When you think about the holidays, you imagine getting together with loved ones, fancy dinners, gift exchanges, and being jolly all season long. Yet, this time of year is also associated with a significant rise in crime rates. We must all understand that one mistake or lapse of judgment can result in harsh criminal penalties, including spending your holidays behind bars.
The most common crimes in Michigan include:
- DUI/OWI - Most holiday celebrations include alcohol and overindulgence. That is why OWI arrests and drunk driving accidents occur more often during this time of year, prompting the police to send more officers out on patrol and set up checkpoints to arrest intoxicated motorists and make the roads safer. A first-time OWI in Michigan is a misdemeanor, punishable by a jail term of up to 93 days, fines no more than $500, and driver’s license suspension for up to six months.
- Sexual assault - Alcohol consumption at holiday parties also results in an increase in rape and sexual assault. Women who drink a substantial amount are at greater risk of being a sex crime victim. Rape and sexual assault could be charged as first-degree criminal sexual misconduct in Michigan, which is a felony offense that can lead to a lifetime prison sentence and registration as a sex offender for life.
- Domestic violence - Many people spend more time with family during the holidays than at any other time of year. However, unresolved conflict, as well as drug and alcohol abuse, can lead to physical confrontations that require police intervention. A first-time domestic violence offense in Michigan is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum 93-day jail term and a fine no more than $500. In addition, a conviction could also lead to the loss of your gun rings and the custody of your children.
- Theft - Since malls and stores throughout Michigan and the rest of the nation are extremely crowded and busy, shoplifters will try to take advantage of distracted and overwhelmed retail workers. While many people now do their shopping online, individuals known as “porch pirates” steal packages after it has been delivered or left unattended for a long period of time. However, modern homes and shops are equipped with security cameras that may help law enforcement officials make an arrest. If the stolen item is worth less than $1,000, it is a misdemeanor offense. Anything more will lead to felony charges.
- Burglary - Many people travel over the holidays, leaving their homes unoccupied for long periods of time. Such conditions typically entice burglars during the holidays. Yet, not only are modern homes equipped with security systems, homeowners often ask their neighbors to keep an eye out for suspicious activity. Burglary in Michigan is known as home invasion, which is a felony offense.
If you have been charged with an OWI or other criminal offense during the holidays in Okemos, contact White Law PLLC today at (517) 316-1195 and schedule a free consultation.