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Drunk Driving Arrest in Michigan: Will I Be Released On Bail?

Drunk Driving Arrest in Michigan: Will I Be Released On Bail?

Being arrested in Michigan for driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, or both, is a frightening experience. If you are arrested for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) or Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI), you will be taken to a police station for booking. One of your first concerns will be how long you must remain in jail.

The procedure that follows - including the matter of being released on bail - may vary somewhat depending on the Michigan County in which you are arrested and the severity of the offense charged.

In Michigan, you have a constitutional right to bail that is not excessive. Unless a criminal suspect is accused of a very serious crime or is a flight risk, that person can and is usually released from jail on bond to await the resolution of the case in court.

In most routine OWI/OWVI arrests, you will likely be held in jail until the next day, so that your blood alcohol level can return to normal, and you can be legally and safely released. These routine arrests generally include first or second offenses, without serious bodily injury or death. They are classified as misdemeanors.

In most Michigan jurisdictions, jails post a standard bail schedule for misdemeanors. The amount is most often in the range of $100 - $300, but can sometimes be as high as $500. Some drivers may be released on their own recognizance or promise to appear in court. In some locations, the police let the person post a bond with an understanding that they will be contacted by the court, or that they have to contact the court on their own within a specified number of days. There may be arraignment after release, but in many instances, an attorney can file papers to eliminate the arraignment appearance altogether.

In a minority of Michigan localities, there is an arraignment the next day, prior to release from jail. The purposes of an arraignment include notifying the person arrested of the specific charges against them and to set bail and "conditions" of bail. A judge or magistrate presides.

The matter of bail - especially for felony OWI/OWVI charges, including third offenses, or incidents involving serious personal injury or death - is a matter of discretion for the court. It is based on a number of factors including, for example, the severity of the crime, the number of prior arrests, and the ties of the defendant to the community. It is set in an amount meant to assure the court that the defendant will return to court.

Conditions of a bond in DUI cases generally include no use or possession of alcohol or drugs. Recently, more and more courts in Michigan, including those in Metro-Detroit, have set as an additional condition of bond that the defendant submits to some kind of regular alcohol testing or tether. An experienced attorney may be able to have this condition waived, or otherwise minimized - including the kinds of tests, and the frequency and timing of those tests.

If you have been arrested for any OWI/OWVI in Washtenaw County, contact Ann Arbor drunk driving attorney Stacey Washington to help you navigate through this difficult situation in your life. Stacey Washington has helped her clients mitigate any long-term consequences of drunk driving charges and convictions.


Criminal Division - Bail - Bond & Conditional Release

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