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Penalties of a DUI Probation Violation

As part of the penalties of a Michigan DUI conviction while already on probation, the judge could extend an individual’s sentence in their old case to the maximum of the initial charge.

In nearly all Michigan misdemeanor cases, a person could remain on probation for up to two years. A new drunk driving charge could cause the sentencing judge from the first case to lengthen the probation. For example, if the defendant was initially sentenced to only a year of probation, the judge could extend it up to the maximum two years even in the case of a plea agreement.

A judge may have been limited by the plea agreement at the initial sentencing from issuing a sentence that included any jail time, however that plea agreement does not prevent the same judge from including a jail sentence up to the maximum sentence allowed by law following the DUI charge and probation violation.

Physical Conditions of Probation

In almost every case a person will not be allowed to leave the state of Michigan without the prior approval of the court.  In drunk driving cases, an individual can expect to not be allowed to consume any alcohol or use any illegal drugs. There are frequently probation terms and conditions that will require them to comply with breath testing for alcohol or urine testing for drugs and alcohol.

Additionally, there are often conditions that require a person to do community service or participate in some kind of substance abuse treatment or education. As well as being required to meet with a probation officer at the courthouse once each month that you are on probation.

Avoiding an OWI Conviction

The judge in the individual’s first case would be able to decide whether to allow them to remain on probation without any changes to the terms or length of the probation, to modify the terms and/or length of the probation, or to terminate the probation unsuccessfully with or without imposing the balance of their remaining jail sentence.

Some judges take a wait-and-see approach and to see how the new charge is resolved before taking any action on the alleged probation violation.  Other judges will schedule a probation violation hearing on the alleged violation right away and make the probation violation determination independently of any results from the new charge.  If you win an acquittal or a dismissal

If the accused wins an acquittal or a dismissal of the new DUI/OWI case, they may still have probation consequences because of the allegation that they were consuming alcohol.  Since so many terms and conditions of probation prohibit the consumption of any alcohol, there is usually an adequate basis for a probation violation based on evidence of alcohol consumption alone.

The burden of proof at a person’s probation violation hearing is much lower than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” burden that would be required at a criminal trial on the new DUI/OWI charge.

Accordingly, even if an individual was found not guilty at a criminal trial on the new DUI/OWI charge, they could still be found to have violated their probation by consuming alcohol.