Everyone knows that there are consequences for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. But, many people are not aware that they could face additional consequences if they were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child in the car. Here’s a look at the consequences of DUI with a child in the car:
When DUI is Considered Child Abuse
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child under the age of 16 in the car is considered a form of child abuse in the state of Colorado. This applies to any child—even if he or she is not yours.
Child abuse can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the nature of the crime.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony Child Abuse Charges
The driver will face misdemeanor charges of child abuse if the child was not injured as a result of the driver’s intoxication. Some of the penalties for misdemeanor child abuse charges include up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Drivers who are convicted of driving while intoxicated with a child in the car would face these penalties in addition to the penalties associated with DUI charges.
If the child in the car is either injured or killed because of the driver’s intoxication, the driver can face felony child abuse charges. If the child was injured, it is a class 3 felony, however if the child was killed it can be either a class 2 or 3 felony. There are serious consequences for these crimes, including up to 24 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
Other Consequences of DUI With A Child in the Car
In addition to time behind bars and substantial fines, drivers who are convicted of DUI with a child in the car may also be ordered to complete parenting classes. Being convicted of child abuse can also lead to the loss of child custody. If the court believes it is not in the child’s best interest to live with you, the child may be removed from your home. In some cases, the court may even deny visitation until you have met certain requirements.
Spending time behind bars is serious, but there’s nothing worse than losing the right to see your child. If you have been accused of driving under the influence with a child in the car, let the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm fight the charges. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.