Sobriety Court can help you stay out of jail and gain a restricted license. You are eligible if you have been arrested for a second OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) offense within the last seven years. This special type of court is an intensive program monitored by the Probation Department. Entry is voluntary and once enrolled, there is strong accountability for your behavior. The program is composed of 72 weeks and four phases. The front end of the program is more demanding and quite costly, but as you demonstrate compliance, there is a gradual decrease of obligation. The types of responsibilities include attending Alcoholics Anonymous, therapy, random drug and alcohol testing, and educational classes to name a few. There may even be surprise home visits to check on your progress.
Get Your License Back
You can get a restricted license as long as you have been enrolled for 45 days in Sobriety Court and have a camera ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. This benefit only remains as long as you have adhered to all of your ordered conditions. A curfew may also be imposed dictating when you must return home and stay there. Violations are taken very seriously and may result in the loss of your restricted license and reinstatement of the customary 1-year suspension.
Alternative to Jail
As an attendee of Sobriety Court, you will receive rehabilitation and maintain your freedom instead of sitting in jail as a punishment for your offense. The jail sentence is held in abeyance until successful completion of the program. That being said, should you not follow the rules or receive repeated warnings and sanctions, that same jail sentence will be restored, and you will be incarcerated.
Oakland County Gets a Hefty Sum to Keep Sobriety Courts Operating
$802,100 will be distributed to Oakland County Sobriety Courts for fiscal year 2018. These funds were awarded by the Michigan Supreme Court through grant petitions from respective courts. Sobriety courts were created with the intent of reducing repeat alcohol-related driving offenses. The program has proven effective and according to the 2016 Michigan Supreme Court review, “graduates from the program were nearly 2 times less likely to re-offend after two years, unemployment among adult drug court graduates dropped by more than half, and 90% of juvenile drug court graduates improved their education level.” With this money, courts are encouraged to keep their specialized docket, which is something that could be very good for you.
Entry into the Sobriety Court Program
Candidates are not just accepted simply because they have been charged with the second offense. Not all courts have a Sobriety Court, so this option may not be available to you. Another complication could be that enrollment is closed because of too many participants. You could even be faced with the fact that the judge does not think you would be successful and doesn’t want to utilize their limited resources on you. As there are many benefits to this type of program, there are many barriers to entry.
Oakland County Criminal Defense Team for You
The legal team at Lewis & Dickstein, PLLC know how to navigate the system to get you the best possible chance of being accepted. When your freedom is at risk, you will want us on your side fighting for you every step of the way. Don’t let missed opportunities affect your liberty. Give us a call at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance form and we will promptly contact you.