International General Counsel Awards
Modern Law Awards 204
TACDL ...wherever justice demands
Tennessee Bar Association

DUI With a Minor in the Vehicle

Nashville Defense Attorney for Drunk Driving and Child Endangerment Charges

Tennessee imposes harsh penalties for driving under the influence (DUI), and the punishment is often worse if children are involved. If you have been charged with a DUI with a minor in the vehicle, you may be facing enhanced fines and jail time. Nashville DUI lawyer Bernie McEvoy is available to represent people in drunk driving and child endangerment cases throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties. He can provide the guidance and advocacy needed to defend against criminal charges for DUI with a minor in the vehicle, first-time DUI, or other drunk driving offenses.

Tennessee DUI With a Minor in the Vehicle

In Tennessee, a DUI with a minor in the vehicle is considered child endangerment, as there is a risk of danger to the child when he or she is placed in the vehicle of an impaired driver. A DUI with a minor in the vehicle occurs when a driver commits any Tennessee DUI offense while accompanied by a minor under the age of 18. A person arrested for DUI with a minor in the vehicle is subject to enhanced penalties and consequences that are generally more severe than a standalone DUI. As for all DUI offenses, however, the penalties for a conviction may vary depending on the defendant’s criminal history and the circumstances of the current DUI charge.

In a typical case, a DUI with a minor in the vehicle will result in a charge for a DUI, vehicular assault, or vehicular homicide, depending on whether the minor was hurt. If convicted, the defendant is subject to the penalties associated with the underlying DUI offense. In addition, the defendant will face mandatory enhanced penalties for committing a DUI while accompanied by a minor. These penalties include a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000 and a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 30 days. Other consequences may include license revocation and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. It is not unusual for the prosecuting attorney to argue for a sentence greater than the mandatory minimum for a DUI with a minor in the vehicle.

Vehicular Assault

If a minor was seriously injured in a DUI accident, the impaired driver may be charged with vehicular assault. In Tennessee, vehicular assault is a Class D felony. Penalties for a Class D felony conviction may include a prison sentence ranging from two to twelve years and a fine of up to $5,000. A conviction for vehicular assault also carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence. The presence of some factors may elevate the offense to aggravated vehicular assault, a Class C felony. For example, having a BAC level of .20 or more at the time of the DUI offense, with a prior DUI conviction, may result in an aggravated vehicular assault charge. If convicted of vehicular assault or aggravated vehicular assault due to DUI with a minor in the vehicle, the defendant will also be subject to enhanced penalties for child endangerment.

DUI cases involving the death of a minor passenger are among the most serious. If a minor is killed in motor vehicle accident caused by the driver’s intoxication, the driver may be charged with vehicular homicide. Vehicular homicide is a Tennessee Class B felony, punishable by a minimum prison sentence of 8 to 30 years and fine of up to $25,000. In some cases, the offense may be elevated to a Class A felony for aggravated vehicular homicide, such as when the defendant has two prior DUI convictions.

Retain a Nashville Lawyer to Fight DUI Charges

Whether you are facing DUI charges for vehicular assault or child endangerment, Nashville attorney Bernie McEvoy has the experience to assist you. He can advise drivers who have been arrested for drugged or drunk driving in Franklin, Nashville, and locations throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties. Schedule a consultation to discuss charges for a DUI with a minor in the vehicle by calling The Law Office of Bernie McEvoy at (615) 255-9595 during the day or (615) 804-8779 on evenings and weekends, or submitting our contact form online.

Client Reviews
“Bernie McEvoy was very focused on learning all the facts of the case I brought to him. He represented me with the highest of professionalism. He is a great listener who knows how to formulate a plan of action and seek the best possible solution.” Larry M.
“From the moment I met Mr. McEvoy, he welcomed me as a client and provided excellent representation. He has compassion for each person and works diligently to provided the best possible results.” Lawrence E.
“We hired Bernie for a criminal defense case. Overall we were pleased with the outcome. I would recommend Mr. McEvoy. He is very pleasant to work with and works “for” you, not the system. Thanks Bernie!” Taffney H.