As a parent, the most terrifying thing about a potential drunk driving conviction may be thinking about what happens to your kids if you go to jail. Even if your children were not in the car at the time of your drunk driving arrest and even if the children have another parent to care for them, the psychological effects of missing you and worrying about you while you are in jail may be significant. However, the psychological effects and the day-to-day practical effects may be even more significant if the kids were with you in the car while you were allegedly under the influence or if the kids do not have another parent who is able to care for them.
Drunk Driving With a Minor in the Car Could Lead to More Jail Time and More Time Away From Your Kids
In addition to the regular penalties for drunk driving, you may face additional jail time for driving under the influence with a minor in the car. According to Virginia law, you may face:
An enhanced penalty for being convicted of drunk driving with a person 17 years old or younger in the car. This will result in a mandatory minimum jail time of five days and an additional fine. (VA Code §18.2-270(D).
Child abuse and neglect charges. If you are responsible for a child under the age of 18 and your willful act or omission in the care of the child was so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life, then you may be guilty of a Class 6 felony and you may face an additional five years in jail.
During the time that you are away, your child may continue to live with your child’s other parent, a relative, or a guardian, if there is a person willing and able to safely care for your child. If this is not possible, then your child may be placed elsewhere by Child Protective Services.
Call a Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer Today to Protect Your Rights and Your Family
If you are not convicted of drunk driving, child abuse or neglect, or another crime, then your children are likely to remain in your care. At the Wilson Law Firm, we will thoroughly investigate the case against you and help you protect your rights. Please contact us at your convenience to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.