The first time was a mistake and you likely promised yourself you would never let it happen again. But then, you put yourself in a compromising situation that resulted in you driving drunk and being charged with DWI for the second time in Clinton County, MI. Unfortunately, the State of Michigan penalizes DWI offenders pretty harshly, especially when it is their second time being charged with DWI in a seven-year time period.

So, here’s what you need to do if you want to reduce your chances of receiving a sentence that carries the maximum penalties. You hire an experienced DWI attorney in Clinton County, MI to defend you.

Why hire a Clinton County, MI DWI Attorney?

While we could list numerous reasons that support why you should consider retaining legal counsel following a DWI charge in Clinton County, MI, we have listed some of the more noteworthy ones we think you should consider down below.

Clinton County, MI drunk driving lawyers may be able to get your charges reduced.

If there is no way to get your charges thrown out, then the next best thing is to get them reduced to a lesser degree. Not only would this cut down the jail time you might be required to serve, but it would also lower the fines you would be required to pay. For example, here are the penalties you will be faced with if you are convicted of DWI for the second time within a seven-year timeframe:

Penalties for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)/Driving While impaired (DWI)

This applies to individuals who had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher.

  • $200 to $1000 fine, and one or more of the following:
    • Five days to one year in jail.
    • 30 to 90 days of community service
  • Having your driver’s license revoked for a minimum of one year, or five years if there was a prior revocation within seven years.
  • License plate confiscation.
  • Vehicle immobilization for 90 to 180 days, unless the vehicle is forfeited.
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
  • Six points added to your driving record.

Penalties for Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI)

When a person is charged with OWVI, it means no BAC level was recorded as the officer determined they were unable to operate their vehicle safely. The penalties for an OWVI are the same as those listed above. However, instead of having six points added to your driving record, you would only have four.

Now, if you were to hire a DWI lawyer in Clinton County, MI who was able to get your charges reduced, you could potentially be faced with less severe penalties such as those a first-time DWI offender would be faced with. The penalties for a DWI when it is your first offense is as follows:

Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) or Operating With Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine (OWPD) Penalties:

  • $100 to $500 fine and one or more of the following:
    • Up to 93 days in jail.
    • Up to 360 hours of community service.
  • Having your driver’s license suspended for 30 days, followed by license restrictions for 150 days.
  • Possible vehicle immobilization.
  • Possible ignition interlock.
  • Six points added to your driving record.

Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) Penalties for First Time Offenders:

  • Up to a $300 fine, and one or more of the following:
    • Up to 93 days in jail.
    • Up to 360 hours of community service.
  • Driver’s license restrictions for 90 days, or 180 days if you were impaired by a controlled substance.
  • Possible vehicle immobilization.
  • Four points added to the offender’s driving record.

Important: When a driver is caught operating their vehicle while intoxicated with a high BAC level (0.17% or higher), the penalties become much more severe.

The second reason why you should hire a Clinton County, MI drunk driving attorney after being charged with OWI/DWI is they can push for you to receive a restricted license so that you are able to continue working and/or taking care of your everyday responsibilities. In most cases, a DWI offender loses all driving privileges for an extended period of time, making it more difficult for you to provide for you and your family. However, when you retain a lawyer, they can prove to the judge that you are deserving of having some of your driving privileges restored.

A Clinton County, MI OWI attorney will help you understand the plea bargains that are offered and even request that modifications be made. While many DWI cases are resolved through plea bargaining, you need to be sure you know what type of agreement you are making and that the one you are considering taking is reasonable.

What is the risk in not hiring a Clinton County, MI OWI lawyer after being charged with an alcohol-related offense?

Until a court finds you guilty of OWI/DWI/OWVI or you submit a plea indicating you accept the conviction but do not admit guilt, then you haven’t been convicted of the crime. Therefore, you still stand a chance at fighting your charges and potentially getting them thrown out or reduced. Now, the only way to successfully do this is when you are represented by an experienced Clinton County, MI DWI law firm such as the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. Now only will our firm protect your interests and defend your rights, but we will be right there with you by your side throughout the duration of your case.

To learn more about what the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. can do for you or to schedule an initial consultation with Clinton County OWI attorney Stuart R. Shafer, contact us at 517-487-6603.


You can reach the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. at:

1223 Turner Street, #333

Lansing, MI 48906

Phone: 517-487-6603