DUI & Child Endangerment
OWI/DUI charges in Michigan are a serious matter, particularly if you had children under the age of 16 in your vehicle. You could face charges of child endangerment, which could impact your rights as a parent. At the Van Den Heuvel Law Office, our Grand Rapids OWI attorneys have been helping clients in situations such as these for 24 years. We provide the dedicated, professional representation you need to build a strong defense.
OWI and Passengers Under the Age Of 16
If you are pulled over under suspicion of drunk driving and your bodily alcohol content (BAC) measures .08 or greater, you will likely be charged with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). Under the Michigan Vehicle Code (MVC 257.625), these charges carry serious penalties which include heavy fines, mandatory counseling, potential jail time, and the loss of your driving privileges.
If there was a minor under the age of 16 in your vehicle when you were stopped, the potential penalties become even more severe. In addition to having your license suspended or revoked, you would be facing the following:
- For a first offense: Misdemeanor criminal charges, with fines up to $1,000, mandatory jail sentence up to one year, and community service up to 90 days.
- For a second offense within seven years or any subsequent offenses, regardless of time frame: Felony criminal charges, with fines up to $5,000, mandatory minimum imprisonment up to five years, and up to 180 days community service.
Repercussions of Child Endangerment
Along with criminal penalties for OWI/DUI in Michigan, you could face serious ramifications as the result of child endangerment. Under state Child Protection Laws, any cases involving child neglect are required to be reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) by law enforcement officials.
Neglect is defined as any action committed by a parent, guardian, or other adult which harms or threatens to harm the child. Reports of child endangerment associated with OWI charges could impact your rights in child custody proceedings in divorce cases, along with your ability to adopt a child in Michigan.
Our Experienced Grand Rapid OWI Attorneys Are Here to Help
If you have been charged with OWI In Michigan, get the professional legal representation you need and contact the Van Den Heuvel Law Office right away. These charges can have significant impacts on every area of your life. Our Grand Rapids OWI attorneys can help to provide the aggressive legal defense you need during this difficult time. Call or contact our office online and request a consultation to discuss your case today.