Second DUI in Michigan
A second DUI offense will undoubtedly disrupt your life, and it can result in you losing your ability to drive for years. Additionally, you can be sent to prison and face large fines. The state of Michigan seeks to act aggressively to prevent drunk driving, and being a repeat offender will generally have law enforcement and the district attorney seeking a harsh punishment.
Therefore, it’s important to not delay in calling a skilled and compassionate lawyer to help you during this difficult time. We understand how a second DUI in Michigan can change your life, and we know that you or your loved one may also need addiction treatment after an arrest. Our legal team at Davis Law Group understands how serious a second DUI conviction can be, and we have the experience to protect your rights and defend your future during this challenging time.
Michigan criminal law allows for prosecutors to pursue impactful convictions for repeat criminal offenders. A habitual DUI offender will be facing the loss of their driver’s license and serious incarceration time. Furthermore, Michigan Vehicle Code MCL 257.303 allows the state to deny any future driver’s license to someone who has been found to be a habitual offender and has failed to meet the specific conditions put forth by the court in their case. Protecting your ability to drive and have a normal life in the future after a second DUI can be complicated and incredibly stressful, and you will need a knowledgeable attorney working for you.
Michigan’s Lookback Period For A Second DUI
A second DUI conviction is certainly devastating, but does this count if your first DUI was many years or even decades ago? According to Michigan’s criminal lookback law, a second DUI conviction will legally be considered your second offense if your first one was within the last seven years. This allows for you to receive punishment under a first DUI if you were convicted of one in the distant past. However, it’s important to understand that this seven-year lookback period does not apply if you are convicted of your third DUI. In those cases, you will be punished as a habitual offender, even if your previous DUI was decades in the past.
Many times prosecutors will bring a DUI charge at a later date after your arrest for something else, such as reckless driving. A skilled DUI lawyer will understand how our state’s lookback period will apply if your arrest is close to exactly seven years after your first conviction.
Various Punishments Can Impact Your Life After A Second DUI
Michigan lawmakers have demonstrated that they are extremely serious about punishing someone who has been convicted of DUI for the second time. The consequences of a second DUI are meant to significantly impact your life and make it difficult for you to legally drive again anytime soon. Before any DUI conviction, you are subjected to Michigan’s implied consent laws everytime that you drive on public roads. This means that you are legally giving consent to a breath or chemical test if you are pulled over for a suspected DUI. If you refuse to take this test for the second time in two years, your license will automatically be suspended for two years even without a DUI conviction. In the event of being found guilty, your second DUI penalties can include:
- Prison time – Up to one year in prison
- Fines – Between $200 and $1000
- Suspended license – Minimum of one year upon conviction, and this is separate from losing your license due to refusing a chemical test upon a suspected DUI traffic stop.
- Interlock ignition device – Once you are allowed to drive again, a judge will require you to have one of these devices installed in your car at your expense for a specified period. This device only allows for your vehicle to start once you pass a breath test.
- DUI school – You may be required to attend counseling or classes at your own expense.
Your Defense Against A Second DUI Conviction
Being found guilty of a second DUI conviction will have a lasting impact on your life. However, a skilled lawyer can make sure that your rights are protected after you are charged, and a strong defense can help you avoid an unfair and erroneous guilty verdict. Your lawyer will review witness testimony, police reports, and toxicology data to build your case. It’s possible that law enforcement did not have probable cause to stop or arrest you, and that your case should be dropped. Furthermore, sobriety tests are often conducted incorrectly, and any evidence against you that comes from such tests should be thrown out if that is the case. Of the many ways that police incorrectly gather evidence for a DUI, some include:
- Failing to observe you long enough before using a breathalyzer
- Conducting physical tests, such as a walk and turn or a one-leg stand, too quickly
- Allowing foreign particles to enter the breath or blood test devices
- Failing to calibrate equipment properly
- Improperly storing your chemical samples used for testing
- Accidentally mixing up chemical samples
As your advocate in court, your lawyer has many options defending you and protecting your future. For example, if it’s impossible to dismiss your case, your lawyer can argue that a harsh punishment would do more harm than good. Many people who have multiple DUIs are those who suffer from addiction problems. A skilled lawyer can make the court understand that severe punishment would not do enough to address your substance abuse problems and that certain rehabilitation programs might be a better alternative to a lengthy prison sentence.
A Lawyer From Davis Law Group Can Help After A Second DUI Arrest
Police and prosecutors have substantial discretion when detaining and charging you with a crime. While any alcohol-related offense can be serious, a second DUI conviction can have a significant impact on your life. You may be imprisoned for a long time, and it can be many years before you are allowed to regain your driver’s license.
Our legal team at Davis Law Group has helped many clients facing DUI charges, and we know that each case is unique. We can help you with your second DUI in Michigan. To speak with an experienced attorney today, call our office at (313) 818-3238 for a free, initial consultation.