DUI Jail Alternatives
Top DUI Attorneys Helping Our Clients Charged with a DUI Find Jail and Sentencing Alternatives Throughout Michigan
When charged with a drunk driving offense in Michigan, the first thought that may come to mind is whether you will be put in jail. It is a stressful situation, and cause for concern. In most cases, a first-time offender will not spend time in jail, although the judge may sentence you to up to 93 days at his or her discretion. Our top DUI attorneys in Michigan understand that for most people, the prospect of jail time is their biggest concern. While our goal is to ensure our clients avoid jail time and other criminal penalties, we want to inform you regarding jail alternatives, which you may be eligible for if convicted of OWI, OUIL, DUI, or any drunk driving related offense.
Michigan Sobriety Courts
There are special courts in Michigan, which are designed for individuals who commit specific crimes, including those who are juveniles, veterans, or drug and alcohol offenders. If you have been convicted of a DUI offense or plead guilty, it may not necessarily mean you will spend time in a county jail. Courts designated to deal with drug and alcohol offenders take into account not only the punishment aspect, but focus on rehabilitation as well. These "alternative" courts may determine that it is more productive for you to attend an alcohol education or rehabilitation program than to be put behind bars.
Sobriety courts are designed to deal with repeat alcohol offenders, those who have been charged with a second or subsequent DUI offense. Another advantage of these courts is that the defendant may be eligible for a restricted driver's license after 45 days so that he or she can drive back and forth to work and to attend an alcohol rehab or other program. If you are eligible, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. Ultimately, sobriety courts are designed to help repeat DUI offenders avoid future relapses, and reduce jail time.
A delayed sentence may be granted by the judge if you plead guilty to DUI or are found guilty by the judge or jury; however, in order to qualify you must be able to prove that you would be no danger to the public if sentencing were delayed, and you are not likely to commit another DUI offense. Your sentence, including jail time, could be delayed for up to one year. During this period, you and your lawyer will have time to explore alternative sentencing options, and petition for a lesser sentence. However, if you are granted a delayed sentence, you must abide by the conditions set forth by the court. An example of a lesser sentence would be probation, in which rather than being incarcerated, you will follow the terms of your probation including avoidance of alcohol, paying supervision fees, etc. Should you violate the terms after being granted a delayed sentence, the judge may sentence you (including jail time) immediately.
Probation is another jail alternative in Michigan for offenders who have committed a variety of crimes other than serious offenses such as murder, armed robbery, or criminal sexual conduct in the first or third degrees. If charged with a misdemeanor DUI, a judge may determine you are eligible for probation for up to 2 years. If charged with a third or subsequent (felony) DUI, you may be ordered to up to 5 years probation.
If given probation, the defendant must adhere to the terms, which may include prohibition from certain locations, house arrest, and meeting with a probation officer at frequent intervals, alcohol rehabilitation, community service, and more. If any of the conditions of probation are violated at any time, the judge may revoke probation and sentence you to jail or prison time immediately.
Contact Michigan DUI Defense Attorney Scott Grabel Today
Avoiding jail is a top priority for individuals convicted of DUI. In Michigan, there are several alternatives, which may help you avoid spending time in jail, or reduce the time spent behind bars. At Grabel & Associates, we are highly familiar with all of the jail alternatives, and will work with you to determine any option you may be eligible for. Contact our office online today, or call 1-800-342-7896.