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Women arrested DUI and Felony Child Endangerment

Posted by on Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 in Uncategorized

Women Arrested for DUI and Child Endangerment in San Rafael, Marin County.

A San Francisco woman was arrested for DUI, driving on a suspended license and felony child endangerment after crashing her car into a swamp near China Camp State Park in San Rafael. Allegedly, the woman was driving under the influence of both alcohol and drugs with her 7 year old in the front seat with no safety belt. Child Endangerment, Penal Code 273a, can either be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. These charges are known as “wobblers.” The District Attorney can file the charge as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending entirely on the prosecutor’s discretion. Just because she was arrested on a felony, does not mean she will face a felony in court, depending on what the prosecutor decides. The same is true if she was arrested for a misdemeanor, the Marin County District Attorney can still file it as a felony.

Vehicle Code 23572 is a DUI enhancement for those convicted of a DUI with a passenger 14 years of age or younger in the vehicle. This is a common situation where on arrest, law enforcement has the discretion to either arrest based on the DUI enhancement, which carries significantly less penalties, or the Child Endangerment charge. Once again, the District Attorney can also decide to only allege the enhancement and not the Child Endangerment charge. This can also be done in plea bargaining. There is no rule for when one is preferred over the other, but generally speaking, the more egregious the conduct, the more likely the Child Endangerment charge will follow.

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