DUI arrests are taken very seriously in Chester County. Police are always on the lookout for intoxicated drivers, and an arrest can have a significant impact on your life. You may lose your driver’s license, and many people spend time in jail. With so many families living in West Chester, Exton, Phoenixville, Coatesville, Downingtown, or anywhere in Chester County, a DUI gets a lot worse if there’s a child in the car.

Contact Skinner Law Firm if you or a loved one have been arrested for DUI or endangering the welfare of a child. We understand this is stressful and scary, but there are ways to defend yourself and resolve the matter quickly, quietly, and in your favor.

Call attorney Michael Skinner at (610) 436-1410 or submit a request online for a free and confidential consultation.

What To Expect if You’re Arrested for a DUI With a Minor in the Car

It’s already a crime to be intoxicated while behind the wheel. However, Pennsylvania law makes the situation more severe if aggravating factors exist, such as having a child with you or causing an accident.

Most DUIs are already misdemeanors, but the offense is escalated to an automatic first-degree misdemeanor if you have a child in the car. Keep in mind that it does not matter how much your blood alcohol content is above the legal limit. A child’s presence is enough of an aggravating factor to push your charge to this higher level. So even a few beers during a family dinner can result in a serious DUI if you’re stopped on the way home.

The consequences for which can include:

  • Jail time – Up to five years in prison
  • Large fines – A DUI with a child in your car can result in a $10,000 fine
  • Loss of your license – Your license can be suspended for up to 18 months
  • Required safety school – You may be required to attend safety school on the orders of the judge. You will have to pay out-of-pocket

Additional Child Endangerment Charges

Getting A DUI with a child in the car can also lead to a separate and practically automatic charge for child endangerment. Often pursued as a misdemeanor, it will be included along with your DUI charge. Do not take this lightly.

Even though child endangerment is a misdemeanor, you face serious consequences. A child endangerment charge attached to your DUI could affect your reputation and employment, especially if you are a teacher or work with children. Furthermore, commercial drivers can lose their license permanently after a DUI.

Pennsylvania’s statute 4304 outlines endangering the welfare of children. This offense treats individuals charged with DUI the same as if you overdose with a child in your care. This includes the use of prescription drugs or illegal narcotics. It’s vital to take child endangerment and DUI charges very seriously. Contact your lawyer as soon as possible after an arrest.

The Skinner Law Firm Can Help You

DUI with a child present is especially serious, and your case will proceed quickly. The district attorney may formally file charges the day after an arrest, so it’s critical to have a defense attorney representing you as soon as possible.

The good news is that an experienced DUI attorney can make a big difference in the outcome. While ARD enrollment is usually not available if the minor was under 14-years-old, getting the offense reduced or dismissed can protect your driving privileges and spare you from thousands in fines, jail time, and a conviction on your record.

Attorney Michael Skinner has successfully represented many Chester County residents facing DUI and child endangerment charges. Let us use our skills to reduce the impact on your life. For a free consultation, call (610) 436-1410 today.

Article Author

Michael J. Skinner, the founder of Skinner Law Firm LLC, is a former prosecutor with the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

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