Frequently Asked Questions: DUIs
Facing DUI charges can be intimidating, particularly if it is a first offense. It is important to defend your legal rights in these situations. The best first step is to make sure you understand the basics of DUIs in Michigan. The following list of frequently asked questions can provide a good start.
What are the possible penalties for DUI charges?
For a first offense, those charged with a DUI in Michigan face up to 93 days in jail, a six-month license suspension, from $100 to $500 in fines, 6 points on your driving record and possible community service. Driving with a higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC) increases the fines, jail time and license suspension.
A second offense can result in up to a year in jail, a revoked driver’s license for one year, from $200 to $1,000 in fines, license plate confiscation, vehicle immobilization or forfeiture for 90 to 189 days, and 6 points on your driving record.
A third offense can mean one to five years in state prison, a revoked driver’s license for up to five years, $500 to $5,000 in fines, vehicle immobilization or forfeiture for one to three years and 6 points on your driving record.
What is the court process for DUI cases in Michigan?
After a drunk driving arrest, you will be released on a bond. Then DUI cases take the following steps:
- Arraignment: The first court step is the arraignment, or the formal reading of the charges against you before a judge.
- Pre-Trial: After that, your case is set for a pre-trial, which is the time for your defense attorney and the prosecution to discuss evidence and determine how to proceed. Often at this phase a plea bargain or sentence may be negotiated.
- Trial: If an agreement cannot be reached, the case will be scheduled for trial at a later date.
- Sentencing: The final phase is sentencing, where the judge will order a person to serve jail time, be put on probation or enforce other penalties.
How do you restore your driver’s license after a DUI?
If your license is suspended, it will be returned after the penalty period is over. If your license is revoked, however, you have to reapply for it to be restored.
License restoration cases in Michigan are handled through Driver’s License Appeals Division (DLAD) or Driver’s Assessment Appeals (DAAD) hearings rather than directly through the court. If you disagree with the decision made in the DLAD/DAAD hearing, you can appeal with the circuit court.
What should my first step be after being charged with a DUI?
If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Plymouth, Wayne County or Oakland County, it is vital to get help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you get legal representation, the sooner you can start building a strong defense.