A Former Prosecutor Defending Clients in Wyoming and South Dakota
Facing charges for a DWUI in Wyoming is difficult enough.
If you were stopped and face charges of DWUI with children in the car, you face increased fines and penalties, additional jail time, and may even be charged with a felony.
The changing economy has resulted in more families where both parents work to make ends meet. After work, many of these moms and dads go to happy hour for a few drinks with co-workers before picking up the kids from school or daycare. This means that more and more parents, especially moms, are facing charges of DWUI with children in the car.
When we think of driving with kids in the car, we usually think of small children. But charges of DWUI with children in the car - even teenagers - can lead to enhanced penalties for the DWUI charge, as well as charges of child endangerment.
Wyoming’s enhanced penalties for charges of DWUI with children in the car are addressed in Wyoming Statute 31-5-233(m). To prove Wyoming charges of DWUI with children in the car, the prosecutor must prove the DWUI case, either by establishing the driver’s intoxication through a per se violation (a BAC of .08% or above), or that the driver was under the influence. The prosecutor must also establish that the driver was at least 18 years old, and that there was a passenger in the vehicle who was 16 years of age or younger.
If you are found guilty of charges of DWUI with children in the car, in addition to the penalties for DWUI, you also face child endangerment penalties that include up to a year in prison.
If you have multiple DWUI convictions and face charges of DWUI with children in the car, you face stiffer penalties and the potential of an even longer prison sentence.
Penalties for child endangerment in Wyoming range from 1 to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $750, or both.
If this was your first offense for charges of DWUI with children in the car, the judge could sentence you with up to 1 year in jail, a fine of up to $750, or both. If you have a prior conviction for child endangerment, you face the possibility of up to 5 years in jail.
Charges of DWUI with children in the car could also trigger an investigation by Child Protective Services.
In addition to the possibility of stiffer fines and longer jail time, facing charges of DWUI with children in the car makes it more difficult to negotiate a reduced charge or participation in a diversion program. Charges of DWUI with children in the car will change the prosecutor’s and the judge’s perception of your case. The prosecutor will take a much stronger stance position with regard to reducing the charges or approving your participation in a diversion programs.
If you or someone you care about is facing charges of DWUI with children in the car, the stakes are high. It’s important that you have a skilled and experienced Wyoming DWUI defense attorney on your side.
At The Law Office of Christina L. Williams, my team of DWUI defense professionals will work tirelessly to challenge the evidence, and protect your one shot at justice.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.