Probation is a common outcome for DUI sentencing in Michigan. However, what is included in probation? Can you travel while on probation for a DUI? How much does it cost?
All of these questions (and more) are answered below:
What is Probation?
Probation is when a person is monitored by the court for a certain period of time after sentencing. Typically, it is ordered in lieu of jail time. A probation officer is assigned to every probationer’s case; they are in charge of making sure that probationer follows their terms of probation.
How Long is Probation for DUI?
There is no minimum amount of time a judge may sentence you to probation. However, there is a maximum sentence for probation. Someone convicted of a misdemeanor DUI cannot be sentenced to more than two (2) years of probation. Additionally, a person convicted of a felony DUI cannot be sentenced to more than five (5) years of probation.
However, DUI probation violations will add time to the probation sentence.
What Are The Probation Rules for DUI?
While every case is different, some probation terms are universal no matter what the case circumstances are. Everyone on probation must pay the court and receive permission to leave the state (due to travel restrictions). Additionally, they must report to their probation officer as often as the probation officer wants (typically on a monthly occurence). They also cannot break any laws while on probation. However, it is rare for someone to receive probation with just these terms and conditions.
More than likely, you are not going to have to test for alcohol and/or drugs a certain amount of times per day, week, or month. Instead of reporting to a facility for testing, you may have to wear a SCRAM tether, which will take a sample of your sweat to measure alcohol. You may also have to carry a portable alcohol testing device/install an ignition interlock device.
Your probation officer may also want you to attend a victim impact panel. This is when you will listen to victims or family members of victims discuss how they were affected by someone driving under the influence of alcohol.
Additionally, you could serve jail time while on probation, being released only to attend work and/or school. Imprisonment can last for up to 12 months at a time. However, it is rare for a person to be incarcerated while on probation for a DUI.
Other possible probation terms include:
- completing a certain number of hours of community service,
- participating in inpatient or outpatient drug treatment,
- mental health treatment,
- mental health or substance abuse counseling (such as Alcoholics Anonymous [AA]),
- participating in a community corrections program,
- be under house arrest,
- participating in a residential probation program,
- completing a program of incarceration in a special alternative incarceration unit, or
- completing your high school education or get your GED.
How Expensive is Probation?
No matter if you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony DUI, there is an assessment fee you must pay to the court. If you are convicted of a felony DUI, you will owe $130.00. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor DUI, you will only owe $75.00. This fee is used to pay for crime victim’s rights services.
If you are convicted of a felony DUI, your case will route to the circuit court. Someone sentenced to probation in circuit court must pay a probation supervision fee. The fee is $30.00, which is then multiplied by the number of months of probation ordered. For example, if you are sentenced to three years of probation you will owe $1,080.00.
If you are placed on an electronic monitoring device, you will owe $60.00, which is then multiplied by the number of months of probation ordered. Probation with an electronic monitoring device for three (3) years would cost $2,160.00. Most courts will allow payment plans, or may waive the fees if the probationer is deemed indigent. This means that the person is, “one without sufficient income” to afford these fees.
The court may impose other fines and costs on you as well, such as expenses incurred from prosecuting a defendant.
Probation is not often a desirable outcome for defendants, due to the fees and restrictions that come with it. If you have any questions surrounding your DUI case, reach out to our team of experienced DUI defense attorneys today for a free consultation and legal advice.
Sarah Tarockoff is the Paralegal at The Law Offices of Barton Morris. She earned a Paralegal Certificate from Oakland Community College in 2015 and graduated from Oakland University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a concentration in criminal justice. She completed internships at the 52-3 District Court where she aided probation officers in the Probation Department and at Bernstein & Bernstein, where she worked closely with attorneys and paralegals on various litigation-related matters.