Leandra’s Law, also known as the Child Passenger Protection Act, makes driving while intoxicated with a child in the vehicle a Class E felony in New York. Drivers convicted of a Leandra Law violation face severe penalties including jail time and fines.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence with a child passenger in Syracuse or elsewhere in CNY, turn to CDH Law. Our experienced DUI and DWI attorneys are well-versed in Leandra’s Law and have a well-earned reputation as dedicated advocates for our clients. When you consult us, we will work tirelessly to protect your rights, your driving privileges and your freedom.
While the state pursues Leandra’s Law cases aggressively, some prosecutors can be more concerned with the public’s perceptions more so than their safety. We have insight into the tactics the state relies on to gain DWI convictions and the skills to fight back. A Leandra’s Law charge is a serious matter that requires the powerful representation we provide. Please contact our office today to set up a consultation.
The Background of Leandra’s Law
Leandra Rosado was an 11-year-old child who died in a motor vehicle accident in Manhattan. Her friend’s mother was allegedly driving while under the influence of alcohol. She lost control of the SUV, causing Leandra’s death and the injury of six other children in the motor vehicle.
The accident involving Leandra spurred the New York legislature to become one of 36 other states to impose tougher penalties on individuals who drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs with children passengers. Every year, New York prosecutors bring charges against defendants under Leandra’s Law.
Class E Felony DWI Charges Under Leandra’s Law
Leandra’s Law sets forth some of the toughest DWI provisions in the United States. Under Leandra’s Law, first-time DWI offenders who are intoxicated or impaired by drugs with a child less than 16 years old in the vehicle will face Class E felony charges. In New York, Class E felony charges are punishable by up to four years in New York state prison.
Leandra’s Law is considered one of the strictest DWI laws in the country. Even those charged with a first-time misdemeanor DWI will also face a Class E felony charge if a child under the age of 16 is in the vehicle at the time of the DWI charge. Even in this first-time DWI situation, you could receive a sentence of up to four years of imprisonment in New York when Leandra’s Law applies.
Class B Felony Charges for Causing the Death of a Child
When an intoxicated or impaired driver causes the death of a child under the age of 16, he or she will face a Class B felony charge. In New York, Class B felonies allow for a sentence of up to 25 years in state prison, depending on the circumstances. A child under the age of 16 must have been in the vehicle with the driver when the child’s death occurred. When a defendant is driving while under the influence of alcohol and causes a head-on collision that results in the death of a passenger under the age of 16, Leandra’s Law would apply. Class B felony charges are severe in New York.
If you’re facing Class B felony charges under Leandra’s Law, you could be imprisoned for up to 25 years and face significant fines. Defendants facing Class B felony charges should reach out to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the experienced DWI lawyers at CDH Law PLLC as soon as possible. After evaluating your case, we can create a winning legal strategy for your defense.
Class C Felony Charges for Causing a Serious Injury to a Child
Drivers who cause a serious injury to a child while they are intoxicated face Class C felony charges. In New York, a Class C felony comes with a potential prison sentence of up to 15 years. For the Class C felony charge to apply, the prosecution must prove the following:
- The defendant was driving while under the influence of alcohol or impaired by drugs
- The driver caused a motor vehicle accident
- The motor vehicle accident caused a child under the age of 16 to suffer serious injuries
Mandatory Installment of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
Leandra’s Law requires drivers convicted of a DWI in New York to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). Courts must require drivers convicted of DWIs to install an IID device for at least six months. Convicted drivers must install IID devices on all motor vehicles that they own or operate.
If you’re facing a charge for driving while intoxicated or aggravated driving while intoxicated, you will need to install an IID device should a court convict you. You will be required to pay for the installation of the IID device and the maintenance of the IID device. At CDH Law PLLC, our experienced Syracuse DWI lawyers can help you fight the DWI charges to avoid the severe penalties required by Leandra’s Law.
Law Enforcement Must Report Leandra’s Law Charges
Leandra’s Law requires law enforcement to report qualifying DWI charges. When law enforcement officers charge guardians or parents with DWI while their child is a passenger, they must report the incident to the Statewide Center Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment.
Additionally, law enforcement must make a notation of Leandra’s Law violations. For example, when law enforcement charges a driver with a DWI and a child under the age of 16 is in the vehicle, law enforcement must note the presence of the child in the Description of Violation section of the police report.
At CDH Law PLLC, We Fight Against Leandra’s Law Charges
The penalties for convictions under Leandra’s Law are incredibly harsh. In many circumstances, prosecutors are unwilling to engage in plea bargaining for Leandra’s Law charges. Hiring an experienced attorney as soon as possible is incredibly important. At CDH Law PLLC, our legal team will fight the charges against you by raising a compelling legal defense.
In many cases, errors in blood alcohol content testing occurred, or law enforcement improperly administered field sobriety tests. In other cases, law enforcement engaged in procedural errors or constitutional violations. At CDH Law PLLC, we thoroughly examine our clients’ cases to develop a compelling defense strategy. Contact our Syracuse DWI defense team as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation.