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Does My New DUI Arrest Count as a Second Offense?

Jul 31, 2017, by Maurice Davis in Legal Blog, OWI

When you are arrested for driving under the influence in Michigan, your driving, and criminal history matter. Michigan has what is known as a “look back period.” When you are arrested for a DUI, the court will look back a certain length of time to see if there are any previous arrests during that period. If you have been convicted of a DUI or OWI offense within that time, your current arrest is a second or subsequent offense.

To learn more about Michigan’s DUI/OWI law and how it applies to your situation, contact the Detroit criminal defense lawyers of Davis Law Group right away. Call (313) 818-3238 today. For any drunk driving offense, you need an experienced attorney by your side.

Michigan’s Look Back Period

If you are arrested for a DUI/OWI, a Michigan court will look back seven years to see if you were previously convicted of a DUI/OWI. If your current charges were brought within seven years from the date of your previous DUI/OWI conviction, then your new arrest counts as a second offense. If your current charges were brought more than seven years after the date of your previous conviction, then the new arrest is a first offense.

However, Michigan will look back through your entire history to determine if your new arrest counts as a third offense. If you have two previous DUI/OWI convictions within your entire driving history – whether or not you were licensed or a minor or adult at those times – you will be charged with a third offense.

Charges and Punishments for a Second or Third DUI Offense

Under Michigan law, if you are charged with a second DUI/OWI, you will probably be charged with a misdemeanor, unless there are other mitigating circumstances that raise it to a felony. Upon conviction of a second drunk driving offense, you face up to one year in jail, a fine, community service, and points on your license. You will also lose your driver’s license for at least one year or a minimum of five years if your license was previously revoked within the previous seven years.

A third DUI/OWI in your lifetime is a felony. It is punishable by a fine between $500 and $5,000 and either imprisonment between one and five years, or probation following imprisonment in county jail for 30 days to one year, and community service for 60 to 180 days. You will also get points on your driver’s license and have your license revoked.

Defending Against a Subsequent DUI

You should take any drunk driving arrest very seriously. However, if you believe your current DUI/OWI arrest will count as a second offense, it is even more important to work with an experienced and aggressive DUI defense lawyer. If the timing is close, you will want a lawyer to argue that your new DUI arrest is not a second offense. However, if the timing is clear, then an attorney can fight to mitigate the consequences of a second DUI arrest and conviction like helping you avoid jail time.

Contact a Detroit Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

A second DUI/OWI offense in Michigan does not have to be the end of the world. There are ways to defend against the charges and work to mitigate the consequences of conviction. However, this requires working with an experienced Detroit DUI defense lawyer like those of Davis Law Group. We are experienced in helping individuals fight first, second, and subsequent DUI/OWI charges, and we will help you get back on the road for work, school, and your family as soon as possible.

Contact us online or call (313) 818-3238 to schedule a free initial case consultation.