Hi, I’m Patrick Barone of The Barone Defense Firm. I want to talk to you about sentencing in a drunk driving case. The number one question clients have when they come to see us, “Am I going to jail?” Here is the run down, alright? There are all different types of drunk driving in Michigan and it depends on what you’re charged with and it depends on your prior record. So here is how it looks.
First of all, if it’s a first offense drunk driving with no prior offenses whatsoever, and you have a breath or blood test below .17 chances are you’re not going to jail. It depends however. Some judges in Michigan are known for putting first offenders in jail. You need to talk to your lawyer about it and find out if you are in front of one of those judges. If you’re not in front of one of those judges, it’s a first offense and you’re below a.17, probably no jail. Now, if it’s a super drunk, if your .17 or above there is a chance you are going to go to jail. In that instance the punishment is up to 180 days in jail. Up to 180 days for a first offense super drunk, alright? A super drunk is .17 or above with no prior criminal history.
If you’re looking at a repeat offender, or if you’re a second offense drunk driver, or if you’re a felony drunk driver then you are looking at jail time for sure. With a second offense drunk driving there is a minimum mandatory 5 days in jail. Sometimes we can keep that from happening. There are things we can do to keep you from going to jail. Even at a second offense. In most instances, if it’s a second offense you’re looking at jail time. 5 days is the minimum period.
For a felony drunk driving, there is almost no way you can avoid the 30 day minimum mandatory sentence. For felony drunk driving, and that means 3 in your life time in Michigan look back, if you have 3 drunk driving offenses in your life time that’s a felony. You will be looking at a minimum of 30 days in jail. That’s 30 days; nothing can be done about it, other than avoiding the conviction or having it reduced to a misdemeanor. That’s going to be our job if you retain us is to reduce it to a misdemeanor or to reduce the conviction if it’s a felony drunk driving.
If you’re looking at a felony drunk driving with an injury or a death, then you’re looking at a period of years in jail. Ok? Prior offenses have an impact on that too, but the statute and the sentencing guidelines are going to make it so that you’re pretty much guaranteed of spending years in prison if you killed somebody or if there is a serious injury. Ok? Let’s go through it again, we are going to summarize.
If you want to know more about it, go to my website: drunkdrivinginmichigan.com.