My roommate has two past DUI charges that were never followed up with and currently has two warrants out for her arrest. The locations of the arrests were in two different Michigan cities. At the time of the related arrests, she was suffering with mental illness that was undiagnosed and unbeknownst to her. She eventually received the diagnoses of bipolar/schizophrenia and has subsequently been treated accordingly. Her addiction problems are also a thing of the past as she attends daily meetings for AA and NA. My question is: are there any viable solutions that will kill the charges and warrants out for her arrest OTHER THAN appearing for court and going to trial with jailtime? Lastly, would it be an option to apply for a request for a Governor's Pardon?
She will have to appear in court. With a good lawyer she has a good chance to avoid jail. After the initial court appearance, she will almost certainly be released on a personal bond with conditions (AA meetings, no drinking, etc.). This situation is a lot less scary than she probably realizes. Putting off resolving this makes no sense. The best thing for her to do is to turn herself in with an attorney. If the charges are in Saginaw, the arraignment can probably be waived. If she can't afford an attorney, she still should turn herself in. She will likely be released in short order (depending on the county) with a notice to appear for a pre-trial. I might be able to be more specific if I know where (what county) the warrants are pending.
She'll have to resolve the warrants and appear in court to defend against the charges. It's always hard to predict outcome, but even if the evidence against her is strong she still might be able to get good plea deals and avoid jail. She should retain an attorney promptly and then work with her attorney to turn herself in for the warrants. That would be the first step.
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You don't know that she will do jail time if she goes to trial. You don't even know that she will have to go to trial. The fact that she has received a diagnosis and is getting treatment helps. It also helps if she turns herself in. It lets the judge know she is not avoiding the charges and is taking responsibility, as opposed to getting pulled over for a traffic stop and getting arrested on the warrants. The warrants and charges will not go away unless pigs start flying, hell freezes over, and the prosecutor decides, for the first time ever in the history of criminal jurisprudence, "Meh, what the hell. I'm feeling generous." If your friend turns herself in and explains the diagnosis and treatment, the prosecutor may be willing to work with her to reduce the charges or offer a delayed sentence.
As for a pardon, that wouldn't come until after a conviction. Your roommate should hire a lawyer and discuss a plan of action as soon as possible.
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