Travis Noble, P.C. | Attorneys At Law
Travis Noble, P.C. | Attorneys At Law
Travis Noble, P.C. | Attorneys At Law

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Parents have more to lose after a DWI arrest

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2024 | Drunk Driving

People in a variety of different personal circumstances could end up arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) infractions in Missouri. Factors ranging from someone’s prior record to whether they caused a crash or simply failed a breath test influence the consequences possible after a Missouri DWI arrest.

Certain personal circumstances increase the potential consequences that the courts might impose after a guilty plea or a conviction while at trial. Parents often have around-the-clock responsibility to meet the needs of their children, and those responsibilities can sometimes impact the outcome of criminal matters. A parent arrested for a DWI offense in Missouri could face both enhanced DWI charges and also secondary consequences.

A DWI with a child could be a felony

Having a minor in the vehicle at the time of a DWI arrest is a major risk factor. Any passenger under the age of 17 could trigger Class C felony charges against someone accused of impaired driving. The penalties the courts could hand down include up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Children do not have the option of refusing to ride in the vehicle with their parents in most cases. Additionally, how they may be too young to recognize the warning signs that the driver of the vehicle is under the influence when they get behind the wheel. A child or teenager could end up seriously hurt or worse in a crash caused by an intoxicated adult.

Therefore, adults who get arrested for a DWI with a minor in the vehicle face felony charges. Missouri prosecutors can accuse the adult driver of knowingly putting a child at risk with their conduct, which constitutes endangering a minor in the first degree.

There could also be secondary consequences if someone eventually divorces or finds themselves in a shared custody scenario. A conviction for an offense that endangers a child could influence how the courts decide to divide parental rights and responsibilities. A parent could be at risk of losing time with their children if they have a DWI conviction on their record that involves allegations of endangering an underage passenger.

For many parents facing DWI charges, assertively fighting back could be the best option after an arrest. As such, understanding the laws that govern Missouri DWI cases may help people more effectively respond to pending criminal allegations.

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Travis L. Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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