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DUI Child ABuse

Getting a DUI with a Child in the Car?

By: Lain A. Lawrence - DUI Defense Attorney July 10, 2023

Sometimes people make the mistake of driving under the influence. Certain facts about a DUI will cause a judge or prosecutor to look at them as aggravated.  This includes things such as a high blood alcohol content or car collision. 

Driving under the influence cases can happen to anyone, including parents. If a drunk driver has children in the car, people will perceive the situation as more serious. It will also result in additional charges aside from the DUI offense.

Speaking with a skilled DUI attorney is important if you have been charged with a DUI involving children. Most judges and jurisdictions handle these types of cases in a different manner. A skilled DUI lawyer will be familiar with the procedures of each jurisdiction and how to best proceed with your case.

What is DUI under Colorado Law?

To discuss driving under the influence with a child present, we must first comprehend the definition of drunk driving. DUI is the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence. This can be a result of alcohol or drug use. The defendant must be substantial9 incapable of safely operating their motor vehicle. 

Operation of a motor vehicle includes driving while ability is impaired. This is the operation of a motor vehicle while a defendant is impaired to the slightest degree. 

In terms of BAC, a DUI is above a .08. A DWAI is having a blood alcohol concentration above a .05. The BAC will come from a breath tests and blood tests.

Operation of motor vehicle includes being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. This is being able to quickly exercise control over the vehicle.

Having a Child in the Vehicle will result in a charge of child abuse.

A DUI case with a child will result in a defendant being charged with child abuse. Child abuse is hurting a child, and it also includes allowing the child to be in a dangerous situation. This can be physical abuse and emotional abuse.

Driving under the influence is dangerous. Defendants often say they are fortunate not to have harmed anyone during their incident. It is hard to argue that it is not dangerous to put a child in a car with a drunk driver. In fact, some may even say it is impossible to argue against this.

This means that authorities can charge a defendant with child abuse even if there was no car crash or injuries.

What are the Punishments for Child Abuse?

The punishment for child abuse depends on the harm that caused to the child. Most drunk driving cases involve a police officer pulling over a defendant without any collision. In this case, a defendant would be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor. A class 2 misdemeanor can be punished by up to six months in jail or a fine of up to $500. 

If a defendant injury a child, the child abuse will be charged as a class 1 misdemeanor. This is punished by up to one year in jail. A fine of up to $1,000 can also be imposed.

Injuries can be distinguished into serious bodily injuries and non-serious injuries. Serious injuries include fractures, burns, and injuries that can leave scars. It also includes injuries that can lead to death. 

Serious bodily injuries will result in felony charges being filed, in addition to a charge of vehicular assault. Death will also result in a felony charge.

Child abuse is also a title 18 crime. This is important because all title 18 charges result in mandatory protection orders. These protection orders can prevent a defendant from contacting or residing with the listed victim. 

This can be problematic if the defendant is a single parent. A child abuse allegation can also impact a custody dispute. Child abuse cases can also result in child services involvement.

What should you do if you face charges for a DUI Involving a Child?

It is also important to speak with a criminal defense attorney that handles DUI cases. A DUI attorney will be able to understand the facts of your case and understand how best to proceed. If there are defects in the State’s case, he could potentially help defend your case at trial. 

However, the State could have a solid case. A DUI lawyer will be able to help develop mitigation. Mitigation includes things such as alcohol classes and parenting classes. You should show the court that you are remorseful and taking steps to address any issues resulting from the conviction.

Everyone charged with a criminal offense will feel remorseful when it is time to decide punishment. It is important to have actions backing up statements at the time of sentencing. While there is no mandatory jail time for these types of cases, it would not be shocking for a defendant to receive some jail time based on the facts of a case.

Speak with the DUI Defense Attorney at the Lawrence Law Firm

DUI’s are stressful. Accusations of child abuse add additional stress. A good lawyer can assist you in understanding the process and guide you on how to fix the situation. 

The Lawrence Law Firm routinely handles DUI and child abuse defense cases involving children. We tailor cases to the clients to help each client on a personal basis. 

Request a consultation today if you face charges for a DUI or DWAI offense in Aurora or the Denver Metro Area. We are open during regular business hours, and we will stay late and be available on the weekends if necessary.

Schedule a free consultation with a DUI Defense attorney from the Lawrence Law Firm. We are ready, willing, and able to represent you. Our firm charges flat fees, but we also provide flexible payments plans. Your financial situation should not compromise your legal defenses.

Request a consultation today with our Colorado DUI Attorney.