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Grand Rapids First Offense DUI Charges

If you are like many people in Michigan, being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) is your first time getting into trouble with the law.Unfortunately, one night’s indiscretion can end up taking a toll on the rest of your life. You should contact a skilled Grand Rapids DUI lawyer as soon as possible if you have recently been charged with Michigan DUI first offense.

Proving a First Offense

In Michigan, DUI first offenses fall into two separate groups: common law offenses and statutory offenses. In order to prove a common law offense, the prosecutor must have evidence that your ability to drive was lessened because of the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs. This evidence typically comes in the form of witness testimony—more specifically, the arresting officer’s testimony.

The officer may testify about his observations during the night of your arrest. He or she may talk about your driving patterns, behavior, appearance, and performance on the field sobriety tests. Unless you have a good defense attorney on your side, this may be enough to be convicted of Michigan DUI first offense.

If you are charged with a statutory offense, the prosecution must prove that your blood alcohol content was over the legal limit (0.08%) while driving. This is determined through a breath, blood, or urine test.

First Offense Penalties

If convicted of DUI, you face up to 93 days in jails, fines ranging from $100-$500, court costs, two years of probation, and 360 hours of community service. Your license may automatically be suspended for 30 days, and you may have a 150-day restricted driver’s license, in addition to a $125 reinstatement fee. You must also pay a $1,000 driver responsibility fee for two years.

If you are convicted of Operating While Visibly Impaired, which is a lesser offense than DUI, the judge may sentence you to a maximum of 93 days in jail, up to $300 in fines, two years of probation, 360 hours of community service, and an automatic 90-day license suspension. You may also have to pay a $500 driver responsibility fee for two years.