Child Endangerment While Operating Under the Influence
In Massachusetts, under MGL c. 90 s. 24V, operating under the influence with a child 14 years old or younger in the motor vehicle carries mandatory minimum jail time.
In order to be convicted of this offense, the prosecution must prove that you did:
- Operate a motor vehicle
- On a Public Way
- Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
- With a child 14 or under in the motor vehicle
In addition for the penalties for operating under the influence, you also face the following enhanced penalties for this charge, which must be served on and after (in addition to) the penalties for the underlying OUI charge:
- $1,000 fine (minimum) up to $5,000 fine
- 90 days in jail (minimum) up to 2 1/2 years in jail
- 1 year loss of license (mandatory)
A subsequent conviction for this offense is punishable by:
- $5,000 fine (minimum) up to $10,000 fine
- 6 months in jail (minimum) up to 5 years in state prison
- 3 years loss of license (mandatory)
If you are charged with this offense, and the child involved is your own, it is possible that the Department of Children and Families may get involved to determine whether your your child's best interest would be served by living in a foster home.
If you are charged with this offense, or being investigated for this offense, it is very important that you not discuss the facts with any member of law enforcement. Sometimes the police forget to take the name and information of the child in your car. If they cannot prove that the person in your vehicle was in fact 14 or under, you cannot be convicted for this offense. Do not help the police make their case against you.
Please visit our sister website, massduidefenselawyer.com, which is dedicated exclusively to motor vehicle crimes.
If you have been charged with child endangerment by operating under the influence, contact our office immediately:(617) 830-2188