Leandra’s Law, or the Child Passenger Protection Act, imposes harsh penalties against individuals who are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol with a minor under the age of 15 in the vehicle. Here’s what you need to know about Leandra’s Law, and how you can defend yourself if you are charged with drinking and driving with a child in your vehicle in New York.
Leandra’s Law Penalties
Under New York State Law, being arrested for a DUI with a child passenger under the age of 15 in the vehicle is an automatic felony. The law stems from a case where an 11-year-old girl, Leandra Rosado, was killed in 2009 after riding with a friend’s mother who was allegedly drinking and driving and caused an accident that flipped the vehicle.
If charged with a DUI with a child passenger under the age of 15 in the vehicle, you will face penalties for a class E felony. If an accident occurred and injury or death resulted, the charges are increased to a class D felony. You could face up to four years in prison and will be ordered to pay a $1,000-$5,000. An ignition interlock device will be required on all vehicles you and your family owns for six months following a conviction, and your license will be automatically suspended. Additionally, there is a very real possibility that you could be required to wear a continuous alcohol monitoring ankle bracelet.
How to Defend Yourself Against Charges of a DWI With a Minor Under 15 in Your Vehicle
The first aspect of your case that must be examined is the possibility that you were not intoxicated at all when you were driving. This can be done in a number of ways by examining the evidence in your case. If, for example, the officer who pulled you over did not properly administer the breathalyzer test or did not properly calibrate and maintain the equipment, your breathalyzer reading could be false. If the basis of your DWI arrest was the officer’s observations of you and your performance on field sobriety tests, it may be argued that there were factors other than alcohol intoxication at play.
Contact Schwartz & Krysinski, L.L.P. Today
The most important thing you can do after a DWI arrest — whether you were traveling with a minor or not — is contact an experienced New York DWI lawyer regarding your case. Call us today for a consultation at (718) 643-9333.