Does a Minor in the Car Impact My DUI Charge?


The penalty for driving under the influence (DUI) can be severe, even for first-time offenders. Drinking and driving with a minor in the vehicle will make the charges even worse in most cases. In some states, the original DUI/DWI charge is levied more severely, while in others, a DUI with a minor in the vehicle can lead to additional charges.

In serious cases, for example, a minor injured because of drunk driving can lead to child endangerment charges as well. In the state of New Jersey, the DUI or DWI initial penalties are not considered criminal offenses, but they are severe nonetheless:

  • First offense : Driver’s license suspension for three to 12 months, fines up to $1000, 30 days in jail maximum, and up to 48 hours of driver instruction.
  • Second offense : Penalties include but are not limited to a two-year license suspension, higher fines, and 90 days in jail as a maximum.
  • Third offense : Carries mandatory 180 days in jail, and a 10-year loss of license.

DUI offenses will also lead to problems with insurance. Refusing to take a breathalyzer could lead to additional penalties.

There are also additional penalties if the judge decides to do so, including community service, probation, and drug and alcohol classes, in additional to having a criminal record.

What are the Consequences if a Minor is Involved?

The consequences get even more severe if a minor or child is in the vehicle at the time. Judges and prosecutors understandably will take the charges very seriously, as cases involving minors and DUI charges have harsh penalties. Child endangerment and disorderly person charges have been filed in many instances.

Some states will then classify the offense as a felony if one receives a DUI charge that involves a minor, regardless if the minor is an infant or a 16-year old teen. Most states will elevate charges to misdemeanors or to felonies, depending on the severity of the situation and if this is not the defendant’s first offense.

So how would someone defend themselves if he or she is charged with such an offense? Considering the above scenarios, it would be quite difficult to prove certain aspects of the case in someone’s favor. However, the defendant does not have to provide the burden of proof, that is the responsibility of the prosecutor.

With this situation, and with any DUI charge, the first thing one must do is contact a knowledgeable DUI lawyer to help. A lawyer will review the case and determine the best possible defense while protecting the rights of the client.

Haddonfield DUI Lawyers at Agre & St. John Protect Those Charged with DUI While Driving with Minors

Any charges against you can be overwhelming for you and your family, but we are here to help. If you are accused of DUI, then speak to one of our experienced Haddonfield DUI lawyers at Agre & St. John immediately. Our experienced DUI lawyers defend the rights of those who are falsely accused. Call us today at 856-454-8674 or complete our online form for an initial consultation. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Salem County.

Schedule Your Criminal Defense Case Evaluation

Provide the information below or call us at:


100% Secure. We respect your privacy.

See here.

firm logo
handcuff icon

Criminal Defense

building icon

Federal Crimes

shield icon


gavel icon

Drug Crimes

person icon

Sex Crimes

scale icon

Weapons Offenses

Client Reviews

  • "The best guys for representation you could ever want!"

    "Excellent advice and direction. Knowledgeable of all options. Prepares you for every step of your case, even when you aren't aware. If you find them, stop looking and just call Chris or Bob. Their bios speak for themselves. They are so friendly and care about you and your case!!"

  • "I highly recommend Robert Agre to anyone in need of a criminal attorney"

    "Robert Agre told me what to expect each step of my case. He earned my trust with his knowledge of criminal law, ability to explain the process, and open communication. I was most impressed by his quick response time to my many questions throughout the process. I am grateful that I found him and appreciate everything he did for me. "

  • "I recommend Mr. St. John to any individual seeking counsel"

    "Mr. St. John has not only proficiently and tenaciously defended me each time it was necessary, he has gone above and beyond. With Mr. St. John, I never felt as though I was a number, a file, or merely a client. His professionalism, reputation, and rapport in the field are apparent without the need for words. I have and will continue to trust him without hesitation, despite the underlying fear brought about by criminal charges. Chris, THANK YOU for the compassion and kindness you possess, which parallel the dedication you have to individuals such as myself."

See all client reviews
firm logo

Get A 100% Free Case Evaluation From A Top-Rated Criminal Defense Attorney

Call: 856-454-8674 or Schedule Consultation

Meet your team

Robert N. Agre Christopher St. John Tess Berkowitz Shirley Genay Shirley Genay