Driving Under the Influence, or DUI, is considered a serious offense in all states. A DUI citation will stay on your driving record for many years, from 7 to 10 years in most states. It can also significantly affect your insurance rates, forcing you to pay a higher premium for your auto policy. That being said, these penalties are relatively light and apply when you are found DUI on your own. If you are found DUI with a minor in the car, you will likely receive a harsher penalty.
DUI and Child Endangerment in South Carolina
If you are found driving under the influence with a minor in the car, you may also face child endangerment charges. The penalty for child endangerment is applied on top of the penalty for DUI. So you essentially have to deal with two penalties at the same time.
According to South Carolina Child Endangerment law, a person found of child endangerment will be punished with:
- A fine that is not more than one-half of the superior charge, in this case the charge of DUI
- A term of imprisonment which is not more than one-half of the imprisonment for the superior charge
- Suspension of the driver’s license for 60 days. During these 60 days, the driver can’t seek a provisional license or enroll in alcohol and drug safety action program.
Child endangerment can also lead to a revocation of your driver’s license. While these are serious penalties, they only get worse if you run into an accident as well. If the accident causes bodily harm to the minor in the car, you have to face felony charges. In the state of South Carolina, you may face a minimum of 1 year in jail and a minimum fine of $2,500.
What to do after DUI with a minor?
As stated above, the charges of being found DUI with a minor in the car are very serious. In more extreme cases, you are faced with felony charges. This really tarnishes your criminal record and can create major hurdles for you. You may face problems in finding a job, securing a house or getting auto insurance. In most cases, you will have to pay extra and make an extra effort.
The good news is that you can always appeal against the charges. Sometimes, police officials impose penalties unfairly. Perhaps your blood alcohol concentration was borderline and not above the stipulated limit. Or the police officer failed to videotape the arrest, which can jeopardize the validity of the charges. A qualified DUI attorney can look into your case and see if you have such grounds for an appeal.
How can a DUI Defense Attorney help?
Being flagged with a DUI charge is very stressing. Add to it child endangerment and things only get worse. In the wake of such a charge, you are left wondering about how to defend yourself. You may also have questions about the validity of the charges and the penalties. The ensuing course procedures can also get quite complicated.
In such a stressful time, you need the right person who can advise, guide and help you. Here at the Bateman Firm, our DUI defense attorneys are highly experienced in DUI law. We carefully consider your case and review all the facts. Then we examine the available evidence and see if there are any legal lapses. Any lapses can help you appeal the charges and have it overturned. We also see if the penalties are fair, and in accordance with the laws that apply to your situation. By considering all these aspects, we help you prepare a suitable defense against the charges.
Why do I need a DUI attorney?
Even if the charges you face are fair, there’s the matter of court paperwork and negotiations. By negotiating on your behalf, a qualified attorney may be able to help you get off with lighter charges. Your attorney will also speed up the paperwork so that your case is resolved quickly and as favorably as possible.
Our DUI attorneys ultimately aim to have you face the minimum charge for DUI and child endangerment. Especially if it’s a first offense, we believe you are entitled to a light penalty. This can be achieved by presenting your case favorably. Once the charges are pronounced by the court, we help you in coping with them. Our lawyers advise you on the changes in finances and insurance you have to face, and how best to deal with them.