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DWI with Minor Passenger Penalties

September 08, 2022

DWI with Minor Passenger Penalties

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges in New Jersey can be severe on their own. Some details may also exacerbate the consequences of a DWI, like having a minor passenger in the vehicle with you at the time of your arrest.

Potential Charges for a DWI with a Minor Passenger

A driver accused of driving while under the influence of alcohol or an illegal substance is at risk of two charges. First, they may be charged with a DWI. Second, they may also be charged with a disorderly persons charge of driving while under the influence with a minor in the car. In some cases, police may also charge the person with endangering the welfare of a child.

DWI charges on their own in New Jersey vary, depending on things like the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of arrest and if they have any prior DWI charges. A DWI with a minor passenger in the vehicle with you can lead to up to six months in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, six months of license suspension, and five days of required community service. Keep in mind that these charges are in addition to any charges received for a DWI. The state requires that the passenger be 17 years or younger to be considered a minor passenger.

Endangering the Welfare of a Child Charges

Some people may also be charged with endangering the welfare of a child. While a DWI with a minor is a disorderly persons offense, the endangerment of the welfare of a child can be charged as a felony. A felony charge has more severe consequences. Endangering the welfare of a child can lead to up to 10 years in prison.

Child Services and a DWI with a Minor Passenger

It’s possible for child services to be involved following a DWI with a minor passenger charge or endangering the welfare of a child charges. If the prosecutor believes your child is the victim of abuse or neglect, they will likely notify child services. Depending on the details of the charges, you could lose your parenting rights.

A DWI or DWI with a minor passenger can also harm your custody rights if you’re separated or divorced. The other spouse could argue that you not only drive under the influence but also with the child present. It’s possible that the court could rule in their favor and revoke your custody rights.

Your Options Following a DWI Charge

It’s typically a good idea to contact a DWI lawyer when you’re dealing with driving while under the influence charges. Additional charges, like DWI with a minor passenger, mean it may be even more important to contact a DWI defense lawyer. If convicted, you could be required to serve time in jail and pay expensive fines.

You made a mistake, and now it’s time to consider your options and fight for your kids. You need a strong defense that considers what’s at risk. There may be negotiation or plea options, like taking alcohol and drug classes to overcome an addiction.

Contact an Experienced Moorestown DWI Defense Attorney About Your Drunk Driving Charges in New Jersey

Have you been charged with a DWI or DUI offense in New Jersey? A drunk driving conviction could leave you with a permanent record, and it could result in your driver’s license being suspended for a very long time. That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified DWI defense lawyer about your case. The Law Offices of Michele Finizio represent clients charged with drunk driving, breath test refusal, and related offenses in Evesham Township, Mount Laurel, Willingboro, Pemberton, and throughout New Jersey. Call 856-888-9059 or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office located at 9 E Main St, Moorestown, NJ 08057, in addition to an office located in Cherry Hill, NJ.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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