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Will a Second or Third Michigan OWI Conviction Require Jail Time?

by | Jan 23, 2023 | Legal Insights

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At Maesen Law, PLC, our Grand Rapids OWI defense attorney, Ryan Maesen, knows that a first-time OWI is a terrifying experience that requires a skilled legal representative to pursue the best outcome for each driver’s case.

When Michigan residents find themselves facing a second or third OWI conviction, the consequences can include lengthy jail sentences that change their lives going forward.

We understand the value of freedom, and the reality is, without a trusted legal advocate by your side, you are risking everything. Justice is not an entitlement or a guarantee. It must be fought for, and when the stakes could not be higher, we produce real results for people just like you who need our help.

Here is what our Kent County OWI attorney wants our clients to know about the potential sentences they face after a second or third OWI conviction in Michigan.

Will a Second OWI Conviction Require Mandatory Jail Time in Michigan?

Like the first Michigan OWI offense, a second OWI charge is classified as a misdemeanor.

The penalties associated with a second OWI conviction in Michigan include:

  • One-year license revocation, which requires completion of a substance abuse program before reinstatement.
  • Restricted license after completing 45 days of revocation that permits the holder to drive for limited purposes with the use of an ignition interlock device. This, too, requires enrollment in a substance abuse program.
  • Fines of $200 to $1,000.
  • 30 – 90 days of community service.
  • Vehicle forfeiture, or immobilization for 90 to 180 days.

If convicted of a second OWI offense within seven years of a prior OWI in Michigan, the judge can sentence you to anywhere from five days to one year in jail, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Will a Third OWI Conviction Require Mandatory Jail Time in Michigan?

Unlike the first two, a third OWI in Michigan is a felony offense, which can lead to severe and even life-changing consequences if convicted.

First, if there were two OWI convictions within seven years, or three OWI convictions within ten years, the minimum period of license revocation and denial is one year and five years, respectively.

In addition, the maximum possible penalties for a third OWI conviction in Michigan include:

  • Fines of $500 to $5,000.
  • 60 –180 days of community service.
  • License plate confiscation and vehicle registration denial.
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture, or mandatory vehicle immobilization for one to three years.
  • Possible ignition interlock device during probation.

A third Michigan OWI conviction comes with a mandatory 30 jail sentence with a maximum of five years in prison.

How Can I Avoid a Second or Third Michigan OWI Conviction?

At Maesen Law, our skilled Grand Rapids OWI defense attorneys know that just because you have been arrested for a second or third OWI in Michigan does not mean you are guilty, or will be convicted of the charges. It also does not mean you will face the maximum penalties allowed by Michigan law.

However, without an experienced Michigan OWI defense lawyer fighting for your freedom, you are much more likely to succumb to the prosecutor’s case against you. Since second and third OWI convictions come with significant penalties in Michigan, your livelihood and very freedom may be at stake.

Contact our skilled Grand Rapids criminal defense lawyer today to learn more about your legal rights and options to pursue the best outcome for your unique case. We are available by phone 24 hours a day by calling 616-821-7691 or allowing us to review your case via email to ensure each aspect is reviewed with the discretion and attention to detail you deserve.