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3rd DUI Michigan: One Wrong Choice Away From a Felony

Don’t Settle for the Student When You Can Hire the Teacher

Second only to OWI Causing Serious Bodily Injury Or Death, 3rd DUI in Michigan is the most serious drunk driving offense. Besides the steep immediate penalties that come with a felony DUI, those convicted of a 3rd offense felony are regarded as reckless criminals for the rest of their lives. Even worse, these convictions can never be expunged.  Mandatory jail time. Mandatory community service. Loss of your driver’s license, job, and vehicle.

These are the penalties you face when convicted of a third offense OWI; often with a jury deciding your fate. But those arrested for third offense OWI are not criminals; they deserve to be treated with compassion and rehabilitation in mind. OWI charges are the most common criminal offenses in the criminal justice system.  So make no mistake. Now is not the time to price shop for an attorney.

You need the best. And with an unrivaled track record, when you hire a DUI lawyer from The Law Offices of Barton Morris, you can rest assured that we’ll do everything in our power to win you less or no jail time, lower or no fines, and also save your driver’s license.

Penalties for 3rd Offense DUI in Michigan

Michigan’s drunk driving laws are among the country’s toughest. These are some of the penalties you face when convicted of 3rd DUI in Michigan:

  • a fine of $500 to $5,000 and either one (1) to five (5) years of imprisonment, or 30 days to one (1) year in jail followed by probation
  • 60-180 days community service
  • Vehicle immobilization or forfeiture
  • substance abuse counseling, treatment and education (ex. Alcoholics Anonymous)

Regardless, there is a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail if convicted.

What Happens If I’m Convicted of A Felony?

A Michigan DUI third offense is a felony charge. If you’re convicted, life as you know it will unfortunately change for the worse. You may…

  1. Lose Your Existing Job (and Have Trouble Finding a New One)

Whether you disclose your conviction on the application or it comes up on a background check prior to hiring, many employers won’t offer a position to a person with a felony conviction. Many businesses also make it a regular practice of running background checks of existing employees, regardless if they are up for a promotion or not.

  1. Lose Right to Purchase or Possess a Firearm

This means that you must forfeit all firearms and weapons immediately after sentencing, and can’t purchase firearms until a long waiting period passes.

  1. Lose Access to Fair Housing

Many rental properties won’t rent to anyone with a felony conviction, no matter the circumstances.

  1. Pay Higher Insurance Rates

Life insurance and homeowner’s insurance are just some of the insurance rates you can expect to skyrocket once you’re convicted of a felony. Even worse, your policy may even be terminated, as being a felon is considered an extremely high risk for insurance companies.

  1. Be Denied for Student Loans

Federal Student Loans are almost never given to those with felonies on their backgrounds, especially for drug related offenses. Private lenders also have their own barriers for granting loans to those convicted of a felony offense DUI.

  1. Lose Right to Drive

If you’re convicted of 3rd DUI offense, you can certainly expect mandatory vehicle immobilization or forfeiture for at least one (1) year. After that, you must prove that you’re fit to hold a driver’s license again through a driver’s license restoration hearing with the Secretary of State. Let Us Evaluate Your Case, Free Call

Sentencing for 3rd DUI in Michigan

3rd DUI offenses are the most common felony prosecuted by circuit courts in Michigan. Every felony conviction has sentencing guidelines that determine how many months someone should be incarcerated.  Prosecutors don’t like to plead DUI cases, as no judge, court or prosecutor ever wants to be seen as “lenient” with DUI cases. Therefore, prosecutors almost always go for the maximum allowable sentence for DUI cases since they expect to win.

