3rd (Third) Offense DUI

A 3rd Offense DUI is a big deal. It’s a felony. If you’re looking for a lawyer because you, or someone important to you, is facing a 3rd Offense charge, you need a highly qualified Michigan DUI lawyer. I bring an exceptional combination of experience, skill and training that allows me to produce extraordinary results in your case. And let's be clear at the outset, good results means making things better. It means avoiding or minimizing consequences.

There is no “higher” DUI than a 3rd Offense. A person can have 8 prior Drunk Driving convictions, and if they are Arrested for number 9, it will also be called a “Third Offense.”

Technically, there is no “DUI,” or “driving under the influence” crime in Michigan. Instead, we call it “OWI,” which stands for “operating while intoxicated.”

Under Michigan law, if a person has 2 prior drunk driving convictions in their life and they pick up another charge, it is a 3rd offense. In other words, there is no time limit on how far apart the offenses can fall; the 3rd in a person’s lifetime is a felony. This is true even if a person hasn’t had a DUI in 30 years (or longer).

Because 3rd offense cases are felonies, they start out in the local, district court for the city or township where the arrest took place, but they are eventually transferred, or “sent up” to the circuit court for the County in which the case is pending. In order to offer the higher level of DUI expertise that I do, I limit my representation to cases pending in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties.

The bottom line to hiring a Michigan DUI attorney is to make, to the fullest extent possible all, or as much of the fallout from the charge go away. As your Detroit DUI lawyer, my only goal is to help you. That has to begin by being honest. I’m certainly not the kind of lawyer who will just take your money and stick to telling you what you want to hear, or otherwise be afraid to tell you the way things really are. Often a DUI lawyer without enough confidence in themselves, or who lack enough experience, will often feel too uncomfortable to confront or correct their Michigan client when the client is wrong, and that only complicates matters.

In the real world, anyone facing a 3rd offense must understand that they have an alcohol problem, and that no Judge in the world is going to think otherwise. Some lawyers may avoid this topic altogether, but unless your case is summarily thrown out of court by the Judge, your use of alcohol be the front and center, sole focus of your case. It’s easy to not disagree with a client offering over a retainer fee if they try and explain that their drinking isn’t the real problem, or that they’re just “unlucky.”

What Kind of “Help” is That?

If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving 3 (or more) times in your life, then by every single clinical and objective standard out there, you have a drinking problem. If you hire a Detroit DUI attorney who ignores that, you may avoid some grief in the short run, but you certainly catch a lot more later on, from the Judge. If you really want things made better, then you need to understand how the judicial system will perceive things, and I will make sure that you do.

Examining the Evidence

In my role as a Detroit DUI lawyer, I will first undertake a careful and critical examination of all the evidence against you, and leave no stone unturned in my efforts to find a way to get your charge dismissed, or at least reduced. I often point out that DUI cases don’t dismiss themselves. The Michigan lawyer’s first responsibility is to investigate, and scrutinize the evidence for the DUI charge. I have to look at the traffic stop (if there was one) the field sobriety tests (FST), the chemical (breath or blood) tests, the scientific analysis of what was obtained from those tests, and about a million other things that go into a DUI case. That’s the purely “legal” side of things. The goal, of course, is to “beat” the case.

You need to remember, however, that if you’re facing a 3rd offense DUI, you’ve had at least 2 prior cases that did not get tossed out by the Judge. Banking only on the new case being dismissed for lack of evidence isn’t much of a plan, and becomes no plan at all if there is enough evidence for the case to proceed. Of course whatever happened to you at sentencing in those prior cases was directly related to how you did at the probation screening, and what recommended in the sentencing report that was put together after you took the alcohol assessment test.

In any DUI case that is not thrown out of court, and especially in a 3rd Offense DUI case, alcohol, and your relationship to it, becomes the focal point. That relationship to alcohol, past, present and future affects everything about your sentence, and what will happen to you. In that regard, understanding how an alcohol problem develops, and how it is diagnosed, characterized and treated is so important, the Courts refer these issues to outside experts, who speak their own language. But so do I.

More Knowledgeable Than the Average DUI Attorney

As a Michigan DUI attorney I bring a lot more to the table than just legal training. Beyond having informally “studied” alcoholism and addiction for the last 2 decades, I am involved in university, graduate-level studies in this field. Specifically because of this combination of clinical and legal knowledge, I can protect you in ways you cannot even imagine.

I can help you get into the “right” kind of treatment. That means not getting stuck going (or paying) more than you have to. AA may or may not be in your future. AA may or may not help you. It’s an easy fallback for some lawyer to say, “Start going to AA,” but that not only shows a complete lack of understanding of the diagnosis and proper treatment of an alcohol problem, it may be a complete waste of your time, and will certainly frustrate you. Anyone who studies the field of substance abuse counseling knows that one of the fastest ways to scare someone away from even looking at their problem is to send them to get help they don’t need, or can’t relate to.

I can make sure you don’t “screw up” the alcohol assessment test. Remember, this test is “scored,” and the worse your alcohol problem looks on paper, the more treatment and counseling stuff that will be thrown at you. I know how these tests work. I study them. I can make sure your test results are as good as possible. This can save you all kinds of time and money by avoiding unnecessary classes, counseling and the like. “Over-diagnosis” of alcohol problems is rampant, particularly in the judicial system. I know the clinical criteria for these diagnoses, and have successfully argued that someone “got it wrong” countless times, saving my clients from being ordered into all kinds of rehab.

Uniquely different

My decades of Michigan DUI experience combined with my special knowledge and training make me uniquely qualified to be your attorney and produce exceptional results in your case.

Client Reviews
Five stars hands down!! Jeff and his legal team represented me in a seemingly impossible situation. I had many obstacles to overcome, in the end I walked out with with my driving privileges reinstated. Jeff and his team were very helpful Peter
Thank you for your knowledge and help in winning restoration of my driving privileges. I tried before on my own, lost (of course) and am glad I found your site. Katie
Just wanted to thank you for winning my license appeal. I was so happy when I got the letter in the mail that said I had won. I thank you so much for all your help and would be so happy to give your name to anyone who needs to get their license back. Mike
I wanted to thank you for taking my case. I would tell anybody trying to get their License back they need to talk to you. I should have done this a long time ago. Doug