There are people who believe that while arson, assault and burglary are “big deal” crimes, drunk driving isn’t a real issue, and won’t be taken seriously by the cops and the prosecutor’s office. Therefore, they think it isn’t something they need to worry about. Well, boy are they wrong!
Being arrested for drunk driving, even if it’s your first offense and you have no prior criminal record, will still have a very big impact on your future. The first time someone is convicted of a DUI in Michigan, it’s a misdemeanor that can result in up to 93 days in jail. That may not sound like much time to you, but three months behind bars means that you’re likely to lose your job at the very least. Even a month in jail would cause most of us to lose our jobs.
In addition to the fact that you’ve lost your source of income and you now have a criminal record, there are lots of other consequences that will negatively impact your future. For example, you may have hours of community service to serve, and hundreds of dollars in fines to pay, not to mention your defense attorney’s fees and increased auto insurance costs. There are also fees for probation oversight and for the classes that are often ordered by judges. And that’s not all!
Your driver’s license will be temporarily restricted, there will be points added to your license, and even travelling to certain countries, like Canada, could be off the books for the foreseeable future. Did you know that certain countries reserve the right to deny entry to people with criminal records, even if that record is nothing more than a misdemeanor drunk driving charge? Well, now you do.
And that’s only the first charge. Get caught again and it only gets worse. Your second drunk driving conviction, while still a misdemeanor, could mean up to a year behind bars. It could also mean an ignition interlock system for your car, which is expensive and inconvenient, to say the least. The fines go up, the possible community service hours get longer. You get the picture. And this is only number two.
Beyond your second DUI, things really get hairy…
A third DUI conviction in Michigan is an automatic felony. Up to five years in prison, plus all of the other consequences, like fines and license restrictions, only this time – they’re even more serious. Felony drunk driving means possible months of community service (months, not days!) You could will your license, have your car immobilized, and have a very serious felony criminal record, which has lasting implication all by itself. By the way, drunk driving convictions can never be expunged from your criminal record.
Bear in mind that these are ‘regular’ drunk driving convictions. A strange term, we know, but Michigan has such a thing as “super drunk driving” which means that if you are arrested for a DUI, but your BAC is more than twice the legal limit, you are considered to be ‘super drunk’ which is an entirely different kettle of fish.
There are so many things to consider here. So many factors that could affect the outcome of your case. Were you driving under the influence of controlled substances, like cocaine or heroin? Did you crash your car while driving drunk, causing damage to property or injuring people? (Or worse… killing someone?)
Drunk driving charges are no joke. Whether it’s your first time and you were only .02 over the legal limit, or it’s your third time and you blew a .19, either way you are in for a harsh ride. So if you or a loved one have been pulled over for drunk driving, or accused of driving with either alcohol or drugs in your system, don’t wait!
This isn’t a ‘minor’ problem under Michigan law, and it isn’t going to solve itself or go away. This is a major issue and should only be handled by experienced drunk driving defense lawyers. So call 866 766 5245 right now, and speak to an highly skilled DUI defense attorney at The Kronzek Firm. We are here to help you.