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Consequences for 2nd DUI in Michigan

East Lansing, MI |

What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Michigan

I am currently struggling with my second OWI.

I actually had my 1st OWI(which is same as DUI nowadays,..) in 2 years and i was pulled over couple of months ago.
My BAC was, first one was refused, and i got 0.20 for the second time, and .21 for the third time.

I went to pre-trial last week and my lawyer and prosecutor came with a OWVI and my open intox was dismissed. However, I still might have to do 2 weekends in jail.

I am still trying to win this case if i can.. there was a small mistake with the data base machine and my lawyer was asking me whether i want to go to trial or not.

I can't really afford to lose my license for a year and thinking about going to jail scares the heck out of me.

I know i made a huge mistake and i am suffering from it. Lesson is completely learned.

So my questions is to you guys, should i go to trial or just accept what they offered me?

I heard if i go to trial and lose, the judge is going to punish harder.
If i can gurantee that i won't get any harsh sentence, then i want to go to trial. I just want to try everything that i can possibly do. But i am still afraid of getting more harsh sentence.

My lawyer said there will be small possibilities but it will be very difficult. And he is not giving me a solid answer whether i should go to trial or not. And he just want me to make a decision. but i don't know what to do.

I have been going to AA meetings and doing the councelling.

Please help me out and give me some advice whether i should go to trial or not.
I heard some people had some luck that their cases got dismissed or reduced to reckless driving.

I am actually in East lansing area and i heard judges here are a little bit more strict since there are so many DUI cases.

Please help me out. I need to let him know by tomorrow.

Thanks very much!

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Attorney answers 3


When interviewing a DUI defense lawyer ask the following questions:

What percentage of your annual caseload is relegated to defending DUI?
How many DUI jury trials did you have in the past 12 months?
Can you provide a list of DUI training seminars or conferences attended in the past 2 to 5 years?
What percentage of your clients enter a plea of guilty to the crime charged?
Have you or any members of your firm written articles or books related to defending DUIs?
How many lawyers are in the firm, and are they all DUI defense attorneys? If so, will they collaborate with their colleagues about your DUI case?
How many years have you defended DUI cases?


Unfortunately, your attorney can't make this decision for you. There is always a risk with going to trial. You may get the same result as the plea, a better one or a worse result. No one can predict the outcome. Drunk driving cases can be tricky, however, if there was an issue with the Datamaster, that is something that could produce reasonable doubt. In terms of judges being harder if you go to trial, there may be some truth to that.

For an OWI second offense, the penalties you will likely face are as follows:

Jail: 5 Days - 1 Year

Fines: $200 - $1000

Community Service of not less than 30 days or not more than 90 days

May order ignition interlock during probation

Mandatory Vehicle Immobilization


Most cases have defenses including DUI cases. The issue is the degree to which your defense will be successful. What was the mistake that was made in the datamaster?

The datamaster is an indirect method of bodily alcohol testing based on infrared spectroscopy. It is fallible. Michigan's system of breath testing is inferior to many other systems. You should make sure that your attorney understands the intricacies of chemical analysis and breath testing.

Continue to do what you are doing. If you are convicted of OWI and you have a prior within 7 years you will lose your license for at least 1 year. You will also face jail time. Two weekends would be on the low side based on my years of experience.