If Driving While Intoxicated is considered controversial, Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger takes it to the next level. In addition to the criminal implications of such an offense, oftentimes other State Agencies become involved when incidents of this sort allegedly occur. The attorneys at Hyatt & Hyatt have the experience and know how to help address these situations, whether it’s the criminal implications, Child Protective Services side, or child custody aspect. This is the sort of offense that is at the nexus of a variety of areas of the law, and our firm is uniquely qualified to address these concerns.
Elements of Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger
The elements of this offense are: (1) A person (2) is intoxicated (3) while operating a motor vehicle (4) in a public place and (5) the vehicle being operated by the person is occupied by a passenger who is younger than 15 years old. The class of offense for Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger is a State Jail Felony. Looking at the elements of Driving While Intoxicated compared to Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger, it is apparent that Driving While Intoxicated is a lesser-included offense of Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger. Lesser-included offenses can sometimes be utilized in weak or otherwise compromised cases to achieve desirable results. Each case presents its own unique factors that should be evaluated. The attorneys at Hyatt & Hyatt have represented individuals accused of many different types of Intoxication related Offenses and have the knowledge and experience to increase the odds of achieving a great result. Our firm has a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Jonathan Hyatt, that can counsel individuals when they face these types of Criminal Allegations.
Here’s a link to the applicable criminal statute: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.49.htm
While Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code addresses Intoxication & Alcoholic Beverage Offenses, §49.045 is the specific section that addresses Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger.
Child Protective Services Considerations
Law Enforcement agencies are not the only state actor that may become involved when allegations such as Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger are lodged. If it is determined that a child was in danger, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (CPS) might become involved. If an investigation is started, it is important to know your rights and have counsel that is familiar with the process. Hyatt & Hyatt has specialists that have worked on every angle of situations like these. Darrell Hyatt is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has the experience that comes with being a County Court at Law Judge for 20 years. He literally heard thousands of CPS cases while on the bench. Additionally, during Jonathan Hyatt’s time as a Prosecutor, he litigated on behalf of the Department of Family and Protective Services.
Family Law Aspect
In addition to the potential involvement of CPS in Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger, there is the possibility of parties using this offense against the defendant to gain leverage in Child Custody disputes. With Darrell’s experience as a County Court at Law Judge and expertise from being Board Certified in Family Law, he can effectively counsel defendants/parents on their rights.
Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger is the exact kind of case where our firm’s broad areas of expertise come into play. Life doesn’t happen in a vacuum and because we have specialists in a variety of areas, the Hyatt & Hyatt team can foresee problems before they become issues by counseling clients on how to mitigate damage.