Consequences of Driving While Intoxicated With a Child Passenger on BoardDUI charges are not always standalone, singular charges. A DUI charge can coincide with other serious charges related to the circumstances of the event in question. A DUI charge in Mississippi may be defined as an aggravated DUI offense based on the egregious nature of the act and whether harm was caused due to the offense.

An example of a tangential charge being added to a DUI is when a person drives under the influence with a minor child present in the vehicle. This escalates the singular DUI offense with the additional charge of child endangerment.

Child endangerment added to the DUI charge

The state of Mississippi passed a law in 2012 that instituted child endangerment as an added charge onto DUI offenses in which one or more children are present in the vehicle at the time. Per Mississippi Code Section 63-11-30(12), an individual age 21 or older, who is charged with DUI while transporting a child below the age of 16 may be charged with the additional offense of child endangerment.

Under the statute, the DUI offense and the child endangerment offense may not be combined into one charge for prosecution purposes or for the application of penalties. If a person is convicted of DUI and child endangerment, the court will issue a separate sentence for each offense.

Penalties for DUI while transporting a child

DUI while transporting a child below the age of 16 is charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on whether the child suffered harm as a result. In circumstances in which the child sustained injury stemming from the DUI offense, the penalties are elevated. Another factor in determining the severity of the penalties applied for a DUI while transporting a child under 16 is the number of such DUI offenses previously committed by the offender.

  • A first offense of child endangerment in which no harm is caused to the child carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and/or fines of $1,000.
  • A second offense in which the child suffers no harm is charged as a misdemeanor and carries a punishment of up to 1 year in jail and/or fines of $5,000.
  • A third offense of child endangerment that results in no harm done to the child is charged as a felony and carries a punishment of 1 to 5 years in jail and/or 10,000 in fines.

At Taylor Jones Taylor, our Southaven DUI defense attorneys have extensive experienced successfully defending the rights and livelihoods of our clients. If you are facing a standalone DUI charge or one that includes child endangerment, we can work proactively to build an intelligent defense to help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case. Our team provides dependable and honest representation to clients in Olive Branch, Southaven, Hernando, and other areas throughout Mississippi. To arrange a consultation about your case, give us a call today at 662.253.5193 or complete our contact form.