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First Offense DUI In Michigan

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First Offense DUI
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Suppose a driver has not had a prior conviction of DUI (known in Michigan as operating while intoxicated, or OWI)) and is found driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .08. In that case, they are generally charged with a first offense DUI in Michigan.

What to Expect After Your First Offense DUI in Michigan

Well, you will almost certainly be arrested and do at least one overnight in jail. Our best guess is that you’re reading this article after being accused of DUI, so you probably know that full well by now. Beyond that, though, there are plenty of reasons for concern, but also for hope. The penalties can be stiff, but a good lawyer can help you navigate the system and avoid some of the pitfalls that come with a first-offense DUI charge.

Potential Penalties for a First Offense DUI

Individuals who are convicted of a Michigan first offense DUI are subject to penalties that include:

  • Up to 93 days in jail.
  • Up to 360 hours of community service.
  • Fines of $500.
  • A driver’s license suspension of up to 180 days. After the first 30 days, the individual can seek a restricted license to drive to school or work.

Suppose the DUI offense involves a passenger under the age of 16. In that case, the individual faces additional penalties upon conviction, including a mandatory fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail. Community service requirements are also higher if the individual is convicted of a DUI while transporting a child in their car.

Zero Tolerance for Underage DUI

Michigan has a zero-tolerance stance on underage drinking, meaning kids under 21 cannot have any alcohol in their system (though there’s a carveout for drinking as part of a religious ceremony, in which case the kid’s BAC can be up to 0.02). Underage drivers charged with DUI in Michigan face many of the same consequences as adults convicted of DUI.

Finding a Quality DUI Lawyer in Michigan

Suppose you have been charged with a DUI first offense in Michigan. In that case, it is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights during the criminal process and potentially reduce the seriousness of the charge or consequences you face. For more information and to obtain answers to the legal questions you have about your case, contact us.

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We suggest a solution
Know what it will cost ∙ Understand how long it’ll take ∙ Know what next steps look like.
We work together
Gather & review evidence ∙ Create defense strategy ∙ Provide updates without you even asking
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We’ll work tirelessly on your behalf to get you the best possible outcome on your case.


Can I get my DUI charge dismissed or reduced?

Your attorney will examine the details of your case in order to help you determine your best legal strategy. In some cases, there is an opportunity to get the charge dismissed for reasons such as:

  • Improper procedure during the traffic stop and your arrest.
  • Faulty testing equipment that can yield a false positive for alcohol.
  • The prosecutor lacks evidence to prove that you were actually driving your vehicle.
  • Your blood was drawn without your consent or a warrant.
How long will a DUI stay on my record in Michigan?

In Michigan, a DUI will remain on your driving record forever. However, the state will only consider another DUI as a second DUI offense for seven years after conviction. The points that you lose from your license will return after two years, provided you have no other traffic offenses. All that said, in 2022, a Michigan law went into effect that allows those who have been convicted of their first DUI conviction to have that conviction expunged from their record once five years have passed since their probationary period has ended.

Expungement is only available for offenders who have had one DUI conviction. Those who received a DUI while driving a commercial vehicle will not be eligible for expungement.

How Can a DUI lawyer Help If You've Been Charged?

A good criminal defense attorney may assist you with your DUI case in several ways, including:

  • Helping you determine the best defense strategy based on the details of your case.
  • Gathering evidence to prove that a procedural error occurred during your arrest or there was faulty testing equipment to get your DUI charge dismissed.
  • Negotiating a plea bargain in which the prosecutor allows you to plead guilty to a lesser charge or face lesser consequences for your conviction.
  • Appealing your case if you feel you have been wrongfully convicted of DUI.
  • Helping you expunge your conviction if it has been five years since your probationary period has ended.