Drivers can face serious charges if they are accused of driving under the influence (DUI) in California. Sometimes, drivers are charged with a DUI while transporting a child. What happens if a child is in the car during a DUI arrest?
Drivers can end up facing a sentencing enhancement if they are convicted of a DUI with a child in the car.
In some cases, drivers are charged with child endangerment in this situation. Take these charges seriously by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. Call us at (310) 997-4688 so we can discuss DUI charges with you.
Basic Information About a DUI Arrest
Police officers sometimes accuse drivers of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Police officers can stop drivers and then ask them to perform:
- Field sobriety tests (FSTs)
- Blood alcohol content (BAC) tests
Drivers can refuse these tests in some cases. However, drivers have to take these tests if they are under 21, on DUI probation, or legally arrested. Note that refusing a FST or BAC test does not mean a driver won’t face DUI charges.
Police officers test a driver’s reflexes and general level of awareness with a FST. For example, they may ask a driver to walk a straight line to complete one of these tests.
At the time of a DUI arrest, a police officer may take an individual’s driver’s license. Sometimes, drivers are taken to jail at the time of a DUI arrest. In other situations, they may be allowed to leave if someone else can drive them away.
DUI arrests are often more complicated if there is a child in the car. The police may allow a driver to call someone to pick up their child. In order cases, the child could be brought along after an arrest.
Additionally, the police can notify Child Protective Services (CPS) after a DUI arrest in Los Angeles.
Sentencing Enhancements for a DUI with a Child in the Car
Vehicle Code (VEH) §23572 deals with DUIs with a child under the age of 14 in the car. VC 23572 is considered a “sentencing enhancement.” This means that VC 23572 increases the penalties a driver faces if they are convicted of a DUI. VC 23572 is not a stand-alone charge.
Drivers convicted of a DUI in California can face fines and jail time. They may also have their license restricted after a DUI conviction. VC 23572 increases these penalties by forcing drivers to face automatic additional jail time. Drivers will face:
- Two days of additional jail time for a first DUI
- 10 days of additional jail time for a second DUI
- 30 days of additional jail time for a third DUI
- 90 days of additional jail time for a fourth or subsequent DUI
Other penalties associated with a DUI still apply with VC 23572 charges. Find out more by contacting the Simmrin Law Group’s DUI lawyers in Los Angeles. Call (310) 997-4688 and allow us to answer your questions.
Child Endangerment and DUIs with a Child in the Car
Sometimes, prosecutors charge drivers with child endangerment if they get a DUI with a child in the charge.
Penal Code 273(a) deals with child endangerment in California. PC 273(a) is not a sentencing enhancement. It is a standalone charge. The court treats PC 273(a) as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A conviction for a misdemeanor could lead to:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to one year
Felony charges are more serious. A felony conviction could lead to six years of jail time and fines of $10,000. Prosecutors can choose to charge a driver with either VC 23572 OR PC 273(a).
In some cases, prosecutors use both charges. However, drivers can only get convicted of one of these crimes at a time.
CPS and DUIs with a Child in the Car
Finally, the court system reports DUIs with children in the car to CPS. CPS can then begin an investigation into a family’s situation.
Sometimes, CPS decides that parents are not providing a safe environment for their children. In this case, CPS has the legal ability to remove children from a home. This is sometimes the result of a DUI with a child in the car.
Ask Us What Happens if a Child Is in the Car for a DUI Arrest
What happens if a child is in the car for a DUI arrest in California? You can face additional penalties in this situation. In some cases, parents can even lose custody of their children.
Get legal help handling these accusations from the Simmrin Law Group. We’re here to help you build a defense right away. Just call (310) 997-4688. We also have an online contact form for you.
Discuss your case with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer. Contact us and get a free consultation.