If you are a parent, an OWI conviction in Michigan can impact your relationship with your children. For example, if you are divorced and have a custody arrangement with your former spouse, an OWI conviction could be used to convince a judge to restrict your custody or visitation rights. If you are considering adopting a child, a drunk driving conviction could negatively affect your adoption application.
In Michigan, transporting a child under the age of 16 while under the influence of alcohol or any amount of a controlled substance in your system is considered child endangerment. A Michigan OWI child endangerment conviction can have a lasting effect on your life, which is why it is so important to retain the representation of an experienced DUI defense lawyer.
A first offense OWI child endangerment charge is a misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face fines ranging from $200 to $1,000 (plus court costs), 30 to 90 days of community service, and the revocation of your driver’s license. As for incarceration, you may be sentenced to five days to one year in prison, though all but 48 hours could be suspended by the judge.
Because a second OWI child endangerment charge or one prior endangerment and any other second OWI, is a felony, the penalties are substantially increased. The potential punishment for a conviction includes $500 to $5000 in fines as well as 12 to 60 days in prison and 30 days to one year of community service or probation with 30 days to one year in a county jail and 60 to 180 days of community service, depending on the circumstances.
If an underage driver violates Michigan’s Zero Tolerance law while driving a friend or sibling under the age of 16, he or she could be sentenced to 60 days of community service or $500 in fines or up to 93 days in jail.
A second Zero Tolerance and child endangerment charge may result in $200 to $1,000 in fines (plus court costs) as well as five days to one year in jail, 48 hours of which are mandatory, or 30 to 90 days of community service. One zero tolerance plus two more OWI convictions equals a felony.
If you have been charged with Michigan OWI child endangerment charges, you should fight your charges in an effort to avoid a conviction as well as to protect your reputation. At The Barone Defense Firm, all of our lawyers have years of experience defending OWI cases. Thanks to their training and knowledge, they can investigate the circumstances of your case to uncover evidence that can help with your defense.