One DUI charge and conviction can significantly impact one’s life and future. Subsequent charges can leave individuals facing even more penalties – unless the look-back period has passed.
What is a look-back period?
Several institutions use look-back periods to review an individual’s history, such as Medicaid programs and the IRS. However, all states have a look-back period for DUI charges as well.
Regarding a DUI, the look-back period determines how long the charge or conviction remains on an individual’s driving record. This means that:
- A subsequent DUI offense within the look-back period could potentially be considered a second offense; but
- A second DUI offense after the look-back period passes would often not count as a second offense, but another first offense.
It is critical for drivers to understand how the look-back period works in Michigan, so they can determine what kinds of penalties they might be facing and how they can fight the charges.
Michigan has two look-back periods
Michigan is one of the few states in the country that has two DUI look-back periods. These periods are:
- Seven years: Once seven years pass after an individual’s first DUI charge, the charge will no longer appear on their record. Therefore, prosecutors and other agencies cannot use that charge against individuals.
- A lifetime: A third DUI offense, regardless of how many years have passed, is a felony. It will remain on an individual’s record.
In some cases, a look-back period can work in an individual’s favor, which is why all Michigan drivers should know how they work before they get behind the wheel.