There are several consequences in place if you face DUI charges regardless if it is your first conviction or not. However, these punishments become drastically worse if it is a DUI with a minor in your vehicle.
The court now sees you as both an irresponsible driver and a bad caretaker, which means there could be more than just a DUI conviction. It is vital to know what you could be dealing with if you face charges for this.
General DUI punishment
In the case that you had a child with you in the car, your punishment is equivalent to if your blood/breath alcohol level (BAL) was .15. Some penalties such as the fine and imprisonment length increase significantly under these circumstances. If this happens, first-time offense charges include:
- A fine between $1000 and $2000
- Impoundment of your vehicle for 10 days
- Revocation of your driver’s license for 180 days
- Possible completion of DUI school
- Imprisonment for less than nine months
- Mandatory ignition interlock device for six months
If it is not your first conviction, then each penalty increases depending on how many convictions you had prior. In addition, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles notes the difficulty to reduce these punishments if you were charged with a .15 BAL.
Child abuse charges
In some instances, you can also face accusations of child abuse from the child’s caretaker. Your DUI could be a felony and result in additional thousands in fines and five years of prison time if found guilty.
Even if the charges are not as severe as other child abuse cases, it still makes a bad situation even worse. Your criminal record can ruin your reputation for employers. If the child was yours and you face a divorce from the outcome, there’s a better chance your court will grant your ex primary custody of the child.
If you face a possible conviction of DUI and child abuse, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to investigate the matter further and protect your rights as a citizen.