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If you are facing an Operating While Intoxicated – OWI Second Offense charge, you will have some familiarity with the court system. However, if this is your second Michigan DUI case of any kind, even if your prior offense was an Operating While Visibly Impaired – OWVI, you are facing some very serious consequences. The level of proof necessary on a second offense will be that same as Operating While Intoxicated – OWI First Offense with the added necessity of proving your prior conviction and the time period.
Michigan OWI Statute Provides for Enhanced Sentencing
The Michigan OWI statute provides for the enhancement of sentences based on your prior convictions. The information that you will be given at your initial arraignment will simply say that you are being charged with Operating While Intoxicated, a 93-day misdemeanor. However, also included in this document will be a sentence that states it is alleged that the defendant has a prior conviction on or about a certain date and upon conviction will face a 1-year misdemeanor with applicable fines and other related penalties.
What this means in English: It means that if you have ANY prior drinking and driving charge, your sentence will be enhanced (increased jail time and fines and costs) if it has been within 7 years of your new Michigan OWI arrest.
Since 1998, the Michigan OWI statute allows for a prior Operating While Visibly Impaired charge to enhance the sentence to a second offense or felony. Even more reason why an Operating While Intoxicated First offense charge should be fully challenged by a skilled Michigan DUI attorney.
When you are facing an Operating While Intoxicated – OWI Second Offense charge, you need to remember that any combination of Michigan DUI convictions can be used during your lifetime to enhance your case to a 5-year Operating While Intoxicated Felony. It is no longer 3 within 10 years although this new statute may be challenged and you can read more about this at the Operating While Intoxicated – OWI Third Offense Felony page in the handbook.
If you are facing an Operating While Intoxicated Second Offense charge in Michigan, call our DUI hotline immediately to speak with an attorney at (269) 281-4003