Michigan DUI Hotline | Call (269) 281-4003 Now!
If you have been involved in the Michigan criminal justice system for Michigan DUI charges in the past, you will have been told that a felony drunk driving charge in Michigan involves three OWI convictions within 10 years. This changed in 2006 with the passage of an amendment known as Heidi’s Law. The Michigan OWI statute now provides that you can be charged with a felony drunk driving case if you have any combination of drunk driving convictions in your lifetime.
Felony Charges v. Misdemeanor
The gulf between misdemeanor Michigan DUI charges and Michigan DUI felony charges is wide. Even an OWI second offense carries with it a maximum possible penalty of 1 year in jail. A Michigan felony drunk driving charge carries with it a maximum possible penalty of 5 years in prison.
If you are facing felony drunk driving charges, the first thing that must be tackled is your entire drinking and driving history. The next area of immediate concern will be making sure that you have intensive alcohol treatment, possibly even inpatient care in a health care facility. Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and similar 12 step programs are almost mandatory at this stage of drinking and driving and you might do well to voluntarily submit to an alcohol tethering program.
Burden of Proof in Michigan DUI Felony Charges
The prosecutor will have to prove the same elements that were stated on the Operating While Intoxicated – OWI First Offense page in the handbook. However, the prosecutor must also prove all of the qualifying convictions in order to enhance your sentence to the felony level. This should be analyzed carefully by your Michigan DUI attorney as well as other possibilities to keep your case from subjecting you to possible prison time. This can be done through inpatient treatment, advocating that there has been a long period of sobriety and this was a relapse or slip, or even certain sobriety courts that have been started in district courts across the state.
If you are facing a serious Michigan DUI felony charge, contact our DUI hotline immediately to start working on your defense. Call (269) 281-4003 today!