Macomb County DUI - No Jail

A DUI charge in any township, city or county is unsettling. I spend a great deal of time helping people deal with the anxiety and fear of going to jail. That anxiety and fear is even greater with today's severe DUI penalties. People are most fearful immediately after a DUI arrestBut know this: immediately contacting an attorney is the very first step in reducing or avoiding jail. The sooner your attorney can get to work, the better.

Probably No Jail for First Drunk Driving Charge

If this is your first DUI charge, I am confident that you are probably not going to jail. I say probably because all criminal charges carry potential jail time, and the Judge (not me) gets to determine if jail is imposed. However, there is a Judge in Bloomfield Hills, the 48th District Court, which is known to impose 30 days jail on first offense DUI charges. Also, the Judges in Rochester Hills, the 52-3 District Court, can be harsh.

Other than these courts, it is very unlikely that you will serve jail on a first offense drinking and driving charge (unless of course you injure someone - that's an entirely different charge). Even with a DUI 2nd offense you have a good chance at avoiding jail. But this doesn't mean you should not hire an attorney.

An often overlooked function of your attorney is having you prepared for court! Your attorney's advice on how to appear, where to stand, what to do before court, what to say and what not to say is absolutely critical to help you avoid jail, help mitigate probationary consequences, and help reduce driver license penalties.

Get Ready for Probation

Once your anxiety and fear of going to jail is under control, the real question becomes, what kind of probationary term can you expect? This should be your focus, mentally preparing for probation. When you are convicted of a DUI, the law requires that you undergo a substance abuse evaluation (or alcohol screening test). A simple way to think about this evaluation is an interview with a probation officer, which includes written questions and answers. The higher you score on your alcohol assessment test, the more likely you have a drinking problem, and as a consequence you will have a more strict term of probation.

Typical DUI probationary conditions (all of which you pay for):

1. Reporting to your probation officer once per month.

2. Completing educational classes.

3. Attending AA meetings, perhaps multiple times per week.

4. Attending alcohol counseling.

5. Random alcohol & drug testing (perhaps multiple times per week).

6. Community Service.

How do you reduce or eliminate some of these conditions, be prepared. It is your attorney's job to get you prepared. You need to hit a home-run during your probation interview and alcohol screening, because after your interview, the probation officer will write a report about your interview and give it to the Judge. If the probation officer recommends a condition of probation, then there is a very good chance the Judge will order you to fulfill that condition. If the probation officer does not recommend it, then there is a good chance the Judge will not order you to do it!

If you've been charged with a DUI in any local court in Macomb, Oakland or Wayne County, I can help. When you call my office you will speak with me. Call 586-668-1229 any hour of the day.