If you are facing an OWI 2nd offense in Michigan, you are going to need a really good drunk driving defense lawyer. While a first time drunk driving offense normally does not carry a jail sentence, many courts order short to long-term jail sentences on OWI 2nd offense charges. There is also the possibility that you may lose your driver's license for the rest of your life.
In order to qualify as a second offense, you must have a prior OWI-type conviction within 7 years. A prior conviction includes a conviction for any drunk driving offense, including Operating While Impaired (OWVI) and Minor BAC/Zero Tolerance. It does not include reckless driving conviction or a minor in possession of alcohol (MIP).
If you have a prior conviction outside 7 years, you cannot be charged with a second offense. The offense will be charged as a first offense. A court may take into account your prior offense for sentencing purposes, and many will jail a person convicted of a second "first" offense.
When a motorist is convicted of a second drunk driving offense within 7 years of a prior conviction, the Michigan Secretary of State will revoke all driving privileges. The revocation carries no restrictions, and you cannot appeal on a hardship basis. This revocation is for life, and a driver's license cannot be obtained in any other state in the United States. The only way to ever get a license reinstated is through the driver's license restoration process through the DLAD / DAAD / Administrative Hearing Section of the Michigan Secretary of State. This can be tedious, difficult, and impossible without complete, long term sobriety.
For a person charged with a second offense close to the seven year mark, I will frequently file motions and pursue appeals prior to trial. For criminal law purposes, we count PRIOR OWI CONVICTION TO NEW OWI OFFENSE DATE, but for driver's license revocation, a Michigan driver's license will not be revoked unless the new conviction falls within seven years of the prior conviction. So driver's license revocation penalties are from PRIOR OWI CONVICTION DATE TO NEW OWI CONVICTION DATE.The penalties for a Michigan OWI 2nd offense include the following: Prosecutors will frequently offer to reduce an OWI 2nd to an Impaired 1st (OWVI 1st). This caps jail time to 93 days and reduces the fines and costs, but if the new conviction date falls within 7 years of the prior conviction date, this conviction results in drivers license revocation. I have 20 years of experience fighting Michigan OWI charges. I have fought more Michigan drunk driving charges than any other lawyer in the State of Michigan. I focus on discovering evidence that will help you beat a Michigan OWI charge, motions that will cripple the prosecutor's case against you, and taking cases to trial before a jury. I have been an active member of the National College for DUI Defense since 2005, and I have learned the science and strategies that you need in your corner fighting a Michigan OWI charge. A Michigan drunk driving charge is serious, and your immediate concern should be how to select the right OWI lawyer for your case.
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