The most common question we are asked by a person charged with first offense DUI is, “Will I get jail time?” The answer is probably not in most courts. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, jail should not be given for a first offense so long as an experienced, fearless and passionate OWI defense attorney represents the defendant. The trend in Michigan is to start giving out jail sentences, even to first offenders, and in some courts, this has become routine. The best defense to an OWI charge and the greatest likelihood of avoiding jail is by working with an experienced and successful defense law firm.

Do you need a lawyer for a first offense?

Zealous and effective representation is more critical than you may think. Although many judges rarely give jail to a first offender, they frequently order years of probation with excessive, burdensome and expensive conditions. The financial cost and time commitment for therapy, impact panels, testing, alcohol tether, community service, probation appointments, court reviews, and other terms and conditions of probation can be oppressive. One of the greatest problems faced by probationers are judges that nitpick over even the most technical, and sometimes accidental, variations from probation conditions. Judges who do not order jail time at the original sentences are far more likely to consider incarceration for a violation of probation, even based on a technicality.

The best DWI lawyers spend time not just making sure their client’s stay out of jail but they also put forth maximum effort to minimize the terms and conditions of probation. Terms of probation with complicated and tedious terms and conditions can set the defendant up for failure.

How much jail can be ordered for a first offender charged with OWI?

The maximum sentence for OWI or Impaired Driving in Michigan is 93 days. If a judge is considering a jail sentence, there are alternatives that the judge may find acceptable if offered in a credible and persuasive way. For example, a judge may be persuaded to suspend a jail sentence, allow work release, consider home confinement, or time in a treatment facility in exceptional circumstances. As previously stated, most judges in Michigan rarely sentence first-time defendants to jail time.

Defense Attorney for OWI First Offense

Whether the charge is your first or not, the Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is ready, willing, and able to protect and defend you. We have decades of experience successfully defending first offenders charged with OWI, DUI, Impaired Driving, and OWPD. In many cases, we have been successful in getting first offenses dismissed or reduced to nonalcohol-related offenses.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Lewis & Dickstein PLLC

If you need assistance with a Michigan DUI charge and you would like a free consultation with an experienced OWI-DUI lawyer, do not hesitate to contact us at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or simply fill out a Request for Assistance Form and a top criminal defense attorney will contact you.


We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

Contact Us - Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys