Texas takes charges of driving while intoxicated very seriously, and if the charges involve driving a child, they are naturally even more serious. Being charged with having a child in the car with you when your blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds the legal limit (0.08 percent) can leave you facing both DWI and child endangerment charges – both of which come with extensive penalties and repercussions for your future.
Child endangerment in Texas is defined as the offense of intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence putting a child who is under the age of 15 in imminent danger – by either a direct act or by omission. Driving with a child while under the influence of alcohol reaches this classification – as does failing to secure a child in the car (with an age-appropriate safety mechanism), reckless driving with a child passenger, and abandoning a child younger than 15 in one’s vehicle.
DWI charges come with serious attendant penalties that can include (for a first offense):
The loss of your driver’s license for up to one year
A jail sentence that can range from 3 to 180 days
A fine of up to $2,000
Penalties increase dramatically for multiple offenses. Some exacerbating conditions to consider are that, if you refuse to submit to a breath or blood test, you face an automatic revocation of your driver’s license for 180 days and that, if the arresting officer finds an open container in your car, it can lead to a fine of up to $500 and up to six days behind bars. Finally, additional charges of child endangerment significantly increase the potential legal consequences, and you could face the following:
A fine of up to $10,000
Jail time of up to 2 years
Loss of your driver’s license for up to 6 months
Bringing Your Strongest Defense
If you are facing DWI while driving a child charges, you owe it to yourself to bring your strongest defense. An experienced criminal attorney will help you explore the defense options available to you, which can include that:
The stop made by the officer was without cause (or otherwise improper).
The officer did not follow the appropriate legal protocol (not reading you your Miranda rights upon arrest, for instance).
You failed your sobriety field-test as a result of something other than intoxication (you have a physical impairment that precluded you from passing, for instance).
The breathalyzer registered a false positive because it was not properly calibrated, it was not used correctly, it detected foreign materials as alcohol, or it was otherwise inaccurate or faulty.
Your blood test was mishandled in a way that could have compromised the results.
An Experienced Killeen Criminal Attorney Can Help
If you are allegations of DWI while driving a child, attorney Brett Pritchard is committed to building your strongest defense and to skillfully advocating for the most positive resolution of your case. We are here to help, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.