alcohol and car keys

What Happens If I Get a Second OWI in Michigan?

An OWI conviction in any state is a serious offense. An OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) is the crime of driving a car while you are impaired by the use of drugs or alcohol. Because the consequences of driving while intoxicated can be incredibly drastic, the punishments are drastic as well. In Michigan, it is considered a repeat offense if your second OWI arrest is made within 7 years of the first OWI conviction. In other parts of the country, the term OWI is often referred to as a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). If you are looking for representation for your OWI case, contact a Marquette DUI lawyer to strengthen your case.

What Are the Penalties for a Second OWI Conviction in Michigan?

A second intoxicated driving offense will land you in hot water. OWIs are considered priorable offenses, so a second offender will face more dire consequences than someone with no prior convictions.

After being convicted of a second OWI you will have to serve at least five days and potentially up to one year in jail.

You will also be required to pay fines ranging from $200 to $1,000, not including court and legal fees.

You may be obligated to complete 30 to 90 days of mandatory community service.

In addition, your license will be revoked. This is different and more serious than having your license suspended. Michigan law states that after being convicted of a second OWI your license will be taken away. One year after having your license revoked you may begin the process of appealing. If you file for and win a formal license restoration appeal your license may be reinstated. The only way to not have your license revoked after a repeat OWI offense is by getting into a Sobriety Court, a long-term specialized and intensive program intended to treat individuals with drug and alcohol problems.

What Are My Defense Options?

A second OWI charge can result in severe consequences. It is always in your best interest to work with an experienced attorney who can utilize their knowledge and skill to help strengthen your case.

Your attorney may be able to negotiate a lesser sentence on your behalf depending on the circumstances of your charges. The following instances will have a direct effect on your sentencing:

  • Your BAC (blood alcohol content)
  • How fast you were driving
  • If you had passengers in the car
  • If you caused property damage, injury, or death
  • How willingly you submitted to testing

The more intoxicated you were and the faster you were driving, the more strict your sentence will probably be. If minors were in the car a judge may be harsher, especially if you caused an accident that seriously affected anyone.

If you were cooperative with testing and your crime did not yield permanent damages, your lawyer may have a chance to negotiate your sentence to something more manageable for you.

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