San Diego DUI with Child Endangerment Attorney
San Diego is well-known for its tourist attractions and nightlife, and endless entertainment venues. Unfortunately, when alcoholic beverages are involved, a night out can lead to a DUI charge. Whether leaving a social gathering, a restaurant, or a club, law enforcement in the city is aggressive about arresting and charging drivers who are over the limit. The potential consequences of DUI charges can be devastating, especially if accusations of child endangerment are filed in conjunction with the DUI charge.
DUI charges can lead to severe penalties, including fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment. When a child is involved, the ramifications intensify. At jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, our San Diego legal team understands the gravity of facing DUI charges with child endangerment. We leverage our 30 years of experience to craft strategic defenses, ensuring the protection of your rights and a comprehensive approach to your case. James N. Dicks, a former investigator with the Los Angeles Police Department and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist recognized by the California Board of Legal Specialization, is devoted to utilizing his understanding and background for the advantage of every client.
Contact us now for a free consultation at (760) 630-2000—your constitutional rights demand protection.
Child endangerment, as defined by California Penal Code § 273a, involves willfully causing or permitting a child to be placed in a situation likely to cause great bodily harm or death.
Under California Penal Code § 273a, the elements of child endangerment involve proving specific factors related to the defendant’s actions or omissions that put a child in a hazardous situation. The key elements include:
- Willful conduct: Driving under the influence with a child in the vehicle involves a willful act on the part of the driver—the decision to operate the vehicle while impaired demonstrates a conscious choice that could endanger the child.
- Duty of care: Parents, guardians, or individuals responsible for the child’s well-being have a duty to protect the child from harm. Driving under the influence breaches this duty, exposing the child to unnecessary risks.
- Child’s vulnerability: Children are inherently vulnerable due to their age, physical condition, and dependence on adults for care and protection. Transporting a child in a vehicle under the influence increases the risk of harm due to impaired judgment and coordination.
- Foreseeability of harm: It is foreseeable that driving under the influence poses a risk of harm to passengers, especially children. A reasonable person would anticipate the potential for accidents, injuries, or even fatal consequences when operating a vehicle while impaired.
- Actual or potential harm: The act of driving under the influence of alcohol itself poses a potential risk of harm. If an accident occurs, the child may be subjected to unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, meeting the criteria for child endangerment.
Penalties for DUI with child endangerment can be severe, involving fines, license suspension, and potential imprisonment. Importantly, these consequences are compounded when charges are stacked, reflecting the additional endangerment of a child.
One of the far-reaching consequences of DUI with child endangerment charges is the potential impact on the driver’s custody rights. Family courts take these charges seriously as they raise concerns about the safety and well-being of the child. A DUI conviction can influence custody decisions, potentially leading to restrictions or limitations on the driver’s rights regarding visitation or custody.
The Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) may become involved in cases of DUI with child endangerment to assess the safety and welfare of the child. The department has the authority to conduct investigations to determine whether the child is at risk of harm due to the parent or guardian’s actions. DCFS involvement can lead to various interventions, including counseling, parenting classes, or, in extreme cases, the removal of the child from the home.
Unfortunately, law enforcement has a less-than-stellar track record for effecting an arrest without infringing on the accused’s constitutional rights. Consequently, it is imperative that individuals understand their constitutional rights during a traffic stop. Probable cause is a critical issue for valid searches and arrests.
After an arrest, it is essential to explore potential defenses, including challenging the accuracy of breath or blood tests. Various factors, such as calibration issues, equipment malfunctions, or improper administration, can influence the reliability of these tests. A skilled San Diego DUI lawyer can assess the circumstances surrounding the tests to identify any potential inaccuracies.
In DUI cases, exploring the possibility of a plea bargain is a strategic approach to mitigating potential consequences. A plea bargain may involve negotiating reduced charges or alternative sentencing options. It requires a careful assessment of the evidence, the strength of the case, and the potential benefits of pursuing negotiated resolutions.
Receiving a DUI with a child in the car is a serious offense with significant consequences that require the knowledge of an experienced and skilled DUI defense attorney. If you are facing this situation, contact jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys today for a free case consultation.
Our San Diego legal team is fully prepared to navigate your case and work towards the best possible outcome. You can count on us to protect your rights and stand as your dedicated legal advocates.
Contact us at (760) 630-2000 today to learn more.
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