In Ohio, if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels are above the legal limit of 0.08%, or you are deemed impaired by a police officer, you could be facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges, which is a serious offense. Penalties are varying, but the law also recognizes certain aggravating circumstances that can enhance your possible sentence. One such situation is driving under the influence with minor in the car; also referred to as DUI child endangerment.
A charge including allegations of child endangerment should never be taken lightly. Even if you are facing your first DUI charge, it is important to hire an experienced DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible.
What Is DUI Child Endangerment?
In Ohio, DUI child endangerment combines driving under the influence with jeopardizing the safety of a minor since the offender’s action put the child at risk. It is also considered a sentencing enhancement, meaning that if you are found guilty, the fact that there was a minor in the car at the time will result in additional penalties above and beyond that of a typical DUI conviction.
The crime of child endangerment is defined as creating a substantial risk to the health or safety of a child. Operating a vehicle while under the influence fits squarely within this definition. Accordingly, you will be facing child endangerment charges if a child under the age of 18 was a passenger in the car at the time of the DUI offense.
How Can I Defend Against DUI Child Endangerment?
As a first offense, a DUI child endangerment charge is prosecuted as a misdemeanor. However, if you have a previous conviction, or the child was injured, you could be facing a felony. In either case, you could spend years behind bars, fines, and a suspension of your driving privileges. Additionally, since the criminal judicial system can be very confusing and technical, you will need someone who is not new to it all. Therefore, it goes without saying that you will want to a passionate advocate to defend against these charges and it is best to hire a lawyer with extensive DUI and criminal defense experience.
Even with a positive alcohol breath or blood test, you are still considered innocent until proven guilty. Your attorney will immediately begin working to get the charges reduced or dismissed depending on the weight of the evidence. Additionally, there are a number of legal defenses available to you, and your criminal defense attorney will advise you of your options.
Call Upon A Knowledgeable DUI Defense Attorney
Ohio criminal attorney Brad Groene possess a wealth of experience defending individuals faced with various DUI and other criminal charges. You can depend on Groene to provide high-quality legal representation in your DUI child endangerment case. Do not wait too long before seeking the services of a lawyer.
The key to beating any DUI charge is to have a legal team that ready and able to investigate, research, and prepare your case. Call the office of Brad Groene at (513) 338-1890 to set up an appointment.