To learn more about the negative impact a child endangerment charge can have on your future, continue reading and reach out to our experienced Cobb County criminal defense lawyer today.
How does Georgia define child endangerment?
If you were charged with a DUI while transporting a child under the age of 14, you may also be encountering a child endangerment charge. Under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391, the DUI statute, child endangerment is an independent offense from DUI. However, the two are closely related because a conviction for child endangerment under this certain code section needs a conviction on the underlying DUI.
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391(l) is clear. It states that a person who violates the DUI statute while transporting a child under the age of 14 years old in a motor vehicle is also guilty of endangering a child. The law states that an endangerment charge may not be “linked” with the underlying DUI offense. This means that the penalties for child endangerment will be in addition to the penalties the driver would receive for the underlying DUI.
What are the consequences of child endangerment?
Georgia takes child endangerment convictions very seriously. As a result, if you were charged, you will likely face the following:
- 1st or 2nd offense: this is considered a misdemeanor and can result in imprisonment for no more than 12 months, and/or a fine of no more than $1,000.
- 3rd or subsequent offense: this is a felony a will result in imprisonment for at least one year but no more than three years, and/or fine of at least $1,000 but no more than $5,000.
What are the license implications for this offense?
The implications on your driver’s license for DUI and child endangerment charges can be life-altering. This is because the Department of Driver Services is concerned, these convictions are deemed as DUI charges, even if they arise from the same incident. This suggests that, if you are convicted of your first lifetime DUI with a child under 14 in the car, DDS treats you as if you had a prior DUI within 5 years and your license is suspended accordingly.
Furthermore, you can be charged with child endangerment for each child that was in the car with you. This means that if you are convicted for your first DUI with two children in the car, DDS will treat you as a habitual violator and instantly revoke your driver’s license.
If you have been charged, reach out to our firm today to discuss your options and learn more about how our skilled Cobb County criminal defense lawyer can help you.
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Miller Law Practice supports clients through a variety of legal matters. If you are facing criminal charges, or have been injured due to the negligence of another party, our firm will fight for you. Contact Miller Law Practice today.