El Dorado County – DUI with Child in Car

If you are arrested for a DUI in El Dorado County and you have a child in a car, there are different ways the prosecutor can charge the offense.  They can charge you with child endangerment as a misdemeanor or a felony or they can add an enhancement to the underlying DUI charge.       

DUI with Child under 14 in car (VC23572) – DUI enhancement    

The prosecutor doesn’t have to charge you with child endangerment they can choose to add an enhancement for having a child under 14 years old in the car to your underlying DUI charge which adds additional punishment to your final sentence. 

DUI with Child under 14 in car (VC23572) – Punishment   

If you are convicted of a DUI and at the time of the offense you had a child under 14 in your vehicle, the additional jail time added to your DUI sentence is 48 hours on a first offense, 10 days on a 2nd offense, 30 days on a 3rd offense, and 90 days on a 4th offense. 

DUI with Child in car – PC 273(a) – Child Endangerment

Penal Code 273(a) punishes “child endangerment” when a person (1) places a child in a dangerous situation, or (2) allows a child to be placed in a dangerous situation without taking measures to protect the child.  Child Endangerment is a “wobbler”. A “wobbler” is a crime that can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.  Prosecutor’s in El Dorado County believe that if you are drinking and driving with a child in the car that you are endangering the child which is why they will usually file child endangerment as a separate charge.    

Elements of PC 273(a) – Child Endangerment

To be convicted of PC 273(a), the prosecutor must show that you:

  1. “Willfully caused or permitted” any child (a minor under the age of 18) to suffer physical pain or mental suffering, or
  2. “Willfully caused or permitted” any child to be placed in a situation where the child suffers physical pain or mental suffering.

Misdemeanor Punishment 273(a) – Child Endangerment

Up to 1 year in county jail, up to $1,000 in fines, 3 years informal probation, successful completion of a 1-year Child Abuser’s Treatment Program.

Felony Punishment 273(a) – Child Endangerment

Up to 1 year in county jail with up to 5 years of felony probation and a 1-year Child Abuser’s Treatment Program.  In more serious cases 2,4, or 6 years in a California State Prison and up to $10,000 in fines.  If injury occurred, a consecutive sentence of 3-6 years in State Prison if the child suffered from Great Bodily Injury (GBI) and a “strike” on your record under California’s “Three Strikes” law.

You don’t have to plead guilty, contact our office today for a free same day consultation

Because you have so much to lose, you need the most experienced and aggressive child endangerment defense attorneys on your side.  Whether it’s defending you in trial or negotiating for dismissal, you can count on us.  Our experienced and aggressive negotiating efforts usually result in better outcomes for our clients including reduced charges, lesser jail days, and smaller fines.  Call our office today at (916) 939-3900 or (530) 621-1800 to speak directly to an attorney about your El Dorado County child endangerment case.  We are open 24/7/365 to answer your questions.       

California Vehicle Code 23572 – DUI Enhancement Minor In Car

(a) If any person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 and a minor under 14 years of age was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the offense, the court shall impose the following penalties in addition to any other penalty prescribed:

(1) If the person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 punishable under Section 23536, the punishment shall be enhanced by an imprisonment of 48 continuous hours in the county jail, whether or not probation is granted, no part of which shall be stayed.

(2) If a person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 punishable under Section 23540, the punishment shall be enhanced by an imprisonment of 10 days in the county jail, whether or not probation is granted, no part of which may be stayed.

(3) If a person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 punishable under Section 23546, the punishment shall be enhanced by an imprisonment of 30 days in the county jail, whether or not probation is granted, no part of which may be stayed.

(4) If a person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 which is punished as a misdemeanor under Section 23550, the punishment shall be enhanced by an imprisonment of 90 days in the county jail, whether or not probation is granted, no part of which may be stayed.

(b) The driving of a vehicle in which a minor under 14 years of age was a passenger shall be pled and proven.

(c) No punishment enhancement shall be imposed pursuant to this section if the person is also convicted of a violation of Section 273a of the Penal Code arising out of the same facts and incident.

California Penal Code Section 273a – Child Endangerment

(a) Any person who, under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits the person or health of that child to be injured, or willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health is endangered, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison for two, four, or six years.

(b) Any person who, under circumstances or conditions other than those likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits the person or health of that child to be injured, or willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health may be endangered, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(c) If a person is convicted of violating this section and probation is granted, the court shall require the following minimum conditions of probation:

(1) A mandatory minimum period of probation of 48 months.

(2) A criminal court protective order protecting the victim from further acts of violence or threats, and, if appropriate, residence exclusion or stay-away conditions.

(3) (A) Successful completion of no less than one year of a child abuser’s treatment counseling program approved by the probation department. The defendant shall be ordered to begin participation in the program immediately upon the grant of probation. The counseling program shall meet the criteria specified in Section 273.1. The defendant shall produce documentation of program enrollment to the court within 30 days of enrollment, along with quarterly progress reports.

(B) The terms of probation for offenders shall not be lifted until all reasonable fees due to the counseling program have been paid in full, but in no case shall probation be extended beyond the term provided in subdivision (a) of Section 1203.1. If the court finds that the defendant does not have the ability to pay the fees based on the defendant’s changed circumstances, the court may reduce or waive the fees.

(4) If the offense was committed while the defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the defendant shall abstain from the use of drugs or alcohol during the period of probation and shall be subject to random drug testing by his or her probation officer.

(5) The court may waive any of the above minimum conditions of probation upon a finding that the condition would not be in the best interests of justice. The court shall state on the record its reasons for any waiver.