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What Happens If My Kids Are With Me When I Am Charged With an OWI?

If an officer stops you and determines that you are intoxicated while driving, you will be charged with OWI. Depending on if you have any prior offenses, you may be charged with additional penalties. But did you know that there are also additional penalties for when you are arrested for an OWI with minors under the age of 16 in the vehicle?

Additional Penalties

Not only will you be charged with the base penalty for an OWI, but you may also be subject to additional penalties for being charged with an OWI with a minor under the age of 16 in the vehicle. These penalties are meant to be used as a deterrent to those who would drive while under the influence and bring their children along.

Financial Penalties

For your first offense, you may be charged an additional fine of $350 - $1,100 for having a minor in your vehicle. Your fine may vary depending on your judge and representation, however, the fine may be larger if you have multiple minors in the vehicle. For additional offenses, fines may be:

  • Second Offense (No OWIs in prior 10 years): $350 - $1,100
  • Second Offense (OWI in prior 10 years): $700 - $2,200
  • Third Offense: $1,200 - $4,000
  • Fourth Offense: $1,200 - $20,000

You also may be charged with an additional fine if you have a minor in the vehicle and cause major injuries or refuse a chemical test, which can range between $600 to $20,000 depending on the number of prior offenses.

Jail Time

In addition to increased financial penalties, you also may have a minimum jail sentence.

  • First Offense: 5 days - 6 months
  • Second Offense (No OWIs in prior 10 years): 5 days - 6 months
  • Second Offense (OWI in prior 10 years): 10 days - 12 months
  • Third Offense: 90 days - 2 years
  • Fourth Offense: 120 days - 12 years

Jail time will likely be extended if there was serious injury, chemical testing refusal, or homicide resulting from the OWI.

License Revocation

You also may have an additional time period added to your license revocation from your OWI.

  • First Offense: 12 - 18 months in addition to the jail sentence
  • Second Offense (No OWIs in prior 10 years): 12 - 18 months in addition to the jail sentence
  • Second Offense (OWI in prior 10 years): 2 - 3 years in addition to the jail sentence
  • Third and Fourth Offense: 3 - 4 years in addition to the jail sentence

Additionally, under implied consent laws, refusing to take a breath or blood test will automatically result in license suspension.

Impact on Your Children

Since an OWI is a severe charge made based on a dangerous event, being arrested with an OWI while your children are in the vehicle may be a traumatic event for your children. Your children will most likely watch your arrest and have to wait for another parent or guardian to go pick them up. Your children may also become traumatized from when you were actually driving while under the influence, as it had been dangerous and potentially scary to them.

As a parent with an OWI, you may be unable to drop off or pick up your children at school or even take them to their extracurricular activities as your license will be revoked.

Milwaukee OWI Defense Attorneys

If you have been charged with an OWI while a minor was in the vehicle, you may be facing steep charges. Our team at Ahmad & Associates is prepared to fight for your justice and advocate for your best interests.

Charged with an OWI? Call our skilled team of defense attorneys at (414) 928-7771 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.

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