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Felony Drunk Driving
Felony OWI-Third Offense
Under Michigan law, a “Third Offense” drunk driving charge is considered a felony. In the past, in order for a “Third Offense” drunk driving charge to qualify as a felony, the third arrest must have occurred within 10 years of the two prior DUI / OWI convictions. However, this law was changed a few years ago to include any two prior DUI / OWI related convictions within a person’s lifetime. Therefore, if a person is arrested for OWI in Michigan and he or she has two prior DUI / OWI related convictions from any time in his or her life, then the person could face felony OWI charges.
Felony Third Offense OWI in Michigan carries a possible penalty of a fine of $500 – $5,000; and either 1 to 5 years of incarceration, or probation with 30 days to 1 year in jail and 60 to 180 days community service. The court also has the authority to immobilize the vehicle or order that the vehicle be forfeited under certain circumstances. The court could also consider rehabilitative programs and order that the person complete such programs. In addition, there are also driver’s license sanctions which would be imposed by the Secretary of State.
There are also other alcohol related Felony DUI / OWI charges that a person may face in Michigan. These charges and situations usually involve accidents where a person is injured or a death occurs. In these situations, the motorist is usually charged with Felony OWI causing injury or death and faces very serious sanctions.
All of these felony drunk driving offenses carry very serious penalties. It is especially important to have the assistance of an experienced Michigan DUI Attorney when facing any of these charges.
If a person is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and causes a serious injury or body impairment of another person, then that person will most likely face the felony charge of OWI Causing Injury. This charge arises whenever there is an injury accident and the “at-fault” driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
This is a very serious charge and a person charged with OWI Causing Injury faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison as well as a fine up to $5,000.00. If convicted, the person’s driver’s license is revoked for a minimum of one-year regardless if the person has no prior convictions. After the one-year revocation has passed, the person may then apply to the Secretary of State’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division to have driving privileges re-instated.
In addition to the driver’s license sanctions imposed by the Secretary of State, the person will face multiple other sanctions by the court. The person will face severe fines, costs, possible court ordered treatment and therapy, as well as vehicle forfeiture and immobilization.
If a person is under the influence of alcohol and drugs and causes the death of another person, then the person will be charged with OWI Causing Death. This charge carries the maximum penalty of 15 years in prison as well as a fine up to $10,000.00. The driver’s license is also revoked by the Secretary of State.
In addition to the license revocation imposed by the Secretary of State, the person will face multiple other severe sanctions by the court. There will be additional fines, costs, possible court ordered treatment and therapy, as well as vehicle forfeiture and immobilization.
There are other felony charges which are often times involved with an OWI arrest. A few of those charges are:
- Drug Possession/Possession of Controlled Substance
- Fleeing and Eluding
- Resisting and Obstructing Arrest