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Birmingham Second Offense DUI Penalties

The concern when someone has a second offense DUI charge is that they did not learn from the first one. They did not make the positive changes they needed to make as a result of the first drunk driving charge. They may believe that the person has a substantial risk of further drunk driving charges going forward.

If you have been charged with a second offense DUI in Birmingham, it may be in your best interest to consult with a Birmingham DUI attorney. You may be able to receive more information regarding Birmingham second offense DUI penalties.

Prosecuting a Second Offense DUI

A person should expect the prosecution to try to hand out much more harsh Birmingham second offense DUI penalties in comparison to the first offense. If a person fails to live up to their commitment of not getting another DUI, the courts may use this opportunity to make an example out of the accused. Furthermore, the court may potentially lose trust and confidence in a person. This could lead to harsher sentencing and more stricter regulations. This is all intended to deter the accused from never committing the act again.

Potential Penalties

Under Michigan law, a person convicted of a second time drunk driving charges faces these potential Birmingham second offense DUI penalties:

  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Five to 365 days in jail
  • Community service for 60 to 90 days

When jail time is given, it is a mandatory minimum of five days. The judges generally exceed that minimum substantially.

Significance of Time Between DUI’s

In the State of Michigan, a second offense is based on the timing of the first offense and the arrest for the second offense. For a second offense drunk driving to be charged as a true second offense, it must occur within seven years of the conviction of the prior offense. If the prior offense is outside of seven years, the person can only be charged with a first offense. The charge has the same penalties as a first offense, not the heightened penalties of a second offense.

There is also the consideration that on a second offense, the Secretary of State takes action based on seven years, similar to the criminal statute. However, they go seven years from conviction to conviction. That means a person may be able to delay the case long enough to get outside of the seven-year window between the first and second convictions. If there is a conviction entered in the second case, they may be able to avoid the second offense penalty which is a one-year minimum revocation of driver’s license for the Secretary of the State in Michigan.

Revocation Period

After a revocation period, a person must petition and show by clear and convincing evidence that they will never drink and drive again. That is a high standard and essentially means that the person must demonstrate that they will never drink again.

There is no way to get around the one-year revocation except when there is the possibility of a sobriety court. In the State of Michigan, that is available, however, there is no sobriety court in the Birmingham area. A person must make a request to a judge for transfer to a sobriety court to take advantage of any provision with the driving sanction through a sobriety court. That is an unlikely occurrence but is not completely impossible.

Probation Options

Michigan has sobriety courts that are quite effective in curbing recidivism and making sure that people do not get back on the road and drink and drive. The problem, however, is that instead of trying to encourage sobriety through an intensive and closely monitored probationary period, the judges seem more disposed to attempt to punish people into sobriety. As a result, there can be harsher Birmingham second offense DUI penalties, including some excessive amounts of jail given to including several months and possibly the full year depending on the facts of the case.

Unfortunately, this does not always work. True alcoholics do not learn from the first DUI charge. They may be more likely to recommit the offense. However, the judges use the punishment to try to deter the individual from committing the offense and try to deter other individuals from drinking and driving in the first place. Although there are some programs available in Michigan, in that particular court, it is unlikely that a person can take advantage of any of those programs.

As far as regular deferrals, a person can get deferred sentences for this type of charge. However, it still has an impact on their driving record as a second offense. It is unlikely that any of the judges would grant the deferral status, but the possibility does exist.