helps people win back their lives
If you are convicted of either a misdemeanor or felony DUI in Michigan, it is highly likely that you will receive some form of probation as a part of your sentence. In general, a first offense DUI misdemeanor will result in a 1-year term of probation. A second offense misdemeanor will result in an 18-month term, and for felony DUI you may be looking at up to the maximum term of probation which in Michigan is five years.
The primary purpose of probation is to allow the court to monitor your behavior and ensure that you are following all the terms and conditions of probation as imposed by the judge at sentencing. While on probation you are usually precluded from using alcohol and any non-prescribed drugs, not pick up any new offenses, engage in substance abuse education or treatment, including possibly 12 step attendance. You are likely also to not be allowed to leave Michigan without notifying the court and obtaining their permission.
Probation is often considered a privilege and the primary focus of the judge and the probation department monitoring you is to encourage public protection. If you're not using drugs or alcohol, not continuing criminal behavior and are employed or going to school, the thinking is that you are far less a danger to the community.Types of Probation in Michigan
Depending on the circumstances of your case, the court in which your case is pending and your prior criminal record, you may be ordered to participate in one of two types of probation: non-reporting or reporting probation.Non-Reporting Probation
Non-reporting probation is by far the most lenient type of probation. It is also the most rarely used form of probation in Michigan. Under non-reporting probation, you are not required to check in with a probation officer—you simply must refrain from breaking any laws or having any more criminal charges leveled against you. At the end of the assigned probation period, the judge will check your record to confirm that you have stayed clear of legal troubles.Reporting With General and/or Special Conditions
This type of probation requires you to periodically check in with a probation officer, typically monthly. You may also be ordered to refrain from using alcohol or drugs—which can be monitored by alcohol or drug testing—and to participate in community service. You also may not be able to leave the state without permission of the court. Aside from these statutory conditions, the court can also impose special conditions of probation. Some common conditions of probation include being ordered into residential treatment or some other form of education or counseling, find a job, continue working, obtain your GED or stay in school. Some judges even require you to write essays on relevant topics.Violation of DUI Probation
If you fail to stay in meticulous compliance with probation you may face a charge of violation of probation. These kinds of cases usually start with something called a "show cause." This is short for you being ordered to "show cause" as to why the court should not do whatever it is about to do, meaning hold in contempt of court, or in this case, hold in violation of probation. If this happens you have a right to demand a hearing, but if you lose, you may be facing a variety of sanctions including possibly lengthy incarceration.