It’s a simple act that can turn a misdemeanor charge into a felony. Most DUI offenses are misdemeanors. But driving under the influence with a minor in the vehicle is a felony with major consequences, said Tulsa DUI defense lawyer Stephen Cale. It’s a crime commonly referred to as Child Endangerment by DUI or DUI Child Endangerment.
The following is for educational purposes, is not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you or someone you know has been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or any other crime, call the Cale Law Office at 918-277-4800. Or, you can contact us through the web. Your initial consultation is free.
So, now, let’s take a look at what DUI Child Endangerment is.
What is Child Endangerment By Driving Under the Influence?
The crime of child endangerment by DUI consists of four parts, or elements. A person is guilty of this crime if they are:
1) a parent, guardian, or person having custody or control of a child under 18 years old;
2) who is transporting the child, or has the child, in a motor vehicle;
3) while driving or operating that vehicle;
4) under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
You should know that Oklahoma’s child endangerment statute allows for a person who is charged with child endangerment by DUI to also be charged with simple DUI at the same time. That means a person could face two charges, or counts.
Now you know what the elements of child endangerment by DUI are. Next, let’s look in more detail about what “control of a child” in the first element means.
What “Control of a Child” Means
Suppose you’re not a parent, guardian or legal custodian of the child, but meet all the other elements of child endangerment by driving under the influence. The next question is whether you had “control of a child under 18 years old. Tulsa DUI defense lawyer Stephen Cale said that this issue has been resolved by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.
In the case of State v. Vincent, the Court held that: “Having “control” over a child would include any driver, operator, or person in physical control of a vehicle who is under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substance while transporting or having a child or children in the vehicle.”
The Consequences of Child Endangerment By DUI
Child endangerment by DUI is a grave offense that places children at significant risk. So, Oklahoma treats this crime as a felony, with penalties of up to 4 years in prison and/or fines of up to $5,000.
Hiring an experience criminal defense attorney is crucial to get you the best possible results under your circumstances. You may want to fight the charge. Or, you may want to try to work out a deal and get probation. With probation, you will avoid going to prison.
Moreover, the ramifications can be devastating. The State’s Child Welfare could remove a child from their home and place them in protective custody.
Apart from the legal penalties, families face enduring consequences. The emotional turmoil caused by potential child removal is overwhelming. So, it’s imperative to address this problem promptly, with the guidance of a skilled attorney who can protect your rights and help mitigate the consequences.
The implications of child endangerment by DUI extend far beyond immediate legal ramifications. Families may endure significant disruptions, emotional distress, and strained relationships due to the possible removal of a child. Safeguarding the child’s best interests becomes paramount, calling for quality legal representation to navigate the complex legal landscape and seek the most favorable outcome swiftly.
Take Action In Your Child Endangerment By DUI Case
In the face of the complexity and urgency surrounding child endangerment by DUI charges, securing the services of a seasoned attorney specializing in criminal defense and child protection is crucial. Stephen Cale, a trusted Tulsa DUI attorney with over two decades of experience, is dedicated to providing urgent defense strategies for his clients.
By calling him today, you gain a compassionate advocate who comprehends the intricacies of DUI cases involving child endangerment and can act promptly to protect your rights.
Child endangerment by DUI is a felony offense carrying severe penalties and potential long-term consequences. If you’re facing this charge, time is of the essence. Seek immediate assistance from a skilled attorney like Stephen Cale. With his extensive experience in criminal defense, he can guide you through the legal process and work diligently to secure the best possible outcome for your case. Call Stephen Cale, a trusted Tulsa DUI attorney, today to address your situation urgently and safeguard your rights.
Working With the Cale Law Office
The Cale Law Office is dedicated to the practice of criminal defense and medical marijuana law. Our mission is to achieve the best possible results for our clients through hard work, attention to detail, and aggressive representation. This is done while maintaining the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and ethical standards. If you’re looking for a Tulsa DUI defense lawyer, call the Cale Law Office at 918-277-4800. Your initial consultation is free.
Serving clients throughout Northeastern Oklahoma, including Tulsa, Washington, Nowata, Rogers, Craig, Okmulgee, Creek, Pawnee and Osage counties.