To protect the welfare of children, Wisconsin increases the penalties for any person caught transporting a minor under the age of 16 while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Being convicted of operating while intoxicated (OWI) child endangerment could also hurt any child custody or visitation arrangements if you are divorced or separated. Because this is such a serious criminal offense, retaining the services of an experienced OWI defense lawyer is recommended.
The sentence for OWI child endangerment depends on the number of prior drunk-driving convictions on your criminal record. In general, the punishment for transporting a minor is double what it would be for a standard OWI charge. For example, a standard first OWI offense is punishable by a $150-$300 fine and six- to nine-month license revocation, with no jail time required. However, if this is your first offense and you’re charged with child endangerment, you could be sentenced to $350-$1,000 in fines, a 12- to 18-month license revocation, and five days to six months in jail.
If arrested for a second OWI offense within 10 years of the first while transporting a minor, the sentence is increased to $700-$2,200 in fines, a two- to three-year license revocation, and 10 days to 12 months in jail. The penalties continue to get even harsher from here. If convicted of a fourth OWI offense within five years of the last (a Class H Felony), you could be sentenced to $1,200-$20,000 in fines, a four- to six-year license revocation, and one to 12 years behind bars.
The sentence imposed by the court is just one part of the consequences you may face as a result of an OWI child endangerment conviction. Because your criminal record is accessible by third parties, this could hurt you when applying for employment or a professional license.
As a parent, being charged with child endangerment is probably one of the toughest things you could deal with. The attorneys at Tracey Wood & Associates understand the emotions that come with this arrest, and will do everything they can to minimize the impact that an OWI child endangerment arrest has on the lives of you and your family.
Allow our firm to take some of the weight off of your shoulders at this time. Please contact our office by completing our online form now to schedule an analysis of your charges.