Arrested for Drunk Driving Wexford County - What should I do if charged with a DUI at the 84th District Court?
DUI Cases at the 84th District Court, Wexford Count
In the 84th District Court, Wexford County, Michigan, presided over by the Honorable Audrey D. Van Alst, Chief Judge, cases related to drunk driving offenses are handled with due diligence and strict adherence to Michigan law. A strong understanding of the court’s procedures and anticipatory actions significantly impacts the results of these cases.
When representing clients in DUI cases, there are typically two categories they fall into: pre-arraignment or post-arraignment. Each of these scenarios involves a slightly different strategy.
For clients who are pre-arraignment, meaning they've been arrested but not formally charged (usually due to awaiting chemical test results), I initiate our own bond conditions. This is in anticipation of what Judge Van Alst may order, demonstrating our proactive approach when we appear before her.
If my client has already been arraigned, our strategy revolves around strictly adhering to the bond conditions set by the court, supplemented with proactive steps. This combined approach helps maintain a positive image of the client in the court’s perspective.
Michigan law mandates that when setting bond in a DUI case, the arraigning magistrate or judge, in this case, Judge Van Alst, must consider the risk of flight and potential risk to the public. Although most DUI clients pose little flight risk, there exists a valid concern about their possible alcohol or drug consumption while on bond, which could lead to re-offending. This scenario is what the court is most keen to avoid.
Hence, standard bond conditions often involve the defendant abstaining from drugs or alcohol, with regular monitoring to ensure compliance. These conditions, coupled with a minimal flight risk, often result in a personal or nominal bond. Factors considered by the 84th District Court when setting bond include:
- Defendant's prior criminal record, including juvenile offenses
- Defendant's record of appearance or non-appearance at court proceedings or attempts to avoid prosecution
- Defendant's history of substance abuse or addiction
- Defendant's mental condition, character, and reputation for dangerousness
- The seriousness of the charged offense, presence or absence of threats, and the likelihood of conviction and probable sentence
- Defendant's employment status, history, financial situation, as they relate to the ability to post bail
- The availability of responsible community members who could vouch for or supervise the defendant
- Defendant's ties to the community, including family relationships and length of residence
- Any other relevant facts that bear on the risk of non-appearance or danger to the public
Alcohol testing is commonly stipulated as a bond condition for DUI cases at the 84th District Court. When such testing has not been ordered, my clients often opt for proactive alcohol testing to demonstrate sobriety and create a positive impression in the eyes of Judge Van Alst. In helping my clients navigate this situation, I aim to guide them towards the most suitable testing method for their circumstances.
Several clients prefer to avoid standard court-ordered testing due to its inconvenience. To accommodate their needs, alternative testing methods can be arranged that suit their schedules while still meeting the court's objectives. These include preliminary breath tests (PBTs), transdermal alcohol tethers, in-home breathalyzers, ignition interlock devices, and EtG or EtS alcohol tests.
Every method offers unique advantages. While PBTs are common and affordable, they can be inconvenient due to their frequent need. Transdermal alcohol tethers provide continuous monitoring, in-home breathalyzers add flexibility with scheduling, ignition interlock devices ensure sobriety before driving, and EtG or EtS tests can detect alcohol consumption up to 72 hours prior, beneficial for clients with unusual schedules.
In conclusion, navigating DUI cases at the 84th District Court, Wexford County, involves a thorough understanding of Judge Van Alst's expectations, Michigan law, and proactive measures that help portray the client's commitment to sobriety and adherence to court orders.
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