Baird and Zulakis P.C., Attorneys at Law
Call for a Free Phone Consultation
Local 517-481-2680
Toll Free 800-385-0092
Main Menu
Practice Areas

Detroit father avoids drunk driving charges; possible child abuse charges

Detroit father elects to avoid potential drunk driving charges, but faces child abuse charges for allegedly having his nine year old daughter drive him around during a night of drinking. Father faces a felony charge of second-degree child abuse, punishable up to four years in prison; fourth-degree child abuse, a misdemeanor; and allowing an unlicensed person to drive, also a misdemeanor. Father was not charged with drunk driving because he was not physically operating the vehicle.

Michigan law generally requires that a child is injured intentionally or as a result of a neglectful act or acts in order for someone to be criminally charged with child abuse in the first, second, third or fourth degree. There are two exceptions in the statute. One exception notes that a person may be found guilty of child abuse in the second degree, a felony, if "the person knowingly or intentionally commits an act likely to cause serious physical or mental harm to a child regardless of whether harm results", or if "the person knowingly or intentionally commits an act that is cruel to a child regardless of whether harm results". A person can also be found guilty of child abuse in the fourth degree if the Defendant knowingly or intentionally commits an act that under the circumstances poses an unreasonable risk of harm or injury to a child regardless of whether physical harm results. Fourth degree child abuse is a misdemeanor. The critical issue in the above case appears to be whether the prosecution will be able to prove that allowing the child to drive was likely to cause serious physical harm to the child, i.e. likely to result in a potentially serious accident, and thus, result in a conviction of second degree child abuse, a felony, or whether the harm was perhaps not likely, the Defendant's actions created an unreasonable risk of harm or injury to his child. The defense in the above case appears to be arguing that the girl's father merely created a risk of harm that was unreasonable and that the prosecution had failed to demonstrate that actual harm was likely to result.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Listed In Best Lawyers - The world's Premier Guide Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb Top Attorney Criminal Defense Recommended by peers for leading lawyers network - the top lawyers This Attorney is Lead Counsel Rated. Click here for more Information.

Office Location

Baird and Zulakis P.C., Attorneys at Law
Eastbrook Plaza
4127 Okemos Road
Suite 4
Okemos, MI 48864

Fax: 517-349-5013
Map & Directions