Charged with DUI Mason County Michigan - Navigating Bond Conditions in DUI Cases: A Comprehensive Guide for 79th District Court
Michigan Drunk Driving - Ludington - Scottville - Mason County
If you or someone you know is facing a drunk driving charge in the 79th District Court in Mason County, Michigan, it's crucial to understand how bond conditions play a significant role in the court proceedings and the defendant's life during the case. The Honorable John David Middlebrook and Honorable Jeffrey C. Nellis preside over these cases, and it's important to anticipate their concerns and understand their expectations.
Pre-Arraignment vs Post-Arraignment
In my practice, I typically meet new clients charged with drunk driving under two different circumstances: pre-arraignment or post-arraignment. The arraignment is a formal reading of a criminal charging document in the presence of the defendant, where they enter a plea.
If the client has not yet been arraigned, I often introduce proactive measures that we anticipate a judge might order as bond conditions. This proactive approach positions us favorably when we appear before Judges Middlebrook or Nellis. If the client has already been arraigned, we discuss adherence to the existing bond conditions, and often add additional proactive elements.
Risk Assessment and Bond Conditions
When setting bond in a drunk driving case in the 79th District Court, Judges Middlebrook and Nellis are mandated by law to consider the risk of flight and the potential risk of harm to the public. Most DUI defendants do not pose a flight risk, but the possibility of re-offending, especially by consuming alcohol or drugs while out on bond, is a legitimate concern.
To alleviate these concerns, conditions of bond often require the defendant to abstain from drugs or alcohol. Regular testing ensures compliance and, when the risk of flight is low, can warrant a personal or nominal bond.
Determining Appropriate Bond
The judges consider several factors when determining the appropriate bond, including the defendant's:
Prior criminal record
Appearance history at court proceedings
Substance abuse history
Mental condition and reputation for dangerousness
Seriousness of the offense and likelihood of conviction
Employment and financial history
Availability of community members who can vouch for the defendant
Ties to the community, including family ties
Any other factors affecting the risk of nonappearance or danger to the public
Alcohol Testing: The Primary Bond Condition
Alcohol testing is the most common bond condition in drunk driving cases in Mason County. Even if it's not ordered by the court, I advise my clients to proactively engage in alcohol testing as a way to show their commitment to sobriety. It's important to choose a testing method that allows them to maintain a normal life outside the courthouse.
For those who wish to avoid the inconvenience of standard court-ordered testing, there are alternatives that can accommodate their schedules while still achieving the goal of ensuring sobriety. Here are a few methods currently available for alcohol testing:
Preliminary breath tests (PBTs): This is the most common and least expensive method. The defendant appears at a testing facility to provide a breath sample. This could be daily or several times a week, depending on the judge's order.
Transdermal alcohol tethers: These devices can detect alcohol consumption 24/7 by analyzing the perspiration on the skin. They provide a more convenient option for the defendant and a more comprehensive method of monitoring for the judge.
In-home Breathalyzers: These plug into a wall socket and don't require a telephone line. Some advanced devices have cellular connectivity, continuously transmitting results and eliminating the need for data downloads.
Ignition interlock devices: Installed in a vehicle, these devices require the driver to perform a breath test before the vehicle can be started.
Ethyl glucuronide (EtG) or Ethyl sulfate (EtS) alcohol testing: These tests measure alcohol metabolites in urine. They may detect alcohol consumption for up to 72 hours prior to the test and are suitable for those with irregular schedules or travel commitments.
Understanding and complying with bond conditions is an integral part of dealing with a DUI charge in Mason County. As an attorney, my role is to guide my clients through these complexities and ensure they put their best foot forward at every stage of their case in the 79th District Court.
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.