If you have been arrested for a DUI, having a child under 15 years old as a passenger in the vehicle at the time of your arrest is considered an aggravating factor. Although a first-time DUI conviction generally leads to a suspended sentence, a DUI with a minor passenger will often result in a jail sentence.
In addition, you can also be charged with child endangerment, which is a separate offense from the original DUI charge. The criminal penalties for child endangerment depend on if the child suffered an injury and your criminal history.
The following is a breakdown of the penalties for child endangerment in Nevada:
- The child did not sustain an injury and you did not intentionally or willfully place his/her life in danger – The first offense is considered a gross misdemeanor, punishable by a jail term of up to 364 days and/or a fine of no more than $2,000. If you were previously convicted of child endangerment, then the offense is a Category C felony, which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
- The child did not suffer an injury, but the offense was committed willfully – This offense is a Category B felony, which carries a prison sentence of up to six years. If you were previously convicted of child endangerment, then the offense is punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years.
- The child suffered serious physical or mental injury – This offense is also a Category B felony, but a conviction can lead to imprisonment for up to 20 years, which is the maximum sentence for this particular type of felony.
Not only does a conviction result in harsh criminal penalties like a lengthy jail sentence, costly fines, and a permanent criminal record, but you could also lose custody of your child. If you are facing DUI with a child passenger, it is wise to have an experienced criminal defense attorney defend you in court.
If you have been arrested for DUI with a child passenger in Reno, contact the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Stover today for a free case review. Let a former prosecutor protect your rights and best interests from start to finish.