Drunk Driving FAQ
Below are 7 of the most common questions I am asked about a pending DUI charge:
Am I going to Jail?
No. That’s exactly what I’m hired to prevent. In almost every case I accept, I will keep you out of Jail. Felony DUI convictions are a different matter, but even then, lots can be done to avoid, or at least minimize things.
What happens to my Driver’s License?
That depends on what happens to the charge you’re facing. Remember, even if the case against you is solid, in many, if not most cases, I can have it reduced to a less serious charge, which means you’ll face less serious action against your Driver’s License. Here is a breakdown of what will happen to your License based upon the final charge in your case, and NOT necessarily the charge written on your Court Notice or Ticket:
1st OFFENSE WITHIN 7 YEARS
OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired) – License Restricted for 90 days, meaning you can drive to, from and during the course of school or work, and to and from anything the Court Orders for Probation, as well as any necessary medical treatment, AA, or any similar support group meetings.
OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) – License completely Suspended for 30 days (this is called a “hard Suspension") and a Restricted License for the next 5 months, meaning you can drive to, from and during the course of school or work, and to and from anything the Court Orders for Probation, as well as any necessary medical treatment, AA, or any similar support group meetings.
2nd OFFENSE WITHIN 7 YEARS
OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) or OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired) – Mandatory Revocation for a minimum of 1 year. This means a person will have to file for a Driver’s License Restoration Appeal Hearing, after that 1 year has passed, in order to have their License reinstated.
3rd OFFENSE WITHIN 10 YEARS
OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) or OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired) – Mandatory Revocation for a minimum of 5 year. This means a person will have to file for a Driver’s License Restoration Appeal Hearing, after those 5 years have passed, in order to have their License reinstated.
Note that although the Law provides that a 3rd Offense DUI anytime in a person’s life is a Felony, that 3rd Offense must occur within 10 years of 2 others in order for the 5-year License Revocation to apply.
How much is this Going to Cost?
Best answer: It depends. I have a good idea based upon all my years of experience what a given charge is going to wind up costing in a particular Court, and I can give my Client some guidance once we know what the final charge will be.
How long will this stay on my Record?
Forever. While a DUI will usually fall off your Driving Record eventually, 1st and 2nd Offense Drunk Driving charges are Misdemeanor crimes, and a 3rd Offense is a Felony. Because DUI convictions are Criminal convictions, they will remain on your Criminal Record forever. This means that if you don’t have a Criminal Record, and you get a DUI, you will have a Criminal Record. While we’re wallowing in bad news here, the Law specifically forbids a DUI from ever being “expunged” or removed from a person’s Record, meaning that you’ll have it for life.
Will I have to do Community Service?
Almost always in Oakland County, sometimes in Wayne County, and never in Macomb County.
- How many Times will I have to go to Court?
Most cases involve 2 or 3 trips to Court. Court is scheduled for either a morning or afternoon session, and there are often many cases set for the same time, meaning it’s best to plan on being in Court for most of the morning or afternoon.
Will my Employer find out?
Not unless you tell them. There is no reason for the Court, or anyone else to notify your employer. Besides, the Court system wants your money, so causing such problems with your job jeopardizes their ability to get paid.