The Law Offices of John Phebus

DUI, child endangerment charges could have multiplying effect

We read recently of a 25-year-old woman who finds herself today in deep legal trouble. She was arrested in Mesa on a recent afternoon after she reportedly hit a stopped car with her vehicle. A man inside the stopped vehicle then jumped onto the woman's hood as she reportedly tried to drive off.

Perhaps worst of all for the defendant: she was allegedly drunk at the time and she reportedly had inside her car a small child who was not in a car seat.

She has been charged with aggravated DUI, child endangerment, failure to stop at a motor vehicle accident, as well as other charges that apparently include resisting arrest.

Not only does she face the aggravated drunk driving accusations -- which regular readers will recall that we reviewed in our previous post -- but child abuse/child endangerment charges as well. An experienced DUI attorney understands that this companion charge can in many situations have a negative impact on jurors in a trial. That can mean if a defendant is convicted of child endangerment, punishment for the other charges can be significantly worse than it might have been otherwise.

That means that people in similar situations do well to politely decline to speak to police officers or prosecutors about the circumstances of the arrest before they have had a chance to sit down and describe the incident in detail with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney experienced in aggravated DUI defense can help minimize the possible punishments faced.

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