Child Endangerment in Lansing
A person convicted of a drunk driving offense faces serious consequences, but if there is a child in the backseat or passenger seat, the charges could include child endangerment. In Lansing, those convicted of child endangerment could face serious fines, jail time, and other consequences that could worsen if they have previous charges on their records.
At Grabel & Associates, our DUI attorneys based in Lansing know how complex and confusing child endangerment laws can be, and we are willing to fight for your rights. If you are facing child endangerment charges, read more to learn about the law and then call us so we can get started protecting you from a wrongful conviction.
In Michigan, the legal definition of drunk is considered a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% for anyone 21 years of age or older. If the amount of alcohol in your blood reaches this limit and you are operating a car, you may be charged with a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) if a police officer pulls you over and administers a breathalyzer test.
Though .08% BAC is considered intoxicated, there is one more level. If you have a BAC of .17%, then you may be considered "super drunk" and face even higher fines and jail time.
Though it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol, those 21 years and younger who operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of .02% or less will not be charged with a DWI. However, other serious actions may be taken against these drivers, especially if a child 16 years or younger is in the car at the time.
The first offense for a DWI comes with heavy consequences that bring a Lansing driver's life to a halt. For a BAC between .08% and .17%, the driver may face a license suspension of up to 180 days and will be given 6 points on his or her driver's license. There will also be criminal penalties, such as a $500 fine, as many as 93 days in jail and a possible 360 hours of community service.
If the BAC is .17% or higher, the driver's license may be suspended for an entire year, and six points will be added to his or her driving record. The driver will also have to complete an alcohol treatment program. Additionally, the driver may have to pay up to $700 in fines, spend as many as 180 days in jail, and serve up to 360 hours of community service.
As you can see, even first time DWI charges come with serious consequences, and they only get worse if a child is in the vehicle at the time. If you find yourself in such a position, it is vital that you contacted a skilled attorney, such as those at Grabel & Associates. We are dedicated to your case, and we will help you better understand the changes and the process we will take to secure your freedom.
Child Endangerment and DWI/OWI
Michigan takes child endangerment very seriously, and the charges in combination with a DWI or OWI may lead to serious ramifications.
For the first offense, most drivers will face a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment (Michigan Penal Code Section 257.625). Those convicted may spend up to a full year in jail and be fined up to $1,000. The driver's license may also be suspended. These charges can be used against a driver for a seven-year period. If the driver receives another conviction after the seven-year period, it will count as a first offense.
Should a second offense occur within seven years of the first offense, it will count as an actual second offense and will be charged as a felony. The driver could pay a fine of up to $5,000 and spend as many as five years in jail. The driver's license may also be revoked, and he or she may have to perform community service, be put on probation, or both.
Drivers under the age of 21 can also face child endangerment charges if they violate Michigan's Zero Tolerance law with a child 16 or under in the vehicle at the time. It does not matter whether or not the passenger was a sibling or friend. The driver could still pay as much as $500 in fines, serve up to 93 days in jail, or both. Sixty days of mandatory community service could also be added.
Second offenses are much more serious for violators or the Zero Tolerance law. The driver may be charged between $200 and $1,000 in fines (plus an additional court costs) and possible spend up to a full year in prison. Drivers may also have to serve up to 90 days of community service.
Contact Grabel & Associates
Being charged with child endangerment can put your whole family at risk, and it can cause you serious problems in the future. If you are facing child endangerment charges, call Grabel & Associates. We will provide you with the best legal counsel and support as you fight these charges and defend your reputation. Give us a call at 1-800-342-7896 for a free consultation or contact us online.