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DUI Arrest with a Minor Passenger in the Car

 Posted on May 11, 2023 in Uncategorized


When an individual is arrested due to a law enforcement officer’s suspicion that they have been driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or other substances, the main issue at hand is whether a motorist was, indeed, impaired while operating their vehicle. However, there may also be so-called “aggravating factors” at play that could significantly influence the outcome of a defendant’s DUI case.

Aggravating factors are aspects of a defendant’s situation that increase the severity of the alleged offense. For example, in Illinois, having a minor in one’s vehicle at the time of a DUI arrest is an aggravating factor. As a result, those who are convicted of a DUI with a minor in the car will face more severe penalties than those who committed the exact same DUI offense without a minor passenger in their vehicles at the time of their arrest.

Minor Child in Car DUI Penalties

In some scenarios, an aggravating factor will only result in the risk of a more severe penalty for the underlying offense. For example, a crime that would otherwise be classified as a misdemeanor would be charged as a felony instead, due to the influence of an aggravating factor. In Illinois, a conviction in a “DUI with a child passenger” case results in a risk of greater fines and a term of community service to be carried out in a program benefiting children.

However, in Illinois, those who are convicted of a DUI with a minor in the vehicle may also face a conviction for a secondary charge as a result of the minor’s presence. They could be convicted, secondarily, of child endangerment. This means that, in addition to a DUI conviction on their criminal record and all of the sentencing burdens associated with that reality, they could also have a child endangerment charge on their record and face separate sentencing terms for their child endangerment conviction.

Contact a Skilled Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer Today for More Information

All impaired driving offenses need to be taken seriously. However, it is especially important to seek legal guidance immediately if aggravating factors have the potential to impact the outcome of your case in truly unfavorable ways.

Schedule a confidential case evaluation with knowledgeable Will County, IL criminal defense lawyer Jack L. Zaremba for help building a strong defense against DUI charges. You can reach us immediately by calling 815-740-4025 or you can submit a contact form on our website if you are not in a position to speak with our team right away.

No matter how challenging your situation is, you do have rights under Illinois law and the ability to mount the strongest possible defense under the circumstances. Connect with our firm today so that we can start aggressively advocating on behalf of your interests. We look forward to working with you.

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