Will I go to Jail For my First DUI in Michigan? (Pt 1)

A black and white photo of a jail cell, with the metal bars in focus and everything else out of focus.
You may have to spent a night to two in jail after your arrest, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck there forever!

That sucks! You just got a call from the local jail and someone you love – your kid, your spouse, your sibling – just got arrested for drinking and driving. Now they’re freaking out in a jail cell somewhere, terrified because they’ve never been arrested before and they don’t know what to expect. And who can blame them? It’s a terrifying process, especially when it’s all new and you’ve never had cuffs slapped on you and been tossed in the back of a cop car before. 

So what can you do to help…

And that’s where you come in – you’re their life line. You’re the person they called in the midst of a crisis because they didn’t know what to do or where to turn to. They want to know what’s going to happen next. Can you call a lawyer for them? Call you front them the cash to get bailed out? Do you know what’s next on the agenda? They’re so scared and they don’t know who else to turn to. But you’re struggling too. You don’t have all the answers either, and you’ve never been in this position before, so you don’t know what to say.

Don’t worry. We’ve got your back.

So in that first frantic phone call you got, in the middle of all those pleas for help and muffled sobs, they probably asked you if they’re going to have to go to jail. After all, they’re not a bad person, right? And this is the first time they’ve ever been arrested for something. And they totally didn’t mean it – it was a mistake and they would never hurt anyone on purpose! So what do you tell them? Here you go – we’ve got answers for you right here. So step one is to remind them that phone calls from the jail are recorded. They should never discuss any aspect of their arrest or offense on the jail phone. The cops and the prosecutor may well hear that conversation. So, calm them down and shut them up when it comes to talking about their incident. 

Do you have to go to jail after your first DUI arrest in Michigan?

In a sense, yes. Because the officer who arrests you takes you to jail. And until you’ve sobered up and been arraigned (which means appearing in court before a judge to have your charges formally read to you), you’ll have to sit in jail, possibly in the drunk tank, and wait. Some counties have arraignment hearings over the weekend. Others don’t. Some have preset bail and some don’t. Part of it depends on where you got arrested. You may be in and out in less than 24 hours, and have to come back for your first court date. Or you may have to wait out the weekend in jail. But that’s only the beginning… there may be a lot more jail time in the future.

Another determining factor is what you got arrested for.

“Drunk driving” covers a lot of ground. There are actually many different charges that fall under the DUI umbrella in Michigan. Which charge you’re facing will impact your chances of going to jail. For example, Operating While Visually Impaired (OWVI) is considered to be one of the less serious drunk driving charges, and you might not have to spend any time behind bars. Whereas Super Drunk Driving is very serious and it would be a miracle is you didn’t end up with at least some jail time!

The best way to avoid jail time is to never drink and drive!

Michigan treats drunk driving as a very serious crime, and often punishes anyone convicted of a DUI with severe penalties. So the best way to avoid ending up behind bars is to never drink and drive. However, if you miscalculated your abilities, or made a mistake, we can help. Call the aggressive and experienced DUI defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. We’re available 24/7 to help you navigate this process without judgement. Call 1 866 7NoJail.  

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