Burbank DUI With Child In The Vehicle
Courts and the legislature have recognized that there are various aggravating factors that, when present, should trigger enhanced court penalties on any underlying conviction for driving under the influence. For those convicted of a Burbank DUI offense, one of the penalty enhancements that may lead to additional time in jail is the enhancement for having a minor child present in the vehicle at the time the DUI incident. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23572 VC, anyone convicted of DUI who also had a minor child in the vehicle can face significant jail sentences. In addition, the defendant may also be charged separately with child endangerment pursuant to California Penal Code Section 273(a) PC.
For the California Vehicle Code Section 23572 VC enhancement to be applicable, the following conditions must be met:
- There must first be a conviction for DUI under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 VC.
- There must be additional facts showing that when the defendant was stopped and arrested for DUI, a child under the age of 14 was present in the vehicle.
The California Vehicle Code Section 23572 VC penalty enhancement cannot be imposed if the defendant is not convicted of a Burbank DUI offense. In many cases, the defendant may resolve his or her DUI case by pleading to a reduced charge, like wet reckless under California Vehicle Code Section 23103/23103.5 VC or exhibition of speed per California Vehicle Code Section 23109(c) VC. Because the DUI charge under California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) VC or California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) VC would be dismissed in this scenario, the penalty enhancement could not be applied to the defendant.
The penalty enhancement for a having a minor child in the vehicle at the time of arrest will impose the following penalties on a Burbank DUI defendant:
- On a defendant’s first DUI, the California Vehicle Code Section 23572 VC penalty enhancement adds a mandatory 48 hours in jail.
- For a defendant’s second DUI within ten years, the penalty enhancement adds 10 days to any underlying sentence.
- For a defendant’s third DUI within ten years, an additional 30 days would be tacked on to the defendant’s jail requirement.
- For a defendant’s fourth or subsequent DUI offense charged as a misdemeanor, the defendant would face an additional 90 days in jail. The penalty enhancement would not apply to felony DUI convictions, under which the defendant would be serving significantly longer jail sentences anyways.
A Burbank DUI driver who had a child in his or her vehicle when they were arrested may also be exposed to criminal liability for child endangerment under California Penal Code Section 273(a) PC. This crime is slightly different from the California Vehicle Code Section 23572 VC penalty enhancement, as the defendant can be charged when the minor passenger was under the age of 18, as opposed to 14.
The crime of child endangerment is considered a “wobbler” offense. This means that a prosecutor can pursue the case as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Prosecutors will consider a number of factors when deciding what level of charges to file, including the defendant’s criminal record and the severity of the offense. A felony child endangerment charge carries a maximum penalty of four years, while a misdemeanor conviction can carry jail sentences of up to six months. Typically, a prosecutor will only consider child endangerment charges if the defendant’s driving conduct was especially egregious or if his BAC was unusually high. A defendant in Burbank can be charged with both DUI and child endangerment, however if he or she is convicted of child endangerment the California Vehicle Code Section 23572 VC penalty enhancement would not apply.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a DUI offense in Burbank and the prosecutor has additionally alleged that there was a minor child in the car, it is imperative that you consult with a Burbank DUI Lawyer immediately. Burbank DUI Attorney Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who is highly respected in Burbank by judges, law enforcement and prosecutors as a tough litigator who knows how to effectively fight DUI allegations and enhancements.
For more information about the Burbank DUI with a child in the vehicle enhancement, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Burbank DUI Defense Lawyer Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 2600 West Olive Avenue, 5th Floor, Burbank, CA 91505. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 818-563-9810.