What to Do If You’ve Been Charged With a DUI in Michigan
DUI laws vary from state to state. However, all states have some laws in place to prevent people from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as well as to punish drivers who endanger others while driving under the influence.
Michigan specifically classifies three degrees of DUI, so you must be aware of the penalties if charged with a DUI in this state. Regardless of the degree, losing your license and paying fines and court fees are on your to-do list. But most importantly, trying to get sober is step number one.
The more you know about Michigan law, the more informed you’ll be during the procedure and the better prepared you can be to fight your case. Read on to learn more about what to do if you’ve been charged with a DUI in Michigan.
1. Find a Ride Home
In some counties, you will be able to go home after you’ve been charged. in others, you’ll have to stay in jail overnight until you’re sober. Either way, the first step to take is to get yourself a ride home because there’s no way they’re going to let you touch your license under the circumstances.
2. Take Note of Your Court Date
After you’ve been slapped with a DUI, the next worst thing you can do is forget about your court date. So as soon as you get home, mark that date on your calendar or do what you can to make sure you don’t forget this date.
It’s also good to let your boss and everyone else know so you can avoid other appointments on that date.
3. Consult With an Experienced DUI Attorney
If you have been charged with a DUI in Michigan, it is important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. Of course, you’ll want to choose one of the top criminal law attorneys in your area, and here are five reasons to do that:
If you think hiring a DUI lawyer is expensive, think again. An experienced DUI attorney knows exactly how to handle your case in the most efficient manner. That means a quicker trial, less time in court, and more money saved overall.
Best Action to Take
A DUI lawyer will have lots of practical knowledge and experience and will thus know the best route to take. For example, they will advise you whether you should go for a plea deal or plead not guilty. Whatever their recommendation, you can rest assured that it’s the best step to take.
A Lighter Sentence
A DUI specialist will know all the DUI laws in Michigan, the regulations, standards, and precedents that are relevant to your DUI case. That means they can build you a strong defense, which translates to a lighter sentence, if not a total dismissal of the charges you’re facing.
Retrieving Your License
Michigan DUI laws will have a violator’s driving license revoked or suspended for a year. However, an experienced attorney can lobby for you so you can retrieve your license and be able to drive again, even while your case is pending.
Peace of Mind
Considering how stressful the whole process can be, having a DUI lawyer by your side will make you feel at ease, knowing that your legal issues are being taken care of by an expert no less.
4. Attend a Michigan DUI School
If you have been charged with a DUI in Michigan, you may be required to attend a DUI school in the state. This school is designed to teach you about the dangers of drunk driving and how to avoid getting behind the wheel while under the influence.
The school may also offer other services, such as counseling to help you deal with your DUI charge. The cost of the school varies, depending on the county in which you reside, and the course will probably require about 12 hours to complete.
5. Avoid Driving While Your Case Is Pending
If you are charged with a DUI in Michigan, the best thing to do is avoid driving while your case is pending. A savvy lawyer might be able to get you your license back temporarily.
However, if you get a conviction, you cannot get hold of your license for at least a year. Additionally, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
6. Learn About SR-22 Insurance
Whether or not your license has been suspended, you should begin getting acquainted with SR-22 auto insurance. This isn’t actually an insurance policy but rather a form you file with the state of Michigan (or any state), proving that your car insurance meets the state-imposed minimum liability coverage.
You might also want to talk to your insurance agent immediately to ask about your new insurance rates, which will be much higher than your current premium.
Stay in Control With Your DUI in Michigan
If you have been charged with a DUI in Michigan, don’t panic. The law offers you options, and the best way to take advantage of those is through a DUI attorney.
While you can handle your DUI yourself, you will probably need the expertise of a legal professional to get you the most favorable outcome for your case. Of course, it also pays to get familiar with the whole system yourself.
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