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

My team and I bring an exceptional combination of experience, skill and training that allows us to produce extraordinary results in your case. No matter how you cut it, good results means making things better by avoiding or minimizing consequences.

There is no higher DUI than a 3rd Offense. A person can have 8 prior drunk driving convictions, and if he or she is 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 DUI 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 no matter how long it's been since either of the 2 priors.

Because a 3rd offense DUI case is felony, it starts out in the local, district court for the city or township where the arrest took place and is eventually transferred, or “sent up” to the circuit court for the County in which the case is pending. 

In order to offer the high level of DUI expertise that I provide, I limit my representation in DUI cases only to matters pending in OaklandMacomb and Wayne Counties.

The bottom line to hiring a Michigan DUI attorney is to make all or as much of the fallout from your charge go away. As your Detroit-area DUI lawyers, our only goal is to help you. 

That has to begin by being honest. We are NOT the kind of lawyers who will just take your money and tell you what you want to hear, or otherwise be afraid to tell you the way things really are. 

We know exactly what to do. 

A DUI attorney without enough confidence may feel uncomfortable about being direct and telling it like it is. That's a recipe for disappointment, pure and simple... 

You'll never get that from my office.  

In the real world, anyone facing a 3rd offense must understand that they are perceived as having an alcohol problem, and that no Judge in the world is going to think otherwise. 

Some lawyers may avoid this topic, but unless your case is summarily thrown out of court, your use of alcohol will be the front, center and main focus of your case. 

It is, of course, easy for an attorney to agree with a client ready to pay a retainer fee as they try and explain that their drinking isn’t the real problem, or that they were re just “unlucky,” but a good DUI lawyer knows that's not going to make things better.

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. Even if you don't agree, your lawyer better get you on board with that notion real fast.

If you hire a DUI attorney who ignores or otherwise glosses over this, you're in for very rude awakening when you meet the Judge. If you really want the best result possible in your case, then you need to understand how the judicial system perceives things, and we'll not only make sure that you do, but that you are presented to the court in the most favorable light possible.

Examining the evidence

In our roles as DUI lawyers, we will first undertake a careful and critical examination of all the evidence against you, and leave no stone unturned in our efforts to find a way to get your charge dismissed, or at least reduced.

Whatever else, DUI cases don’t dismiss themselves. 

The Michigan lawyer’s first responsibility is to investigate, and scrutinize the evidence underlying the charge. If there's a way out, we'll find it. 

We have to look at the traffic stop, the field sobriety tests (FST), the chemical (breath or blood) tests, the scientific analysis of what was obtained from those tests, along with about a million other things that make up 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. Your defense plan in this case needs to be a lot better than just hoping the whole thing somehow collapses.

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 of the court's attention. How your past drinking habits, along with your intentions regarding any future drinking, are perceived within the court system will directly affect how things turn out for you. 

Whatever happened to you at sentencing in your prior cases was directly related to how you did on the alcohol screening test, at the probation interview, and, ultimately, what was recommended in the report sent to the Judge. 

We need to make sure that the most lenient sentence possible is proposed this time.

More knowledgeable than the average DUI lawyer

Knowing how an alcohol problem develops, and how it is diagnosed, characterized and treated is so important, the courts refer these issues to outside experts. Whatever counseling or treatment you get, it will be from a clinician who speaks a special language.

I speak it, too.

As a Michigan DUI attorney I bring a lot more to the table than just legal training. Beyond having professionally dealt with alcohol and addiction issues as a DUI lawyer for nearly 30 years, I have also completed a University, graduate-level program in addiction studies. 

I understand the development, diagnosis and treatment of alcohol and drug problems from the clinical side of things.

Because of this combination of clinical and legal knowledge, I can protect you unlike anyone else.

I can help you avoid the wrong kind of treatment, and, instead get into something that's a good fit for you and your life. This means not getting stuck going (or paying) more than you have to for unnecessary counseling or unhelpful rehab. 

AA may or may not be in your future.  It's great for some people, but not everyone.  

The program may or may not help you. It’s an easy fallback for some lawyer to say, “start going to AA,” but that shows a complete lack of understanding of the diagnosis and proper treatment of an alcohol problem.

AA may simply not be right for you. Being forced to go will will only be an exercise in frustration and resentment. You need to explore your options, and I can help you do that. 

Anyone who works in 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 isn't a good fit.

I can make sure you do as well as possible on the court's mandatory alcohol assessment so that you don't get pushed into the wrong kind of counseling and/or treatment. 

Remember, this test is “scored,” and the worse your alcohol problem looks on paper, the more treatment and counseling stuff 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, therapy and the like. 

“Over-diagnosis” of alcohol problems is very common in the judicial system. I know how these diagnoses are made, and should be made.  I have, countless times, saved my clients from being ordered into all kinds of the "wrong" rehab by showing the court better options.

Uniquely different

You can and should look around as you try and find the right lawyer. There is NO REASON EVER to not be an educated consumer.

This will be one of the most important decisions you ever make.  My team and I will be honest and upfront, and instead of just telling you what you want to hear, we'll make sure tell you what you need, to hear, as well.

At the end of the day, you hire a lawyer to make things better.  That's exactly what we'll do.

My special knowledge and training, along with our extensive legal experience in DUI cases, makes me and my team uniquely qualified to produce the very best 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