Third Offense DUI/OWI

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Grand Rapids Third Offense Drunk Driving Attorneys

In Michigan, an Operating While Intoxicated – Third Offense is a felony MCL 257.625(1)(c), MCL 257.625(9)/(11). It is one of the most serious drunk driving offenses an individual can face. Michigan has a lifetime look-back period for enhancing drunk driving cases. Therefore, if you have two prior offenses, no matter when they were, a third charge will result in a felony drunk driving. If you have more than two prior drinking and driving offenses you will still be charged with a “Third Offense Drunk Driving” as Michigan does not have fourth (+) offense(s). Any additional drunk driving convictions will be considered at sentencing and will likely result in a higher sentence. 

If you have been charged with a 3rd offense OWI you need an experienced attorney to handle this felony charge. Tanis Schultz has 50 years of combined experienced at our defense firm. Contact us today to learn how we can help. 

Punishments for a Third Offense Drunk Driving in Michigan

A Third Offense Drunk Driving is punishable by a fine of $500 to $5,000 and either one to five years of imprisonment, or 30 days to one year in jail followed by probation; between 60 and 180 days of community service, and your car is also subject to forfeiture. There is an absolute minimum period of 30 days in jail. Additionally, if you are convicted of a felony drunk driving you could also lose your voting and gun rights. You may also lose your job and face difficulty finding a new job due to the felony conviction. 

License Consequences for a Third Drunk Driving 

            In addition to jail, prison, probation, and vehicle forfeiture, your driver’s license will also be revoked. Revoked means that you lose your license for life, until you successfully complete a driver’s license restoration. Depending on the situation, your license may be restricted for 90-days or revoked from one to five years. This determination depends on your prior convictions. If you have been convicted for a third operating while intoxicated offense within 10 years, your license will be revoked for a minimum of five years. Additionally, if you are caught driving while your license is suspended, you may face another revocation period for your license. 

            For example, say you receive three drunk driving convictions, 2001, 2005, 2007. You have three drunk driving convictions within 10 years. Therefore, your license is revoked for five years (until 2012). In 2011, you get pulled over and convicted for driving while your license is suspended. You would then face another 5 year revocation, until 2016. You would not be eligible to appeal your license revocation and get your license back until 2016 due to that additional revocation period. 

Fighting a Third Offense Drunk Driving

            There are two ways for a conviction of a drunk driving – third offense, to enter onto your record. The first is by trial and the second is by plea. At trial, the State would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that you are guilty of and committed the act of operating while intoxicated and that you had two prior offenses. By plea, the defendant would enter a plea of guilty to the charge(s). 

Just because you are charged with a felony drunk driving does not mean that you will ultimately be convicted of a felony. An experienced DUI lawyer can fight for you and may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed.

There are many different reasons a client may want to enter a plea bargain. Sometimes, an opportunity to enter a specialty court, like Sobriety Court, can be negotiated by your criminal defense attorney. This would provide the defendant with the opportunity to (likely) stay out of jail/prison, a reduction of the charge, and to potentially get their license back prior to the five year revocation period. It is extremely important that your attorney discuss your legal options with you, including on what evidence may be challenged and what mitigation measures can be executed for your particular case. 

 If you have been charged with a third offense operating while intoxicated contact our experience criminal defense attorneys today to discuss your options. Tanis Schultz, PLLC ensures that we treat each case individually and work to determine what is best for your specific case. 

Call us today at 616-608-7149 or use our contact form

We serve all of Western Michigan. 

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