How do the courts in Michigan handle DUI charges?
Michigan Courts treat DUI charges very seriously. Getting arrested for driving drunk or being under the influence in the state of Michigan will result in severe penalties for the convicted driver, similar to other states. Michigan has graduated penalty laws applied by the courts to address everything from first-time offenders to repeat problems who just don’t seem to get the message and need a sterner punishment to stop being a risk on the public roads.
Anybody pulled over for a DUI ticket or arrested for the same in Michigan and found to be responsible can expect two outcomes for sure. First, there’s going to be a lot of expense involved. Even the cheapest legal outcome will still have a hefty price tag associated with it just with legal representation cost hiring a lawyer and attending hearings with representation. Some might think then it’s a better idea to go without a lawyer; it’s not. The court system is intentionally designed to be legally technical, and if the right steps are not followed correctly, the mistakes generally increase costs and penalties. Second, once a court case is decided, dismissed, settled, or reduced, the driver can expect to still be paying for the issue for up to three years after the fact in related expenses.
The legal process starts early on with the initial pull over on the road by a law enforcement official. If a person is arrested, he can initially expected to be hit with arrests costs that pay for booking, jailing and paperwork involved. Those add-on ticket fees can add up to $350 in Michigan. These are in addition to any actual penalty for the DUI levied by the court. If put in jail in the same arrest, the person will want to get out as soon as possible. This requires posting bail which can range from $100 to $10,000 to ensure appearance at the related court hearing. Likely, the car involved was impounded so the towing and release can cost another $200.
The court hearing itself will require legal representation, and the fees range per lawyer. A person can generally expected a $2,000 to $10,000 fee, depending how much activity the case requires. When the court levies a penalty, it depends on which offense the DUI represents. A first-time charge will trigger a fine of $1,000 to $2,000 and up to 93 days of jail. A second offense will trigger a fine of $1,500 to $3,000 and up to one year in jail. A 3rd offense includes a felony charge as well as a fine of $3,000 to $5,000 and 1-5 years in prison.
Court fees of $700 to $2,200 can be added on, depending on the court and jurisdiction. Monitoring costs of probation can add on $100 to $1,100 in costs and ankle monitoring or breath-ignition lock equipment can eat up $200 per month for use. Finally, state-imposed driver responsibility fees can be tacked up for another $500 to $1,000 annually for two years (http://www.michigan.gov/driverresponsibility/0,1607,7-213-32166-99031–,00.html).
Of course, the cheaper option is to avoid the courts entirely and don’t drive when drunk or intoxicated. If you or a loved one has made the mistake and been charged with DUI, OWI, Impaired Driving, or any other Driving related crime contact the experts at Rudoi Law today.