Virginia Driver Charged With DUI & Child Abuse/Neglect
Authorities charged a man from Woodbridge, Virginia with child abuse and neglect, DUI, and other offenses, according to an article by the Daily Voice.
This incident occurred on Friday, December 23 at approximately 12:30 a.m. That is when police responded to reports of a vehicle facing the wrong way in a traffic lane. When police arrived at the scene, they found the Virginia man, who seemed to be intoxicated, and a five-year-old child, who was not wearing a seatbelt or similar restraint.
While the Virginia man awaits further developments, it seems like an appropriate juncture to review the Virginia laws governing DUI as well as child abuse and neglect.
Abuse & Neglect of Children in Virginia
The laws against child abuse and neglect appear under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-371.1. This section makes it unlawful for any parent, guardian, or custodian of a child to:
- Commit a willful act, omission, or refusal concerning the child’s care; and
- Demonstrate a reckless disregard for human life with gross, wanton, and culpable conduct.
This type of child abuse and neglect is charged as a Class 6 felony in Virginia. The punishment for this charge can include criminal fines up to $2,500 and imprisonment for one to five years.
In addition, Section 18.2-371.1 makes it illegal for any parent, guardian, or custodian of a child to:
- Commit a willful act, omission, or refusal concerning the child’s health; and
- Cause or permit serious injury to the life or welfare of the child.
This version of child abuse and neglect is charged as a Class 4 felony in Virginia. The punishment for this charge can include criminal fines up to $100,000 and imprisonment for two to 10 years.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Virginia
The laws against DUI appear under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-266. This section makes it unlawful to operate a motor vehicle, engine, or train while:
- Under the influence of alcohol;
- Impaired by alcohol;
- Impaired by drugs or other substances; or
- Impaired by a combination of alcohol and drugs or other substances.
The criminal penalties for DUI appear under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-270. Though DUI charges can fluctuate between misdemeanor and felony, depending on various factors. Broadly, any person who commits DUI can face the penalties scheme below on the:
- First Violation — Class 1 misdemeanor with a minimum of $250 in criminal fines and, for certain offenders, five to 10 days in jail;
- Second Violation — Class 1 misdemeanor with a minimum of $500 in criminal fines and 10 to 20 days in jail;
- Third Violation — Class 6 felony with a minimum of $1,000 in criminal fines and 90 days to six months in prison; or
- Fourth Violation (or subsequent) — Class 6 felony with a minimum of $1,000 in criminal fines and 12 months in prison.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you have legal questions about DUI in Virginia, it can be decidedly valuable to contact a knowledgeable Leesburg criminal attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers appreciate the finer points of criminal defense in cases involving DUI and other charges. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.