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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer / Blog / Criminal Defense / Having Children in the Car During DUIs in Fort Lauderdale

Having Children in the Car During DUIs in Fort Lauderdale


Committing a first-offense DUI is a serious offense, but it can become much worse with certain aggravating factors. One example of an aggravating DUI factor is having a child in the vehicle at the time of your alleged offense. If you are facing this type of situation, it is important to understand the potential consequences and relevant laws before you move forward with a defense strategy.

Why Does Having a Child in My Vehicle Make a DUI Worse? 

Having a child in your vehicle at the time of your alleged DUI offense makes the situation worse because it can be interpreted as a form of child neglect, abuse, or endangerment. This is true even if your vehicle was stationary, or whether your vehicle was involved in a crash or not. In Florida, having a child passenger is a form of “enhanced DUI.”

What Are the Penalties Associated with Having a Child Passenger During a DUI? 

If the court determines that you had a child passenger at the time of your DUI, you will face enhanced penalties. For a normal first-offense DUI, you face up to six months in jail. Add a child to the equation, however, and you are facing up to nine months in jail instead. In addition, you could face fines of up to $2,000 and a mandatory ignition interlock on your vehicle. If you were caught drunk behind the wheel with a child passenger on more than one occasion, you face up to a year in prison and a doubled fine.

Additional Consequences for Having a Child DUI Passenger in Florida 

Criminal charges may only represent one portion of your consequences after having a child passenger during a DUI. You could also face serious issues with your parental rights. Additional charges related to child abuse, child neglect, and child endangerment may be possible. In some cases, the Department of Children and Families will take the opportunity to open an official investigation into your home life. Remember, this agency has the authority to take your child away in some cases. Furthermore, your ex could file for a modification of the child custody agreement, arguing that you are no longer fit to look after your child.

All of these factors make it even more important to push back against such charges alongside qualified DUI attorneys in Fort Lauderdale. By establishing that you were not intoxicated, you can avoid a range of knock-on effects caused by a criminal conviction. Speak with a qualified defense attorney to determine how you might refute the evidence laid against you.

Find a Qualified Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale 

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale, look no further than Haber Blank. We know that DUIs can be concerning enough without the addition of aggravating factors – and we recognize the importance of an effective defense strategy in this situation. Book your consultation today to determine the most appropriate course of legal action.



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