DUI With Kid in Car
What Happens if I Get a DWI With a Child in My Car? –
It’s bad enough getting in a car and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is wrong, and it is potentially lethal. Of course, good people do make bad mistakes, and no one should have his or her entire future destroyed over a single mistake. That said, New York has taken a very strict and severe approach to DWI when children are in the vehicle. If you get arrested for DWI with a child in your car, do not expect jurors or judges to show you mercy. This is especially true after the passing of Leandra’s Law.
What is Leandra’s Law?
In 2009, the new law was enacted as a response to the tragic death of an 11-year-old girl named Leandra Rosado who was killed in a car accident. Leandra was a passenger in a car driven by a family friend who was intoxicated. In total, there were seven children in the vehicle when the drunk driver lost control at speeds as high as 70 MPH. Several children were ejected from the vehicle.
The law made it a serious crime to drive under the influence (DUI) with children in your vehicle. In fact, the law now requires anyone convicted of this law to have an ignition interlock device installed in his or her vehicle. Of course, this is just the beginning. The crime is charged as a felony, meaning it carries lifelong consequences for those convicted, including loss of voting rights, loss of the right to own a firearm, inability to maintain certain types of employment, and limitations on housing options. Felonies can ruin your life. Furthermore, you could face lengthy prison terms and fines of up to $5,000.00.
Summary of Penalties Under Leandra’s Law
All convictions under this provision of the law are felonies, but they vary in type and degree, depending on the facts.
- CLASS E: First offense for driving while intoxicated with a child under the age of 15 = Penalty: Up to 4 years in prison.
- CLASS C: First offense for driving while intoxicated with a child under 15 years of age, and the
- child is seriously injured = Penalty: Up to 15 years in prison.
- CLASS B: First offense for driving while intoxicated with a child, and a child under 15 years of age is killed = Penalty: Up to 25 years in prison.
Other Requirements and Reporting Rules
If you are convicted of, or plead guilty to, any level of offense under Leandra’s Law, you will almost certainly be forced to register with the Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment.
You will also be subject to investigation by Child Protective Services. This will result in an order of protection against you. If you are a parent, this can have devastating consequences that could jeopardize your parental rights and your ability to even see your own child.
Defenses to DWI and Leandra’s Law
While it is true that you will find little mercy when you put a child’s life in danger, it is important to have an aggressive and experienced legal team on your side after a DUI. Some defenses may include:
- Disputing results from BAC testing
- Errors or delays in obtaining authentic BAC tests
- A lack of probable cause for the initial traffic stop
- Unlawful search or seizure situations
- Procedural mistakes made by police
- Non-alcohol related impairments
Get the Right Help Today – Speak to a Long Island DUI Lawyer Immediately
Throughout Long Island call (888) DUI-Lawyer today to speak with an experienced Long Island DWI lawyer who can give you real answers and help you develop a strategy for fighting your DUI charges. Do not try to “work it out” yourself. There is way too much at stake. Do not trust your future and your freedom to the police and the judge. You deserve to have someone on your side. Call us at 888-DUI-Lawyer 24/7 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation.