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Updated by Jeff Randa on Aug 10, 2017
Headline for Michigan Misdemeanor and Felony DUIs: Understanding Your Charges Following a DUI Arrest
Jeff Randa Jeff Randa
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Michigan Misdemeanor and Felony DUIs: Understanding Your Charges Following a DUI Arrest

With a DUI conviction, you could lose your ability to drive, be forced to install an ignition interlock device, or be placed on probation for an extended period of time—not to mention the fines, court fees, and possible jail time you could face. This list outlines some of the main differences between a misdemeanor DUI and a felony DUI, as well as the potential consequences within Michigan’s DUI laws.


Misdemeanor DUIs

In Michigan, it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and anyone caught with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher can be charged with DUI/DWI. In most cases, a first or second-time offender will be charged with a misdemeanor DUI, which can result in the penalties and costs listed below:

  • 93 to 180 days in jail
  • Driver’s license suspension for up to 12 months
  • Fines and court costs from $100 to $700

A misdemeanor drunk driving charge has long-term consequences, but a driver with a clean record would be able to handle the penalties and return to driving after all requirements have been met.


Felony DUIs

A felony DUI is obviously a bit more serious than a misdemeanor DUI, and as such, the consequences are much more severe. Anyone who has been convicted of two prior drunk driving charges, either in Michigan or in another state that follows the same or similar drunk driving laws, can be charged with a felony DUI rather than a misdemeanor. Drivers are also convicted of felony DUIs if their drunk driving arrest involved injury or bodily harm to another person, or any property damage.



The potential penalties for a felony DUI are:

  • Anywhere from 30 days in jail to 5 years in prison
  • Driver’s license revocation for one to five years
  • Fines and court costs between $200 to $1,000
  • Immobilization of vehicle

Drunk Driving Convictions

In both misdemeanor and felony DUI cases, the prosecution must prove that you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and that your blood alcohol content was above the legal limit of 0.08. This evidence can be provided through an eyewitness account of erratic driving behavior, performance results on a field sobriety test, and results of chemical testing.


DUI? Contact a Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer Right Away

Understanding the charges you are facing can help you and your DUI attorney navigate the legal requirements to defend your case. If you are facing a misdemeanor or felony DUI, contact a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.