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Driving under the influence in Los Angeles with a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle can have some very serious consequences. The driver is not only subjected to standard penalties under the law, but other aggravating factors that can result in a much harsher sentence. Once you are faced with arrest, you need to find a good Los Angeles DUI attorney to offer you guidance.
According to the California Vehicle Code section 23572, any individual who is arrested and convicted of driving under the influence with a passenger under the age of 14 will face a mandatory jail time. The code also states that jail time will increase depending on how many DUIs the driver has. Even if you are a first-time offender of driving with a passenger under the age of 14, mandatory jail time is 48 hours. For a second DUI conviction, 10 days, for a third, 30 days and after a fourth DUI conviction, 90 days.
In some instances, those convicted of DUI may be able get an exemption due to the “wet reckless” code under the Code Section 23103/23103.5. The “wet reckless” code is a watered-down DUI charge that prosecutors use when a DUI case has some problems. For example, if a driver’s blood alcohol level is hovering near 0.8 and the Field Sobriety Test is decent, the prosecutor may offer a wet reckless plea bargain. Under this rule, the DUI will be like a first-time DUI.
Additional enhancements under the California Vehicle Code 23572 could also include a charge of child endangerment. The charge could be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the judge. Under the California Penal Code 273 (a), child endangerment prohibits anyone from subjecting a child to situations where their heath, safety and well-being is threatened. If the charge is filed as a misdemeanor, you could face a mandatory one year jail sentence. A felony conviction could have you facing up to six years in prison.
If you find yourself in this predicament, it would be a good time to find a skilled Los Angeles DUI Attorney. It is imperative that you find someone with a good track record and is knowledgeable of DUI’s. Due to the serious nature of these crimes, California is cracking down on DUI’s. A flood of two and three-time offenders have brought about the need to apply harsher sentences to perpetrators.