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What Are the Consequences of DWI With a Minor Passenger?

 Posted on April 16, 2020 in DWI

Fairview DWI defense attorney

DWI (driving while intoxicated) is a serious charge in Texas, but DWI with a child passenger can be even more serious, carrying with it particularly severe consequences, both in terms of criminal law and civil law. From jail time and fines to loss of child custody, the effects of these allegations can completely change your life. To better prepare you if you are facing these charges, the following information outlines the legal definition of DWI with a child passenger, as well as the penalties associated with this criminal offense.

What Is DWI With a Child?

If it is determined that you were driving while intoxicated (a BAC of .08 percent or higher), and you had a child under the age of 15 in your car at the time, then you could be charged with DWI with a child passenger in Texas. You can still face this charge even if the child did not get injured or harmed in any way.

What Are the Penalties?

Possible punishments for DWI with a child passenger include:

  • 180 days to two years in a state jail

  • Fines of up to $10,000

  • Community service of up to 1,000 hours

  • Suspension of driver’s license for up to 180 days

  • Required participation in alcohol education courses or substance abuse program

  • Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in your car 

The criminal consequences of these charges could be even steeper if you have a prior history of DWIs or other alcohol-related offenses, or if you put the child’s safety in jeopardy. If the child was put at risk for injury, other physical impairment, or death as a result of your DWI, you could also be charged with child endangerment. This offense carries the following penalties:

  • A civil case through intervention from Child Protective Services (CPS) that might result in you losing custody of your child to family members or the state

  • Loss of joint custody as previously arranged in your divorce, even without a civil case

  • Revisions to your custody agreement that affect your parental rights, with or without court intervention

Contact a McKinney Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being charged with DWI is a serious offense that carries harsh penalties in Texas. A DWI with a child passenger can result in even more severe punishments. If you or someone you know is facing such charges, it is imperative that you consult a Collin County DWI defense attorney right away. The tenacious legal team at the Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C. will develop an aggressive defense strategy to ensure the best outcome for your case. Call us today at 469-333-3333 to schedule a free consultation.


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