However, the threat of a jury trial handled by a defense attorney with significant experience trying and winning DUI jury trials will drive them to negotiate. While very few defense lawyers have tried more than five DUI cases to a jury, Barton Morris has tried more than 30 DUI cases in his career. Our lawyers, who are extensively trained by Barton, only add to that number. The following are key factors that judges consider when sentencing those accused of a 3rd DUI in Michigan:

  1. Criminal Record
  2. Prior Relationship with the Criminal Justice System
  3. Factors of the Sentencing Offense (i.e. BAC)
  4. Testimony from Defendant’s Employer, Doctor, etc. 
  5. Whether Someone Else Was Injured

How We Defend OWI Cases

Our firm has executed multiple defense strategies that many firms are unaware of or are unqualified to try. This guarantees the best outcome possible for 3rd DUI offense clients that you’re unlikely to get from other firms. Example of some of our strategies include:

  1. Challenging the Traffic Stop

The police must have a valid reason, or “probable cause” for pulling you over before arresting you for OWI. A thorough review of the dashcam footage may show that the traffic light was yellow, a turn signal was used, or “swerving” was minor and within your own lane. This would reveal that there was no probable cause for the traffic stop.

  1. Determining If There Was a Probable Cause for Arrest

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution holds that unreasonable search and seizure is unconstitutional. Therefore, the police need probable cause to arrest you for 3rd offense OWI. If the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and Preliminary Breath Test were administered incorrectly or by an unauthorized person, then there is no probable cause for an arrest.

  1. The Rising Alcohol Defense

This defense explains that a person, while having a BAC over .08 at the time of the arrest, may not have been over the legal limit at the time of actual operation of the vehicle. To use this defense, a lawyer must have an extensive background in understanding and evaluating scientific evidence.

  1. Evaluating Your Medical Conditions

Acid Reflux and Diabetes are just some of the medical conditions that can cause an inaccurate breath test result. However, this can’t successfully be used as a defense if you hire a lawyer with no scientific background.  With a lawyer specializing in OWI cases, a third offense felony can be reduced to a misdemeanor or lower with no jail sentence or driver’s license suspension. A case can even realistically be dismissed if you invest in the right lawyer.

  1. Substance Abuse

Millions of Americans are victims of substance abuse. In this case, our attorneys will fight to have you sentenced to sobriety court rather than face massive fines and jail time. Sobriety Court is designed for recovery and to reduce the chance of repeat Drunk Driving offenses. If Sobriety Court isn’t an option, then you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by going to trial.

Why Hire Us?

Barton holds numerous distinctions specific to OWI cases, such as:

  • President of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys
  • Michigan’s ONLY Forensic Lawyer-Scientist designated by the American Chemical Society
  • Only criminal defense lawyer contributor on Michigan Impaired Driving Safety Commission’s report on whether THC equals to intoxication while driving
  • Board member for the Michigan Department of Attorney General’s Marijuana Legal Workgroup, Trial Lawyer’s College Alumni Association, DUI Defense Lawyers Association Justice Foundation, and more
  • Faculty for National College for DUI Defense and the DUI Defense Lawyer’s Association
  • Barton has trained some of the most well-known OWI lawyers in America

3rd offense DUI cases rely on both outdated stigmas/biases and weak, flawed evidence. There are hundreds, and potentially thousands, of people each year who face unfair penalties simply because their lawyer failed to recognize or understand how to contest evidence. The stakes are too high. You need and deserve the best DUI attorney to represent you. Offer Get A FREE Review and Consultation This is a limited time, free, no-obligation, $500 value offer.

Don’t settle for the student when you can hire the teacher.  (Conversion Form)  Your information is safe with us. It will not be shared with anyone and will only be used by our team to prepare for your consultation.  ABOUT OUR FIRM If you have any criminal defense needs, The Law Offices of Barton Morris can help. Backed by over 20 years of experience, our Michigan criminal defense attorneys have a comprehensive understanding of this complex practice area.

We also have a long track record of success and have helped countless clients getting charges against them reduced or dismissed completely. Our firm knows that having a criminal record doesn’t make someone a bad person. Learn how we can help you or someone you know now. Read Our Reviews

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