Many clients ask me about getting drunk driving charges reduced down to a non-drunk driving offense. I tell all of my clients that this is a rare outcome; I've been able to achieve this goal for many clients, but the facts, the prosecutor and the circumstances all might align in an almost perfect manner.
A prosecutor controls the charge, and will only make a reduction down to one of these charges if there is an issue with their case. This may mean an issue with a witness, or a grey area element such as a low BAC or an issue proofing operation. Prosecutor's don't like to dismiss DUI charges, because that's a "big story" if became public, and they don't want to create a slippery slope for other defense attorneys to seek that outcome in future cases.
While a prosecutor will usually not reduce an offense below OWVI, a reduced offense plea to reckless or careless driving may be possible where a case is extremely weak.
A reckless driving conviction under MCL 257.626 will cause the Secretary of State to issue a 90-day suspension once an abstract of conviction from the district court has been received. MCL 257.319(3)(b). This is considered a hard suspension, and circuit courts have no jurisdiction to grant a restricted license during the 90-day suspension. MCL 257.323(3). Nevertheless, a reckless driving conviction with an unappealable 90-day suspension would still seem preferable to having a drinking offense on one’s record.
Careless driving is a three-point civil infraction with no license suspension. See People v Greenlee, 133 Mich App 734, 350 NW2d 313 (1984).
A reduced plea to an attempted offense of whatever kind no longer has any benefit. The Secretary of State is required to treat the attempted conviction as if it were a conviction for the completed offense. MCL 257.204b
What are the driver's license sanctions for reckless driving in Michigan? Is it better than a DUI conviction?
On receipt of a conviction for reckless driving from a district court, the Secretary of State will issue a 90-day mandatory suspension via mail to the defendant’s last known address.
Two convictions for reckless driving during a 7-year period, including violations of substantially similar local ordinances and laws of other states, will result in a revocation and denial of the license because the defendant is considered a habitually reckless driver. MCL 257.303(2)(a). Many states do not have a lesser drinking and driving crime and instead use reckless driving during plea bargaining.
As for revocation and denial caused by two reckless driving convictions within 7 years, one can only ask what the standard of review will be at the Administrative Hearings Section (AHS) (formerly the Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD)) once that individual is entitled to a hearing (that is, after 1 year for the first revocation and after 5 years for the second). Traditionally, the AHS has reviewed drunk drivers who have multiple offenses at the conclusion of the revocation to determine their fitness to return to the road. The inquiry always centers on the person’s abstinence from alcohol. But how does a license appeal examiner determine that a person is no longer reckless? It would appear that there simply are no standards for review and that anything less than a full restoration of the license would be an arbitrary and capricious action on the part of the hearing examiner.
Ann Arbor Office Location
Plymouth Office Location
Representing DUI Clients in Michigan
Representing clients charged with a DUI in Ann Arbor, Canton, Brighton, Howell, Saline, Adrian, Taylor, Plymouth, Northville, Westland, Ypsilanti, Pittsfield Towsnhip, Warren, Sterling Heights, Farmington, Pontiac, Romulus, Lansing, Novi, South Lyon, Southfield, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Royal Oak, Troy, Rochester, Jackson, East Lansing, Garden City, Livonia, Dearborn, Detroit, St Clair Shores, Hazel Park, Ferndale, Madison Heights, Waterford, Milford, Shelby Township Clarkston, Oak Park, Berkley, Fraser, Sterling Heights, Clinton Township and others throughout Washtenaw, Wayne, Monroe, Jackson, Genesee, Macomb, Ingham, Lenawee, Livingston and Oakland County.