Child Endangerment in DUI

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs has severe consequences, such as fines, community services, license suspensions, and even jail times. The consequences become even more severe if the driver has an underage passenger. The reason for this is child endangerment.

Child endangerment refers to the act of putting an underage individual in danger. It is there to protect children from parents and guardians whose reckless and negligent behaviors can cause them harm. One of those reckless and negligent behaviors is driving under the influence, which puts the children at risk of unwarranted traffic accidents, injuries, or even death.

DUI in Tennessee
Driving under the influence has consequences, such as fines, license suspensions and revocations, and jail times, depending on the gravity of the offense.

According to a DUI article from the website of Horst Law, the first three offenses of DUI have fines of up to $10,000, license revocations of up to 10 years, and varying jail times that can be longer than 120 days. The fourth and subsequent offenses have worse consequences, as they are considered Class E felonies. The fines go up to $15,000, license revocations up to 8 years, and times in state prison of a minimum of 1 year.

Child endangerment
The base charge for DUI can just be misdemeanors, but they can be elevated to Class D felonies when a child is involved, especially if the child has sustained serious injuries because of the offense. If the child has been killed, the felony is further elevated to Class B, making the consequences more severe. Take note that the child here is anyone under the age of 18. The mere presence of such a person in the intoxicated driver’s vehicle is enough grounds for child endangerment.

The severity of the consequences has various factors, such as the age of the driver and the child passenger, severity of the passenger’s injury, and the number of DUI-related offenses the driver has. In conjunction with the DUI penalties that have been mentioned above, the driver may suffer from a combination of other consequences, such as additional fines, license revocation years, and jail times.

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Penalties And Consequences For Drug Possession

Drug possession is a serious crime that can have a wide range of consequences. Controlled substances are heavily regulated by the law. Illegally possessing, cultivating, distributing, or trafficking them is a violation of the law and can result to criminal consequences. Getting charged with drug possession can have life-altering consequences. The effects of drug possession may vary from one state to another.

Drug possession carries with it a wide range of penalties during sentencing. In 1986, Federal lawmakers passed mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for drug charges. Penalties and sentences are dependent on the type of drug, weight of the drug, and the number of previous convictions. Drug charges are prosecuted in either state or federal courts. The penalties will depend on the kind and amount of drug that was found.

Each state also has its own drug laws and they are quite different from Federal laws in the severity of the consequences. For state laws, simple possession may be charged as misdemeanor and may include probation in the sentence. Federal laws, on the other hand, usually have harsher punishments and longer sentences.

When convicted for possession, the court may require the defendant to attend a drug diversionary program before getting probation. For severe cases, they may be sentenced to serve jail time in a Federal or state prison. There are various factors that can affect the sentence that will be handed down on the defendant. The judge may look at the aggravating or mitigating circumstances such as the past record of the defendant and the type of drug involved.

Finally, it is also up to the judge to determine the sentence they will impose on the defendant. The court will look at the facts and merits of the case. The penalties will depend on the state where the case was filed.

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