DUI Penalties in Lansing
At Grabel & Associates, we know how devastating a DUI conviction can be to a driver. That is why we handle all our cases with the utmost urgency and skill to ensure that our clients receive the justice they deserve.
Although you can accept a DUI and the penalties that come with it or try to fight your conviction alone, the gravity of the punishment – which can include jail time, stiff fines, license suspension, and a mandatory interlock installation - makes this unadvisable. Having an aggressive and experienced DUI attorney in Lansing in your corner can make a dramatic difference in the outlook for your next few years.
Penalties for DUI
Lansing drivers can be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or higher. Commercial drivers can be charged with a .04% BAC or higher, since the potential damage posed by a drunk commercial driver is greater. Both these BAC limits presupposed that the driver is over 21, since Michigan has a Zero Tolerance policy that provides for a DUI conviction for any underage drinkers with more than a trace amount of alcohol in their blood.
If you are convicted of driving under the influence, your potential charges will depend on your number of previous convictions:
For a first offense, a driver can spend up to 93 days in jail and pay up to $500 in fines in addition to having their license suspended for up to six months. An ignition interlock device, which prevents your car from starting until you pass a breathalyzer test, may also be installed on your vehicle.
A driver facing his second offense can spend up to a year in jail, pay up to $1,000 in fines, and have their license suspended for up to a year. An ignition interlock device is required, with all the related expenses to having it installed on your vehicle.
On the third offense, a driver faces possible felony charges. The penalties can range from 30 days in jail to one year in state prison, with $200 to $1,000 in fines and a minimum one-year license suspension plus a required interlock device on the offender's vehicle.
Offenses remain relevant for seven years, after which prior convictions are no longer considered for the purposes of sentencing (although they may remain on the driver's criminal record, if a felony was committed). For example, if a driver is convicted of a DUI, then drives drunk again two years later, the second DUI counts as a second offense. However, if the second DUI occurs eight years later, it is considered a “first offense,” since the initial conviction no longer counts against them.
Related DUI penalties
In addition to the penalties above, a driver may face a few other charges if he or she is pulled over for a DUI, depending upon his conduct.
The state of Michigan has what is known as an implied consent law. If a police officer lawfully arrests a driver whom he or she has probable cause to believe is intoxicated, then the driver automatically consents to a chemical test (meaning a breath, blood, or urine test) to determine his BAC. The officer will usually choose the test he deems most appropriate, but there are exemptions for diabetics, hemophiliacs, or drivers who are taking anticoagulants.
In addition to this, Michigan law also states that drivers who have been pulled over consent to a preliminary breath test, better known as a field sobriety test, before an arrest is even made. This test will provide the officer with probable cause for the driver's arrest.
In both cases, drivers can refuse to take the tests, but there may be consequences, both immediate and long-term. Speak to an associate at Grabel & Associates to learn more about implied consent law.
Of course, Michigan outlaws anyone under the age of 21 from drinking, let alone drinking and driving. The state's Zero Tolerance Policy means that anyone under 21 who is pulled over and administered a chemical test can receive a DUI if he or she has a BAC of .02% or higher. This .02% leniency does not give the driver license to drink as long as they wait long enough to drive, but is intended to protect drivers returning from a religious service where wine is part of the ceremony.
A first offense Zero Tolerance charge can include a fine of $250 and 360 hours of community service. Most first-time offenders do not spend any time in jail, but a second offense can be much more severe if it happens within a seven-year period. Drivers could spend up to 93 days in jail, pay a $500 fine, and do 60 days of community service.
If you are facing any one of these DUI-related charges, do not hesitate to call Grabel & Associates. We know the law, and we will stand by your side through the process.
Felony or Misdemeanor
A DUI charge can be either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the events surrounding the charge. Most first and second DUI charges will be considered a misdemeanor, unless the driver kills or causes serious injury to another person.
A driver's third DUI will almost always be classified as a felony if it occurs within a seven-year period of the second offense. If you are unsure about whether or not your charge is a felony or misdemeanor, talk to an attorney at Grabel & Associates.
Contact Grabel & Associates
Drunk driving convictions can severely impact a driver's life. If a license is suspended or revoked, the driver may have a difficult time finding employment, holding down a job, or getting to school. These convictions can not only severely burden the driver, but also his or her family.
If you are facing a drunk driving charge, do not put your freedom at risk by facing it alone. Contact a skilled attorney at Grabel & Associates. Our firm will review every aspect of your case and help you better understand your charges and how to fight them. Contact us now for a free consultation at our toll-free number, 1-800-342-7896 or online.
Do not delay and put your future at risk. Contact us now.