THE MICHIGAN DUI PROCESS, part 2
This post is a continuation of Part 1 that covered the traffic stop and arrest in a typical Michigan DUI case.
An arraignment is where a person faces either a Judge or Magistrate and is informed of the charge or charges against him or her. A plea is entered and a bond is set, along with any conditions of the bond. Conditions of a bond always include no use of alcohol and sometimes alcohol testing is added as a condition of bond. In most cases, the arraignment can be waived by hiring an attorney who will file papers with the Michigan Court that automatically enters a “not guilty” plea for the client. Waiver of arraignment bypasses the obligation of having to show up to Court for this purpose. If the arraignment is waived, the client can merely wait to show up for the pre-trial, along with his or her attorney.
This is a very important stage of an alcohol or drug related driving offense. During the pre-trail, the prosecutor and defense lawyer meet and discuss the case. At the pre-trail, an attorney may try to get the charges dismissed or reduced through what is termed a plea bargain.
A trial may occur when the Prosecutor and defense lawyer fail to reach an agreement on a mutually acceptable deal. The result of a trial is a verdict of either “guilty,” or “not guilty.”
The Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI)
This stage will determine what happens to a defendant at sentencing. Typically, a person is interviewed by a probation officer and will have an alcohol and/or drug assessment.
A sentence is what the Judge declares the punishment for the offender. It is an order from the Judge that set-forth what the offender can or cannot do. Many courts are trending toward ordering jail time even for first time offenders.
The fact is that a drunk or drugged driving case will be expensive. Some of the cost will include: getting the car out of impound, hiring a lawyer, paying fines and costs, driver responsibility fees, increasing car insurance rates, arrest fees, probation fees, and any additional costs a person will have to pay for counseling or alcohol education.
If you have questions regarding an alcohol or drug related driving offense, call me, Attorney Steven Storrs, at 269-945-2242 or click here to contact me to set up an appointment to discuss your options.
*This blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult an attorney before making important decisions regarding your individual situation.