When Tennessee law enforcement investigates a case in which a driver might be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is important for the driver to understand the potential consequences for a conviction. There are circumstances that can make these penalties worse such as an accident with injuries and having a child in the vehicle. Regardless, drivers have rights and a DUI arrest does not automatically mean there will be a conviction. A crucial aspect is having legal assistance from the start.
Man faces DUI charges with child in vehicle
A 28-year-old man was arrested for DUI after his vehicle ran off the road. His 7-year-old son was in the vehicle with him. The incident occurred at around 10 p.m. According to the investigation, the vehicle was found at the bottom of an embankment after it left the roadway. When officers reached the vehicle, they stated they smelled alcohol emanating from the driver. His speech was slurred and he was unable to stand straight. The man could not complete a field sobriety test. He was subsequently arrested for DUI with a child in the vehicle.
Penalties for DUI with a child passenger are severe
While there can be various penalties for any DUI depending on the details of the case, those who are facing charges that they committed the DUI with a child under 18 should be cognizant of the increased severity of the consequences. If the child is seriously injured, it is a Class D felony. There can be between two and 12 years in jail. If the child dies, it will be a Class B felony with eight to 30 years in jail. The driver license can be revoked in any case. Not only can a DUI negatively impact a person’s ability to drive and result in jail time, but insurance rates will likely be higher, it can hinder the ability to get certain jobs and advance in life. Despite the potential problems, there are avenues of defense that can be effective.
Having legal assistance may be key to a DUI defense
It is important to assess the case and determine if there are issues with the evidence that can be used to help the defense. Perhaps the testing procedure was flawed or there were other reasons why the driver might have appeared under the influence. Alternatives to the harshest penalties can be explored. The first step is to consult with an experienced legal professional who understands all aspects of DUI and criminal defense. This can be beneficial from the start.