How Long After a Drunk Driving Arrest Will I Have a Court Date?
When it comes to OWI arrests and procedures, it’s fair to say that every single police agency, prosecutor’s office, and court in Southeastern Michigan operates differently. In Washtenaw County, for first-offense drunk driving arrests, a driver is typically released from the station, hospital or jail and is notified of criminal charges weeks (or sometimes months) later. However, if there’s an “aggravating factor” such as a high blood alcohol level, a prior conviction or an injury accident, police will often seek a warrant for the person’s arrest or request an immediate Arraignment. In Livingston County and parts of Wayne County (including Plymouth), even a true first offender may expect to see a Judge or Magistrate for an Arraignment the day after an OWI arrest.
Some prosecutor’s offices are so backed up that a 6-month waiting period between an OWI arrest and an official charge isn’t uncommon. Some courts are so behind and short-staffed that court dates are being set months into the future. This becomes extraordinarily stressful for clients who were planning a move or who have travel plans. And what about those clients who had their driver’s license confiscated? How long is it reasonable for them to wait before their OWI cases are resolved? Unfortunately, the answer to that question isn’t comforting: months and months, depending upon the police agency and court. What if that person wants to fight their case and have a trial? They may end up waiting a year or more due to the current Covid case backload, and perhaps even indefinitely.
Daniel T. Geherin, owner of the Geherin Law Group in Ann Arbor, is a criminal defense attorney and drunk driving defense specialist. Dan—a former prosecutor and board-certified criminal trial attorney—has defended OWI charges throughout Southeastern Michigan. He has 22+ years’ experience helping OWI clients in courts in Washtenaw, Wayne, Monroe, Lenawee, Jackson, Livingston and Oakland Counties. Dan thought he had seen it all, until the Pandemic hit. Now, Every court and county operates much differently than they did prior to March 2020. Guiding clients through those changes is often a challenge, as he often encounters questions like:
“Can I travel out of state while I’m waiting for my OWI court date?”
“Can I drive before my Arraignment, without an actual driver’s license?”
“How long does the prosecutor have to file charges after my DUI arrest?”
“Are there any due process/speedy trial motions that you can file to get my OWI case dismissed?”
Dan, the author of The Michigan Drunk Driving and Driver’s License Restoration Handbook, has advised countless first-time OWI/DUI clients on how best to protect themselves to either avoid or lessen the consequences of a conviction. Dan and team will obtain all of the records related to arrest, including all police video, and review it carefully to determine whether a good litigation challenge exists to possibly avoid a conviction. They have a long and proven track record of success in defending and litigating drunk driving cases, including many dismissals and trial acquittals.
In 2020 and 2021, the Geherin Law Group was named a “Tier 1” OWI/DUI Defense Firm in Ann Arbor by US News Best Lawyers. Dan has consistently been named by Michigan SuperLawyers Magazine in the field of DUI Defense. Dan has been given the highest rating for legal ethics and ability, AV-Preeminent, by Martindale Hubbell. The firm prides itself on transparent pricing, including flat/fixed fees and military/student discounts. We offer a free, no-pressure initial consultation. While retention is never cheap, it is often the best way to help avoid or lessen the severe direct and secondary consequences that come with an OWI conviction.
If you’re facing a drunk driving case, and are concerned over the delay since your arrest, please consider the combination of extensive criminal and license experience of the Geherin Law Group. We’re available 24/7, and dedicated to our clients, and we’ll fight zealously to protect and restore your reputation and driver’s license. For more information, schedule an appointment, or call us 24/7 at (734) 263-2780.