You need to speak with a competent lawyer in Georgia and there are some very good ones there.
By having your child in the vehicle when you were arrested you exposed yourself to the felony endangerment.
The DUI is a lesser included offense and has been charged as a another offense. With the right lawyer and if the facts are on your side this case might get reduced down to just the misdemeanor.
Seek counsel as soon as possible.
It's a strange situation you find yourself in. The DUI alcohol/DUI drugs can merge into each other, but the child endangerment cannot merge into either of the DUI's. In order for you to be guilty of child endangerment, you must first be guilty of DUI. Child endangerment means that you have endangered the child by driving while impaired. Your lawyer might be able to get the child endangerment dismissed if you plead guilty to a DUI, but you cannot get the DUI dismissed without pleading guilty to the DUI. If you fight your case, that's an interesting question as to whether a jury could find you guilty of only the child endangerment, but not the DUI. There is a possibility of that since GA does not have an "inconsistent verdict rule," but it is not a likely result.
More importantly, you should know that the child endangerment acts like a second DUI in terms of a license suspension. In other words, if you are convicted of DUI and Endangerment, it's as if you were convicted of two DUI's. Make sure you hire a competent lawyer as soon as possible. Please see the attached link to see what you are facing if convicted of two dui's.
Not exactly the same, but DDS treats it as a suspendable offense and for purposes of counting convictions in a "dui-related offense", as it occurred while the driver was impaired it is certainly one of the charges needing serious defense. Multiple "superb" DUI attorneies in that area to be found on this site
I am an attorney, practicing throughout the state of Georgia, but primarily in the areas around Augusta, Statesboro and Savannah, Georgia. You may review more information about my practice by going to: http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/30809-ga-elmer-young-540135/reviews.html. The information I am providing you should only be considered for your general knowledge and educational purposes. Consider it as a good first step in your knowledge acquisition, but not as legal advice. Indeed, any information I provide is based on the extremely limited facts you have provided and new facts could substantially alter any answer or reply. My opinion should be understood to apply only to the laws of the State of Georgia. You should always consult with a local attorney about your situation if you live outside of the State of Georgia.
Even though both citations arise from the same incident they are viewed as separate offenses by the Dept. of Driver Services. This is a critical point because a conviction on both counts will have a very severe effect on your ability to continue driving. You could lose your license for a very long time. Do not try to handle this yourself to save some cash. You really need a defense attorney to help you resolve this matter in a way that best protects your interests and ability to continue driving. We have experience handling exactly this type of situation so feel free to give us a call.
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