Legal Question in Criminal Law in Michigan

I recently got my first DUI and was sentenced to 15 days in jail. And I drinked before going to jail, so they did test and it was bad. So As I'm sitting in jail for 5 days I had interview with a judge and she gave me 2 more days as probation stated I can't drink. I know it was stupid, and I tough probation starts when I get out of jail. Now, how was this going to affect my probation, or she already punished me for it? Or probation officer knew about this and told judge to give me 2 more days? I have to see probation tomorrow and it is eating me inside.

Asked on 10/03/13, 12:37 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Neil O'Brien Eaton County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

I usually see that the terms of the sentencing order say that one of the terms of probation includes X number of days in jail. So you are on probation from the moment the sentencing hearing ends and includes the time you are in jail. Probation does not kick in as soon as you leave jail. And most probation terms, regardless of the crime, says "no alcohol or illegal drugs". Coming to jail as you did, after you were sentenced, suggests that you left the courthouse after the sentencing hearing and reported to jail at a later hour or day. If so, then you were on probation for that short time and drank. That's a violation, and you were sanctioned 2 more days of jail for that error in judgment. We recently had a case where a defendant was serving jail on weekend, including the Thanksgiving weekend (the anniversary of his Black Friday shoplifting spree) but was told to report to jail on Thanksgiving night at 8 pm; he did, but he was drunk b/c he'd had wine of other beverages with his family meal. To top that off, he drove himself the last leg of the trip into the jail parking lot, so he was 'drunk driving' to boot. The judge did not look kindly on that because drinking on probation violated probation, and violating a criminal law against drunk driving was another violation. Back to you: Your probation violation seems to have been dealt with by serving the extra few days. You're lucky. You could have lost it altogether, or you could have been ordered as a punishment to serve additional time, or do more community service work, or extra programs to get you to stop drinking or making bad decisions. The probation officer probably did make a recommendation to the judge (which is part of their job). But the judge took that into consideration and made an independent decision of what response to take for your violation of the order ... which is the judge's job. Your job is to obey the court orders and state laws, and to stop acting stupidly, immaturely and selfishly. Stop doing what makes you feel good at the moment, or justifying/rationalizing it in your mind (example: "I thought probation starts when I get out of jail").

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Answered on 10/03/13, 1:12 pm

William Morrison Action Defense Center

Just don't show up for your appointment with any alcohol in your system.

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Answered on 10/04/13, 8:25 am

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