If you have been charged with a Georgia DUI and you also had a child in your vehicle that was under the age of 14, you will most likely also face a charge of DUI child endangerment. The critical aspect of child endangerment charge in Georgia is that the DUI child endangerment charge is always accompanied by a traditional DUI charge, which is found in O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391(a)(1)-(6). According to the statute, the child endangerment DUI charge cannot merge with the traditional DUI charge for the purpose of sentencing.
(l) A person who violates this Code section while transporting in a motor vehicle a child under the age of 14 years is guilty of the separate offense of endangering a child by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The offense of endangering a child by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs shall not be merged with the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs for the purposes of prosecution and sentencing. An offender who is convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of subsection (d) of Code Section 16-12-1.
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391.
PENALTIES FOR DUI CHILD ENDANGERMENT IN GEORGIA
Some of the possible penalties for a DUI child endangerment charge are below:
(d) A person convicted pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (b) of this Code section shall be punished as follows:
(1) Upon conviction of the first or second offense, the defendant shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than $1,000.00 or shall be imprisoned for not more than 12 months, or both fined and imprisoned; and
(2) Upon the conviction of the third or subsequent offense, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be fined not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $5,000.00 or shall be imprisoned for not less than one year nor more than three years, or both fined and imprisoned.
O.C.G.A. § 16-12-1.
However, one of the primary concerns for people facing a DUI child endangerment charge in Georgia is undoubtedly the potential impact of a child endangerment DUI charge upon their driver’s license. If, for example, you are charged with DUI and DUI child endangerment and you are convicted of both DUI charges, the Department of Driver Services will suspend your driver’s license in the same manner that they would for a driver that was convicted of 2 DUIs within a 5-year period.
CONTACT A DUI CHILD ENDANGERMENT ATTORNEY IN ATLANTA TODAY
When looking for an child endangerment DUI lawyer, look no further than Atlanta criminal defense attorney Ben Sessions at the Sessions Law Firm, LLC. His professional approach to each case gives you the feeling that there’s nothing to worry about. If you’re needing help with a child endangerment DUI charge, contact us at (470) 225-7710 for a free consultation.