In light of a recent tragic death of an 11-year-old, Leandra Rosado, New York state has added additional legislation to what are already considered steep penalties for being convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This legislation adds additional protection for children under 15 who are riding in a vehicle with an impaired driver. From increased chance for severe penalties to the reclassification of what may have been a misdemeanor to one of several classes of a felony, it is crucial now more than ever to have a Leandra’s Law Defense Lawyer by your side in the event you are charged with a DUI.
Possible Penalties Under Leandra’s Law
The Child Passenger Protection Act, also known as Leandra’s Law, adds the potential for additional penalties to a DUI conviction if that driver had a 15-year-old or younger passenger in the vehicle with them at the time of the stop. However, a few situations are important to understand before discussing the consequences associated with each.
First and foremost, anyone who was legally responsible for the child in the vehicle while being intoxicated will be reported to the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment. Additionally, even in a situation where there was no child in the vehicle, anyone convicted of driving under the influence will be assigned to a period of conditional release during which they must maintain an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
Next, depending on the state of the child in the vehicle, the driver may be charged with a Class E, B, or C felony, even if it was the first offense. For example, if the child under 15 is in the vehicle but unharmed, the driver can be charged with a Class E felony which carries the possibility of four years in prison. If the child is injured, however, the potential punishment can get much more severe.
If the child in the vehicle during an incident of driving under the influence was injured, the driver could be charged with a Class C felony which carries a penalty of up to 15 years. Furthermore, suppose the child is tragically killed as the result of being a passenger in a vehicle being driven by someone who is intoxicated. In that case, they may be charged with a Class B felony and up to 25 years in prison.
How A DWI With Child Passenger Attorney Can Help
If you have found yourself in this situation, it is imperative to contact a Suffern, New York, DWI Attorney as quickly as possible. With the potential for such severe repercussions and additional risk, do not leave the matter to an inexperienced attorney or simply take your chances by throwing yourself to the mercy of the court.
Call The Inniss Firm, PLLC, to schedule a free initial consultation as soon as possible. From possible strategies to mitigate risk to handling each step from start to finish, we can discuss your situation and the options available to you to proceed. However, the longer you wait, the more damage can be done, so don’t hesitate and call today!