It has been our experience that most Michigan drunk driving cases take about four to six months to fully resolve. A case is “fully resolved” when either there has been a dismissal, an acquittal (not-guilty jury verdict) or you have been sentenced. Some cases can be fully resolved in less then four to six months, but some cases do take more time. It is unusual for drunk driving cases to take more than a year to resolve, but this does happen. There are many things that can impact the amount of time necessary to complete your drunk diving case, and one of the dominant factors is how quickly we are able to complete our investigation.
Other important factors include how quickly the court is able to schedule hearings and eventually trial. If you decide at some point to plead guilty to the charge of OWI or OWVI, or some other less serious offense, then your case will usually take less time to schedule then if you decide on a bench or jury trial.
Regardless of whether you plead guilty or take your drunk driving case all the way to trial, some courts have more cases per judge then others, and it is generally true that the busier the court or judge the longer your case will take to resolve.
One of the biggest factors affecting the overall amount of time necessary to complete your Michigan DUI / DWI / OWI case is the amount of time necessary to complete a proper and thorough DUI / DWI / OWI investigation. If you hire an attorney that simply follows you in to court and stands next to you as you plead guilty, and does so at the first available opportunity, then your case might only take four to six weeks to resolve.
However, a proper defense to any drunk driving charge begins with a thorough DUI / DWI / OWI investigation. A good investigation is critical to a successful defense, and a proper DUI / DWI / OWI investigation takes considerable time. This is because it often can take several weeks just for the prosecutor to provide us with the necessary reports and other “discovery”, that is, all of the information the police have provided to the prosecutor about their investigation your case.
Additional time may be required to obtain other necessary documents that we must obtain directly from the police, such as videotapes and DataMaster breath testing simulator logs. If your case involves blood, then more time will be required to obtain the necessary documents from the State Lab in Lansing.
Once all of these documents and things are obtained, they must be carefully reviewed to determine if all the proper and necessary DUI / DWI / OWI and criminal procedures were followed, and to see if any of your rights may have been violated. Then there is the time necessary for our investigator to complete his own investigation. As you can see, much of the time required to complete the investigation of your case is beyond our control.
Our main goal is to make sure that we obtain the best possible outcome for your case, regardless of how long this may take. Regardless of the possible impact, complicated laws and procedures like these are typical with all aspects of drunk driving cases, and this is all the more reason for you to hire a top lawyer who is aware of these various time limits, and as much as possible, can turn them to your advantage.