The current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the day-to-day lives of everybody in the Detroit area and Michigan in general. For example, substantial fewer people have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol during the stay-at-home orders — most likely because bars were closed during and fewer drivers were on the road. But don’t kid yourself — Michigan police in Detroit and elsewhere are still enforcing DUI/OWI laws.
Generally, dealing with DUI charges is stressful – it’s a lengthy and complicated process. With the coronavirus, the clients at George Law, (248) 470-4300, have been even more scared, embarrassed, and want it to go away as quickly as possible. They want to know how it will affect their OWI.
Will COVID-19 Make My DUI Case Last Longer?
Probably. The length of every DUI case varies, and the DUI process from arrest to court resolution differs dramatically. If everything goes smoothly, the attorneys at George Law can usually resolve your case favorably in about four months.
With the COVID pandemic, Michigan Courts have been instructed to follow guidelines suggested by the Center for Disease Control. As a result, they are more likely to grant continuances of Court dates. For our clients, many Courts have extended dates on their own. Without pressure from the courts to move your case forward, and because we really have no idea when normalcy will return, your OWI case may take a lot longer than the four-month average.
Impact of Coronavirus on DUI Trials
In Michigan, if you are charged with DUI, you are entitled to a jury trial. As of today, though, DUI jury trials have been vacated. The Center for Disease Control guidelines don’t let you bring 40 potential jurors, a judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, bailiff, and court staff into a single room. The courts are setting new DUI jury trial dates out several months in the future. Moreover, there is no timetable for when normal court procedures will be resumed.
We assume that the longer COVID-19 interrupts the courts’ ordinary procedures, the longer we will experience their consequences – delays could be noticeable for months or even years to come. Nobody knows when trial dates will be set. And when trials do begin, there will be an unprecedented backlog of cases.
This could actually help your DUI case. The Constitution guarantees you a speedy and fair trial. What if coronavirus prevents this? Is the pandemic trumping the constitution? Nobody knows, but it surely could prove beneficial in working out a deal with the prosecutor. With the backlog of trials, prosecutors may want to resolve as many cases as possible.
Impact of Coronavirus on my Jail Time
George Law is receiving a lot of concerned calls to (248) 470-4300 from clients regarding health-safety concerns over serving jail time during the pandemic. Michigan courts have adopted no official changes, but we can try to delay your jail-start date as long as possible. Courts recognize that coronavirus is an extraordinary circumstance, and we expect courts to take it into consideration.
We will also investigate your underlying health conditions that may be beneficial to tell the judge. It is crucial that you act quickly — you should contact your attorney immediately if you have any concerns or underlying health issues. We can make sure that the judge is fully informed of your circumstances.
Impact of COVID on your DUI/OWI Charges
If you are facing DUI charges, you must speak with an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible, like the attorneys at George Law. We offer free new-client consultations by phone or a video-conferencing platform. Call now and get the George Law team of attorneys working on your case immediately. Call (248) 470-4300.