Can a DWI Also Carry Criminal ChargesDriving while intoxicated (DWI) is always a bad idea; it is extremely dangerous and can have lasting effects on your future ability to drive and to obtain insurance (among other significant consequences). When you’re also driving with a child in your car, things become even more serious. If you are charged with a DWI with minor in the car, you could be looking at a host of life-altering consequences, including the involvement of child protective services and even criminal charges.

New Jersey DWI

Under New Jersey’s laws, you’re guilty of DWI if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. Penalties for a DWI in New Jersey are based on whether the violation is your first offense, and if it’s not, how many subsequent offences you’ve had. No matter which offense, however, New Jersey always applies mandatory fines, a mandatory loss of driving privileges, and potential jail time. This all changes, however, if you have a child in the car at the time.

DWI with Minor in the Car

If you’ve been charged with a DWI with a child passenger in New Jersey, it’s a separate disorderly persons offense charge that’s made on top of the original DWI charge. Such a charge is punishable by up to a six-month jail sentence and up to a $1,000 fine (over the penalties brought by the underlying DWI conviction).

There’s more to consider, however. You could also face a criminal charge for endangering the welfare of a child, which can lead to a five- to ten-year prison sentence and up to a $150,000 fine. Driving under the influence with a child in the car can also cause child protective services (DCP&P) to become involved with your case and your family. DCP&P typically initiates its own investigation to determine if the child is safe in your custody and may implement a Safety Protection Plan that could restrict your involvement in your child’s life. If you’ve been charged with a DWI with minor in the car, you have a lot to lose. Retain experienced legal counsel immediately.


If You’ve Been Charged with a DWI with Minor in the Car, call 732-238-8686 Today for More Information

If you or someone you care about is facing a DWI with a child passenger charge, David C. Barry, Attorney at Law, can help. Attorney David C. Barry knows that the stakes are too high to leave to chance, and he strongly recommends that you retain a lawyer with specific experience in defending DWI with a child passenger charges. David will help you understand your rights and help you protect your family’s future. If you need a skilled legal advocate, call David today at 732-238-8686.