minor passenger. Moving quickly to get legal help can improve your odds of successfully resolving this criminal charge.
Sentencing Enhancement for Driving with a Passenger Under 14
Sentencing enhancements in California are not stand-alone criminal charges. Instead, a sentencing enhancement only increases the penalties faced for a different charge if an individual is convicted. Drivers who operate a vehicle while under the influence with a passenger under 14 can face such an enhancement.
If a driver is convicted of a DUI with child endangerment, they may have time added to their jail sentence. The amount of time will depend upon how many previous DUI convictions are on their record. For example:
- A first DUI can lead to two extra days in jail
- A second DUI can lead to 10 extra days in jail
- A third DUI can lead to 30 extra days in jail
- A fourth DUI can lead to 90 extra days in jail
Note that a first-time DUI without enhancements for driving with a minor can already lead to six months of jail time. Call (310) 997-4688 right now if you need help handling any DUI charges in the state of California.
DUI Charges and Child Endangerment in California
California may also charge a driver with child endangerment if they operate a vehicle while intoxicated with a passenger under the age of 18. Child endangerment is prosecuted under Penal Code Section 273(a), which is a stand-alone charge, not a sentencing enhancement.
Drivers convicted of child endangerment can face misdemeanor or felony charges. Misdemeanor convictions can result in:
- Jail time of up to one year
- Fines of up to $1,000
A felony conviction for child endangerment in California can lead to:
- Prison time of up to six years
- Fines of up to $10,000
Note that a driver can be convicted of both a DUI and child endangerment in the state of California. However, drivers cannot be convicted of a DUI enhancement for driving with a minor and child endangerment.
Options to Resolve DUI with a Passenger Charges in California
A DUI conviction in California can lead to harsh legal repercussions, even if you don’t have a passenger in your vehicle at the time of your arrest. A first-time conviction for a DUI can leave you to deal with:
- Jail time of up to six months
- Fines of up to $2,000
- License restrictions
- Time in DUI school
Fortunately, a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles can help you deal with these charges quickly and effectively. The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can work to demonstrate that you were not driving while inebriated, or that you were stopped without reasonable cause by a law enforcement officer.
We can take steps to get your charges reduced to an acceptable level. We may even be able to get a DUI accusation in California dismissed in some cases. We’re ready to construct your defense now.
Speak to a Lawyer About Penalties for a DUI with Passengers
There can be additional penalties for a DUI if there are other people in the car when you are arrested. However, these penalties only apply if the passenger is a minor. Find out more about how to handle DUI charges in California with the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group. Reach out to us now for a FREE case evaluation.
You can speak to our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles by completing our online contact form or calling (310) 997-4688.