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Woman charged with child endangerment after DWI stop

Most New Yorkers never plan to drive while under the influence. Instead, they simply get in their cars to drive somewhere after having a drink or two, often without realizing that their blood alcohol content levels are above the legal limit. Once someone is arrested for DWI, however, the police do not care whether or not he or she intended to be driving while intoxicated. The reality is that a DWI conviction can have serious potential consequences.

A 32-year-woman from New York City was recently arrested by Suffolk County Police. She caught the attention of a highway patrol officer when she did not stay in her lane. After being stopped, the officer arrested her for DWI. She was charged with what is known as Leandras’s Law, or Driving While Intoxicated With a Child Passenger 15 Years Old or Younger, because her three-year-old son was in the car with her at the time of her arrest. She also faces charges of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

This story illustrates one of the less commonly discussed potential consequences of DWI charges: child endangerment charges. When a person is stopped on suspicion of DWI with a child in the car, the DWI charges imposed against the person may result in heightened penalties and the person may be charged with child endangerment, as well. Depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the case, this situation could put a person at risk of losing his or her children, at least temporarily, or cause prejudice to him or her in a custody battle.

Other consequences of DWI include license suspension, hefty fines, loss of the vehicle and maybe even jail time. When someone faces DWI charges, however, a quick response in the form of a strong criminal defense can help prevent some of the more severe penalties. In some cases, a person may be able to prevent a conviction altogether. In other situations, a person may be able to obtain a hardship license or conditional license if the revocation or suspension or a license would present a serious hardship.

Source: LongIsland.com, “NYC Woman Arrested for DWI with 3-Year-Old Child in Vehicle,” Sept. 2, 2014