If my son is 19 and was arrested for a first offense OWI, what is he looking at?

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If my son is 19 and was arrested for a first offense OWI, what is he looking at?

And should he get legal help?

Asked on February 9, 2013 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

What he's lookng at is the following:

- 30 days suspended license/150 days restricted license (automatic), plus $125 reinstatement fee;
- Up to 93 days in jail;
- Fines of at least $100 up to $500, plus court costs;
- Probation up to 2 years;
- Up to 360 hours community service;
- A $1,000 "driver responsibility fee" to secretary of state for 2 years.

Also, his insurance rates will skyrocket.

As for whether or not you need an attorney, technically, no you do not. However, as a practical matter, it is a good idea. The fact is that a DUI triggers 2 cases - 1 civil and 1 criminal. And the fact is that any time criminal charges are involved it is always advisable to have legal representation. An experienced DUI lawyer can be instrumental in either having the case dismissed, the charges reduced or winning an acquittal at trial. A DUI case is based on certain factors that can successfully be defened against; for example, the accuracy of a breathalyzer test. And a conviction can have a drastic impact on employment, professional licensing, etc.

Bottom line, a skilled DUI attorney can make all the difference.


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