An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) can lead to a number of serious consequences, including fines and jail time. You could face increased penalties if your child was in the car at the time of the DUI arrest. Your child could even be taken away if in the car when you were arrested for a DUI in California in some circumstances.
Find out how charges for a DUI with a minor are handled in California with the Simmrin Law Group. Learn more about the role of Child Protective Services (CPSS) in DUI cases by calling (310) 997-4688 to speak to a legal professional.
CPSS and DUI Charges in the State of California
The state of California will notify CPSS if you are arrested for a DUI. Once CPSS becomes aware of your DUI, they will decide whether or not to investigate your case to see if your child is well cared for. Note that your child may only be removed from your care after the CPSS investigation, they should not be taken away from you at the time of your arrest.
A CPSS representative can visit your home after a DUI arrest. Depending upon their findings, they may or may not decide to remove your child from your care. Generally, CPSS will remove a child if they conclude that:
- The home environment is unsafe
- A parent is a drug addict or alcoholic
- A parent regularly drives while drunk
- A parent is violent with their children
- A parent does not care for their children or feed them
You should prepare to answer questions put forth by CPSS representatives if they choose to visit you. It is highly recommended that you cooperate and answer questions as respectfully as possible. Be aware that the CPSS agents may also talk to your child, sometimes when you are not present.
Criminal Charges for a DUI with a Minor in the Vehicle
You may face a visit by the CPSS after a DUI arrest in California. You can also face a sentencing enhancement for a DUI with a minor passenger. The court system can add time to your DUI conviction if you drink and drive while transporting someone under the age of 14. You may have:
- Two days added for a first DUI
- Ten days added for a second DUI
- Thirty days added for a third DUI
- Ninety days added for a fourth DUI
Charges of DUI with a minor are a sentencing enhancement. This means that you will still face the basic penalties for a DUI if you are convicted. Improve your odds of successfully resolving any DUI charge by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles today. You can call (310) 997-4688 to speak to a legal professional now.
Child Endangerment Charges and DUIs in California
You can face charges for child endangerment if you commit a DUI with a minor in the vehicle. Note that you can be charged with child endangerment if your child is under 18 and in the vehicle while you are driving under the influence.
Child endangerment charges can be used in addition to DUI charges in California. Child endangerment can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony. If you are convicted of misdemeanor child endangerment, you could face:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to one year
Felony child endangerment charges only apply if a child is exposed to a high risk of death or severe injury. Convictions for felony child endangerment can result in:
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Prison time of up to six years
Note that if you are convicted of a criminal act and sent to jail or prison, you will not be able to care for your children. In this situation, someone else will take care of your children. Depending upon your situation, the CPSS may take custody of your children while you are incarcerated.
Get Legal Help If You Were Arrested for a DUI with Your Child in the Car
Your child could be taken away if they were in the car when you were arrested for a DUI in California. The CPSS can make a decision about the custody of your children. You can get legal assistance in maintaining custody by contacting the Simmrin Law Group for legal advice now. Just call (310) 997-4688 or complete our online contact form to find out how we can help.
Focus on your legal options by completing a FREE case evaluation with our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles.