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Birmingham Third Offense DUI Penalties

In Michigan, the penalties for a third offense DUI are one to five years in prison, or 30 to 365 days in jail and 480 hours of community service. There is a possibility of jail time of 30 days if the person gets 480 hours community service. That avoids prison but does not address the issue of a felony on the person’s record. One of the major detriments is having a felony on one’s record.

If you are facing Birmingham third offense DUI penalties, contact an accomplished lawyer today for a consultation.

How Does Time Between DUIs Matter?

A second offense in Michigan can only be charged if it is committed within seven years of a prior drunk driving. Heidi’s Law, introduced in Michigan in 2006, eliminated the 10-year limitation period for felony enhancement of a third alcohol-related driving offense.

It is a felony if a person gets three drunk-driving offenses in their lifetime. The offenses do not have to occur in Michigan. If a person has priors from other states, even priors from 30 or 40 years ago, a third drunk driving offense can be charged as a felony. Also, Michigan does not have fourth, fifth, or sixth offenses. The state has only a third offense, so a person could have four or five priors and only be charged with a third offense instead of increasing the charge to a fifth or sixth offense.

Enhanced Penalties

Any kind of enhancement for a third offense is the presence of children in the car, or an accident involving a death or serious bodily injury. Those cases can be felonies even with a first offense. The individual faces substantial prison time as an available option. If somebody is injured severely or killed, there is a strong possibility that the offender is sent to prison if convicted. Those cases are more rigorous and difficult to defend.

BAC Impact on Penalties

With a first offense, the BAC can lead to an impaired charge, a drunk-driving charge, or a high BAC charge. With a second, third, or further offense, BAC has little bearing on the charge. Other states look at the BAC as an aggravating factor, but in Michigan, when a person is convicted of a third offense drunk driving, their BAC is irrelevant as long as it is an impaired charge, an OWI charge, or an OWI High BAC charge. Any of those is still a third offense if the person has two priors in their lifetime. A third offense impaired has the same penalty as a third offense intoxicated charge.

Diversion Programs

The offer of a diversion program when facing Birmingham third offense DUI penalties depends on the specific case. The Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office has a hardline stance against drunk driving, but reductions in cases do occur. They are difficult to obtain but if a person gets one, they can be rewarding. It depends on a variety of circumstances in the case, the facts of the case, the offender, and the judge who hears the case at the circuit court level.

Courts Treatment of Third Offense DUI Charges

Michigan courts treat third offense DUIs in different ways. There are some diversion programs outside of the Bloomfield area that allow people to avoid getting a felony on their record. However, in Oakland County, those are generally not offered. If a person has a third drunk driving offense in Oakland County, they most likely end up in a felony position at the circuit court level. Judges in circuit court can give a minimal period of jail time of 30 days. However, certain judges give much higher levels of jail time on a third offense to include the possibility of being in jail as long as one year depending on the circumstances and how the person behaves on bond.

Birmingham third offense DUI charges can be devastating to an individual. If you are facing such charges, contact an attorney to see what options you may have going forward.