Summerville Child Endangerment Lawyer

An offense of child endangerment can land you in prison, lead to high fines, and result in the loss of your driver’s license. The offense of child endangerment occurs when children are in the car and a person commits another specifically listed traffic offense. The charge commonly occurs in situations where the driver was intoxicated with kids in the car.

If you have been charged with child endangerment in Summerville, an experienced Summerville child endangerment lawyer can defend your case. Speak to a diligent attorney to help defend yourself against these charges.

Child Endangerment Laws in Summerville

Child endangerment occurs when a person eighteen years of age or older is driving one or more passengers who are younger than sixteen years of age and violates any of the following laws:

A child endangerment charge occurs when any of these offenses are committed, and at least one child under the age of sixteen is in the vehicle during the commission of the offense. A child endangerment charge is specifically tied to these specific offenses.

Child Endangerment and DUI

Three of the offenses listed in the child endangerment statute are various forms of driving under the influence (DUI) charges. Whether the individual was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, doing so with a child under sixteen years old in the car will also result in child endangerment charges.

This can significantly increase the severity of the penalties for what may already be a very serious offense. The child endangerment statute stacks on additional penalties to what a person will face for the DUI offense.

Multiple Children in the Vehicle 

Unlike some other states, only one charge of child endangerment is possible under state law, even if there are multiple children in the car.  For example, if a driver has two twelve-year-old passengers in the backseat, and is convicted of a DUI, only one child endangerment charge is possible, not two. This is not true in every state, but it is in South Carolina.

Penalties for Child Endangerment

If convicted of a DUI or fleeing from law enforcement charge while a child is in the car, the penalties for a child endangerment conviction may be stacked on top. Not only will the person face the penalties associated with the underlying criminal offense, but they may also face:

  • A fine not to exceed one-half of the underlying charge (such as DUI)
  • A term in prison not more than one-half of the underlying charge
  • A driver’s license suspension of sixty days

These penalties will be imposed on top of the fines or prison time already associated with the underlying offense. This means that a child endangerment conviction can quickly lead to long sentences and high fines without a strong legal defense.

Schedule a Consultation with a Child Endangerment Defense Attorney in Summerville

Child endangerment charges can quickly lead to harsh penalties, including long prison sentences and high fines. The loss of your driver’s license can also cause substantial hardship. A defense may be available in your case to reduce the charges against you or have them dismissed altogether. An analysis of your case will help determine your path forward.

An experienced Summerville child endangerment lawyer can analyze your case and help you determine your possible defenses. Contact us today.