Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys Representing Drivers Fighting Charges
Sometimes out-of-state drivers are arrested for drunk driving in Michigan. As a driver from out-of-state, you may assume that you are exempt from drunk driving laws within the state, or that it is not a big deal. However, it could be worse for you that you DUI happened in Michigan instead of your home state. Simply being a non-resident does not mean that you will be exempt from DUI charges and penalties. Your case may be complex, but you should not shrug the charges off. If you face out-of-state DUI charges in Michigan, it is important to retain an in-state lawyer to help you. The Michigan DUI lawyers at Michigan Defense Law may be able to provide representation. Most likely, a conviction here will be transmitted back to your home state and you will be hit with license sanctions there that are often tough. The reason for this is that many states have diversion programs for first offense DUI’s that don’t impact people as much as a second offense. However, Michigan does not have such programs. Therefore, when a conviction from Michigan hits your home state it can be penalized more like a second offense would. These type of considerations need to be managed by a DUI attorney experienced in dealing with consequences for out of state drivers.
Each state has its own drunk driving laws. In Michigan, it is unlawful to drive under these circumstances: when you are intoxicated or impaired by alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants; when your bodily alcohol content is .08 or greater; or with any Schedule 1 controlled substance or cocaine in your body. As a driver who is under age 21, it is illegal to drive with a bodily alcohol content of .02 or more or with any alcohol in your body, except for what is ingested at a generally recognized religious ceremony. As a driver under age 21, it is also unlawful to buy, possess, or ingest alcoholic beverages. It is also illegal to transport them in your car, unless you are with someone who is at least age 21.
When charged with an out-of-state DUI, you could face not only Michigan penalties but also penalties in your state of residence. There are nationwide agreements related to handling license suspensions, warrants, revocation, and insurance. If you do not appear in court, you may also be reported to the Non-Resident Violator Compact. Additionally, if Michigan suspends or revokes your license as part of a DUI conviction, it will report this to your home state under the Driver License Compact. Your home state can then suspend your license until you handle the license suspension in Michigan.
The National Driver Register
Your DUI charges may be reported to the National Driver Register, which is a division within the National Center for Statistics and Analysis under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A computerized database keeps track of drivers who are considered problems. If you are reported, the Register will have information about whether your license has been suspended, canceled, revoked, or denied, or whether you have been convicted of a DUI. Information identifying you will also be noted, such as your name, date of birth, driver’s license number, gender, and the state reporting you. This information could be used to answer an inquiry. For instance, if your license is being renewed in your home state, the Register may be checked, and the finding of an OWI and suspension in Michigan can result in your home state license being suspended.
Additionally, you can face an increase in your insurance rates. Insurers will research the risk involved in insuring you. You are considered a greater risk if you have been convicted of drunk driving. Your monthly premium is likely to reflect that.
A prospective employer, professional licensing organization, or university may run a background check. Your drunk driving conviction in Michigan could restrict your capacity to pass the background check. You could be disqualified from opportunities that affect your education and career. If you are a commercial driver, your license and job could be threatened by a drunk driving conviction, even a conviction in another state.
Consult a Knowledgeable Michigan Attorney
If you have been charged with an out-of-state DUI in Michigan, you should discuss the charges with our knowledgeable attorneys. We can answer questions about how the charges could affect you in your home state and what needs to be done to reduce or remove problems. Additionally, we can make sure that you meet the proper deadlines and comply with the court so that a warrant is not issued for your arrest. Michigan Defense Law represents clients in Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, and Washtenaw Counties. Call us at (248) 451-2200 or complete our online form.