You may not think that getting pulled over for drunk driving and being charged with a DUI (also called Operating While Intoxicated - OWI) in Michigan is a big deal. You may know someone who was charged with a DUI that only caused a prolonged inconvenience, at worst.
A DUI charge can be far more serious than you think. Get charged with a DUI once or twice in Michigan, and you face a misdemeanor conviction, but get charged with a third DUI, and you're facing a felony.
How harsh is a felony DUI conviction?
The consequences of third DUI are much harsher than a misdemeanor DUI and include:
- Fines from $500 to $5,000
- 1-5 years in prison -OR- probation with 30 days (minimum) to 1 year in jail
- 60-180 days community service
- Possible driver's license revocation
- License plate confiscation
- 1-3 years vehicle immobilization or vehicle forfeiture
- Vehicle registration denial
- 4 points (OWVI) or 6 points (OWI) added to driving record
In more extreme cases, you could be charged with a felony DUI in Michigan under these circumstances:
- Being involved in a crash that causes someone's death — up to 15 years incarceration, a fine of $2,500 to $10,000, or both
- Being involved in a crash that causes someone's injury — up to 5 years incarceration, a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, or both
- Being involved in a crash that causes an emergency responder's death — up to 20 years incarceration, a fine of $2,500 to $10,000, or both
Why do I need a drunk driving attorney?
Being convicted of a misdemeanor DUI is bad enough but when a DUI charge becomes a felony, it can really impact your life, even after serving your sentence and paying fines. Not only will it be difficult to get a job, but those convicted of felony DUI lose their right to own a gun, serve on a jury, and hold public office.
That's why if you're facing felony DUI charges, it's critical that you take these charges seriously from the start and consult with an experienced Michigan DUI defense attorney. You can put your trust in attorney Michael P. Manley to help you devise a solid legal defense and ensure you are treated fairly in the criminal justice system.
Don't take a chance with your freedom and future. Contact our law office in Flint today and find out how we can help.