Although operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) is a serious offense whether it is your first, second, or third charge, the penalties are far more severe for repeat offenders. Indeed, the consequences of a Michigan OWI second offense can be life-altering. Along with a mandatory license suspension, your sentence may include expensive fines, community service, alcohol education classes, and even jail time making it important a Michigan OWI lawyer is contacted right away.
If you are convicted of a second OWI, OWIL, or UBAL, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended at least one year. Your vehicle may also be impounded for 90 days or more, and you can be fined anywhere from $200 to $1,000. In addition, you may have to complete a court-approved alcohol educational program, perform up to 90 days of community service, and spend up to a year in jail.
Once your driving privileges are restored, the judge may require you to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle—a machine that measures your blood alcohol content (BAC) each time you attempt to start the engine. It is important to know that you will also be responsible for the initial installation cost, as well as any required maintenance expenses.
The consequences of a Michigan OWI second offense will continue long after you serve your sentence. Obtaining affordable insurance will be difficult, if not impossible, if you are found guilty of driving under the influence. Moreover, because it is a criminal offense, your OWI conviction will be a permanent addition to your criminal background, which can threaten future employment, as well as housing and educational opportunities. In some cases, you may not be allowed to move to another state if you are convicted of OWI.
Fortunately, being charged with OWI does not automatically mean you will be convicted of the offense. An experienced defense attorney can work with you to fight the charges against you, so you can avoid the serious consequences of an OWI conviction.
An exclusive OWI defense attorney, Patrick T. Barone has over a decade of experience representing Michigan residents who have been accused of OWI. Due to his expertise in OWI, Mr. Barone teaches defense strategies at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and has written numerous articles and books about the state’s drunk driving laws. Contact the Barone Defense Firm to learn how you can avoid the devastating consequences of an OWI conviction. Mr. Barone will carefully investigate your case to determine the best defense strategies for you. Call today for a free consultation.