Operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a child in the car could mean double the trouble for you! (Unless you get a great criminal defense attorney on your side)
Operating While Intoxicated has many names: DUI, OUI, operating while impaired, drunk or drugged driving, drinking under the influence, unlawful body alcohol level, just to name a few. An allegation just for operating while impaired, on its own, is a serious matter. However, adding in the factor that you are accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child in the car takes this criminal charge to a whole other level of trouble.
Think about it. It will be bad enough that the court will view you as an intoxicated driver who endangered yourself and others. Now, you could be viewed as someone that endangered a child as well. Basically, you have a twofold issue, allegations of impaired driving and child endangerment. There will definitely be a prosecutor working earnestly to convict you. There may even be the added complications of a Child Protective Services investigation. In this difficult situation, the only thing standing between you and severe consequences is the defense lawyer protecting you in court.
There may be a way to avoid a conviction and mitigate any sentence the judge may impose, but only if you act swiftly and hire a specialized criminal defense attorney to advocate and guide you through this process.
Operating While Intoxicated
Michigan’s OWI law prohibits a person from operating a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs or operating with a bodily alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more. A person under 21-years-old cannot legally operate a car with a BAC of 0.02% or more. Should an individual operate a vehicle with a BAC of 0.17%, that will result in a “Super Drunk” criminal offense.
They are many laws in the state of Michigan that protect children. Individuals convicted of any of those laws can face stiff penalties including a good chance of time behind bars. Endangering a child is when the person knowingly or intentionally commits an act likely to cause serious physical or mental harm to a child regardless of whether any harm results. It does not matter whether the child was injured or not. All that must occur is that you risked the welfare of a child and you can still be charged with the criminal offense of child endangerment.
Although there are several variations of how an individual can endanger a child, when it comes to operating while intoxicated, child endangerment is usually added when someone drives intoxicated or impaired with a child in the vehicle. Moreover, there can be one child or children and the minor (under the age of 16) does not have to be related to you.
Penalties for OWI with Child Endangerment
A conviction for OWI with Child Endangerment can carry stiff penalties and you will need a very experienced, aggressive and effective defense. Jail time, lengthy probation, and countless hours of community service are routinely imposed by judges, and your defense attorney must do everything possible to protect you.
The indirect consequences of a conviction can also cause you serious problems. There could be a loss of specialized licenses, employment, reputation, and relationships.
First Offense – Misdemeanor
- possibility of $1,000.00 in fines
- up to one year of jail time
- driver’s license suspension
- community service
- up to two years of probation
Second Offense (within seven years of first offense) – Felony
- possibility of $5,000.00 in fines
- up to five years in jail
- revocation of your driver’s license
- community service
- up to five years of probation
Driver Under the Age of 21
- possibility of $500.00 in fines
- up to 93 days in jail
- 60 days of community service
- up to 2 years of probation
Child Protective Services May Get Involved
Michigan law enforcement is obligated to notify Child Protective Services (CPS) regarding your criminal offenses that put a child in danger. If CPS does get involved, do not answer any questions. Contact a lawyer immediately. CPS and the police are not there to help you under these circumstances, their only purpose is to build a case. Remember, anything you say, “can and will be used against you.”
Criminal Defense Lawyers Who Can Help You
If you are accused of operating while impaired with child endangerment, act now, and look to the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys of LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. Our team of skilled criminal defense attorneys can help you from start to finish. We have effective strategies to defend you. We know how to confront the most zealous prosecutors and tenacious CPS investigators. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. will fight tirelessly for you to ensure that you receive an outstanding outcome from your legal challenges. Call us at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form and someone from the firm will contact you, promptly.