It is not uncommon to see someone charged with a misdemeanor DUI offense and a Felony or Gross Misdemeanor child endangerment offense if a child was in the vehicle of a person who was arrested for a DUI.
Even if no accident occurred, one can be charged with Endangerment. Depending on if someone willfully caused endangerment or allowed it and whether if substantial bodily harm/mental suffering occurred, determine what felony you will be charged with or if it is a gross misdemeanor.
If someone willfully causes a minor to suffer unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering as a result of abuse or neglect or be placed in a situation where the child may suffer physical pain or mental suffering as the result of abuse or neglect, he or she will be charged with a category B felony.
The State will argue you willfully got drunk and placed your child in the vehicle which amounted to unjustifiable pain if the child was injured, or amounted to willful neglect because you placed the child in a situation where he or she may have suffered physical pain.
If the endangerment was not willfully done, you still may be charged with a felony or a gross misdemeanor if the child was in a vehicle of a drunk person. For you to be charged with a gross misdemeanor it must not be willfully done, you have no prior endangerment convictions and no substantial bodily harm or no mental harm occurred.
For more information on DUI offenses and defenses, click here.
There may be multiple defenses to endangerment charges depending on the facts. The State will have to prove each element of the offense. The strength of your typically depends on the underlying DUI offense. Contact our firm today at 702-895-9111 for a free consultation.
This is for informative purposes only. This does not create a client-attorney relationship.
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