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Consequences for DWI with a Minor in the Vehicle

Toddler in the backseat of a car

A DWI charge is extremely serious, but the allegation is considered even more severe if a minor is in the vehicle.

When someone is convicted of a DWI, they can expect to face penalties such as:

  • Loss of their driver’s license;
  • Driver’s license reinstatement fee;
  • Additional fines;
  • Jail time; and,
  • Probation.

While those consequences may seem intimidating, the punishment is exacerbated for those who also had a minor in their vehicle during the arrest.

Who is Considered a Minor?

Every state has different rules regarding who is considered a minor in this scenario. In some states, the age can be as low as 12. Texas, however, takes these types of offenses seriously and considers a minor anyone who is under the age of 15.

Types of Charges

Most first offense DWIs in Texas are considered Class B misdemeanors. However, that classification can be raised to a felony if a child is also inside the accused driver’s vehicle.

If a driver is found to have a minor in their vehicle and this is the driver’s first DWI offense, they can expect penalties such as:

  • Incarceration of 180 days to two years;
  • 180-day suspension of the driver’s license;
  • Fines up to $10,000; and,
  • Additional fees ranging from $1-$2 thousand to reinstate the driver’s license.

These consequences only become more severe if this is a driver’s second or more offense, even if the driver did not have a minor in their vehicle during the prior offenses.

Child Endangerment

Another charge a driver may face is child endangerment. If Child Protective Services deems a driver endangering their minor child, they could remove the child from the driver’s custody. This is more likely if the child was physically hurt during the alleged offense.

How The Law Offices of Jed Silverman Can Help

If you are facing DWI charges, it is important that you contact an experienced Texas DWI attorney Do not try to go through the process alone. Contact the Texas DWI attorneys at The Law Offices of Jed Silverman to discuss your options and begin building your defense.

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