Leandra’s Law or the Child Passenger Protection Act was introduced in 2009 by New York legislators with an objective to get children out of harm’s way when it comes to drunk drivers. The law is different from other DUI related laws in the sense that it can effectively turn even first time DUI offenders into felony convicts if they drive drunk while with a passenger in the car under the age of 16.
In circumstances where a person is apprehended for drunken driving and has no prior drunken driving convictions, the state will prosecute such a person with a first offense DUI, which is a misdemeanor charge. However, if this same person happened to have a minor (under the age of 16 in this case) travelling along with them in the vehicle, the prosecution will press felony charges.
Felony convictions are much more serious in nature and they come along with some severe penalties. For those of you facing such grave charges, the only way you may survive the litigation and escape conviction is if you have a dedicated and solid White Plains, New York DUI attorney by your side who is thorough with DUI laws and Leandra’s Law in particular and knows how to work around them.
This legal soldier will know how to attack the evidence gathering work of law enforcement at the source. Not sure on how to find a legal representative that can put a dent into your charges? Right here is where: https://usattorneys.com/.
Penalties under Leandra’s Law
According to White Plains, NY DUI lawyers, the punishments that result from driving drunk with a minor passenger are very harsh indeed. However, putting an innocent’s child’s life in danger is undoubtedly a reprehensible thing to do and a lot of people would agree that such harsh penalties are exactly what such reckless drivers deserve.
Leandra’s Law is based on 4 year old Leandra who was killed in October of 2009, hence the date of this law. Lenny Rosado was driving drunk and killed his son when he crashed his car.
Violators of this law face some serious financial consequences. It depends on how many priors, if any, the suspect has. The more priors, the heavier the fines. Additionally, their driver’s permits will be suspended while they will be subjected to compulsory alcohol and drug counseling and may even have to serve probation and community service.
In tragic cases where a person transporting a minor under the age of 16 while driving drunk happens to cause or be involved in an accident, the punishment is grave. If the minor happens to die as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident, the offender will be put behind bars in federal prison for a staggering 25 years. If the child was seriously injured in such an accident, the federal prison term is usually up to 15 years.
According to New York DUI lawyers, another consequence for violators of Leandra’s Law is that they will permanently be registered as someone with a history of child abuse and maltreatment, which will irreversibly affect their guardianship status of any children in their custody. This is a black mark that could stigmatize a violator forever.
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Ignition interlock devices in New York
As per New York state law, DUI offenders are punished with a variety of penalties which includes the mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices on all of their vehicles. These devices cost approximately $500 dollars a pop and the offender needs to bear these costs. However, a recent study reported by nydailynews.com has revealed that only a mere 5% of DUI offenders have obeyed Leander’s Law and have actually taken the trouble of installing these devices.
This is news comes to the chagrin of their White Plains, NY DUI lawyers.