An individual charged with DUI may also be charged with the more serious crime of Endangering the Welfare of a Child if he is driving drunk with children in the car. The crime of endangering the welfare of a child can be found in Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Crimes code section 4304. Driving Under the influence of marijuana In order to be found guilty of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, the government must prove the following criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt. First, that the defendant is a parent or guardian to a child under the age of 18. Second, that the defendant knowingly violated a duty of care for the child by violating a duty of protection. Essentially, the government must prove that the Defendant is aware that the child is in a situation that could threaten her welfare as a result of the defendant’s conduct. Additionally, this statute does not require that the child was harmed as a result of the defendant’s actions, only that their welfare was threatened.
It is important that an accused consult with an experienced Chester County Criminal Lawyer if he or she is charged with a DUI and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. DUI refusing a chemical test There are many factors which must be analyzed when dealing specifically with the issue of whether or not a criminal defendant can be convicted of endangering the welfare of a child simply because he is driving drunk. The first factor to be studied is what was the defendant’s blood alcohol when he was driving? If the blood alcohol level was barely over the legal limit, then it is more difficult for the government to prove that the defendant knowingly endangered the safety of a child. Court’s have ruled that a defendant may only be found guilty of Endangering the Welfare of a child if the defendant realized that he was drunk when he was driving and drove anyway. Accordingly, courts typically look at whether the defendant was driving in an unsafe manner when the child was in the car. Courts have held that if a defendant is driving unsafely while DUI, then the accused should realize that they are endangering the welfare of a child. Contact the Bellwoar Kelly, LLP today if you have been charged with such a crime.