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Commercial Driver DUI

Michigan Lawyers Fighting for Your Rights

You may need your commercial driver’s license to keep your family afloat financially. Losing your commercial driver’s license can mean that you will struggle to pay rent or your mortgage, or even buy groceries. Drunk or drugged driving can threaten the license upon which you rely for work. A commercial driver DUI is serious. If you were charged with drunk driving and you have a CDL, you should discuss your situation with the Michigan DUI lawyers at Michigan Defense Law.

Commercial Driver DUI

If you are a commercial driver in Michigan, the state strictly regulates what your blood alcohol content can be. You can be convicted of Operating While Visibly Impaired or Operating While Intoxicated if you were operating your vehicle with a blood alcohol content that is greater than .04%. The normal legal limit is .08%. A conviction for any sort of DUI, including operating while visibly impaired, will result in an automatic suspension of your commercial driver’s license for at least a year. No exceptions are made. This is not something a friendly judge can help you with. If the conviction goes on your record your CDL is suspended by the computer system as an administrative matter under the law. A crucial distinction many CDL holders do not realize is that your commercial driver’s license will be suspended even if you were driving your own vehicle, rather than the commercial vehicle for work, when you were arrested or convicted of a DUI.

Suspension and Revocation

A suspension of your commercial driver’s license means that your privilege is taken away for a period of time, but it is automatically returned to you upon completion of your suspension period. A revocation of your commercial driver’s license is more serious than having it suspended. To get your commercial driver’s license back once it has been revoked, you will need to start over again. You will need to apply again and go through the application process in the same way that you did when you first applied for a commercial driver’s license.

Defenses

Obviously, defending an OWI involving a commercial driver’s license is of the utmost importance to our clients. We fully appreciate the serious ramifications to the livelihood of our client. If you are facing this situation, it is very important that your attorney be experienced in DUI defense and have a thorough understand of all the areas that may present a defense. In some situations, if a strong defense can be mounted the prosecutors will consider plea bargains not usually given in OWI cases. If a case can be removed from the OWI category it is possible to save the CDL. But this doesn’t happen without the development of a strong, legitimate issue. Spotting these issues in what looks like an otherwise strong case requires skills and experience not possessed by most firms. At Michigan Defense Law we have decades of experience defending OWI cases and take pride in being able to spot issues that exist. Often times, these issues are spotted on the police videos, and they are developed by filing motions to suppress evidence or dismiss the case, prior to a trial. The earlier that our firm gets involved, the more easily that we can build a defense. All the aspects of a commercial driver’s license DUI need to be examined closely.

Sometimes a strong defense can be built around a constitutional or procedural misstep. For instance, you should only be pulled over by a police officer if he has a reasonable suspicion that a civil infraction has occurred. A reasonable suspicion needs to be more than a hunch or instinct; it should be based on a specific reason that the officer can articulate. If you were stopped without a reasonable suspicion, we will contest that issue. Winning that issue results in dismissal of the case.

Similarly, an officer must have probable cause to arrest you for the DUI. If an officer did not have probable cause to arrest you, it may be appropriate to file a motion to suppress evidence obtained after the arrest. For instance, if you performed well on all field sobriety tests but were still arrested there may be an available challenge. Also, we examine whether there is any basis to get the results of a chemical test suppressed. Often, this can be key evidence in the prosecutor’s case, and if the prosecutor does not have it for trial, they may be more inclined to dismiss your case or agree to a plea deal. Where there is a strong challenge to the evidence a plea bargain to get your DUI reduced to a non-alcohol-related offense, such as reckless driving, can sometimes occur. It may be appropriate to try to negotiate a plea deal in which you plead guilty to an alternative charge in order to avoid the impact of the DUI. In other cases, however, your best option may be to go to trial. Whatever needs to be done, we have the experience and training to help you through this situation.

Retain a Seasoned DUI Attorney in Michigan

Your job is vital to you. In most cases, truck drivers and other commercial drivers do not have a substantial amount saved when their income stream is under threat. Accordingly, if you have been charged with a commercial driver DUI in Michigan, you should talk to our seasoned attorneys about your situation. Michigan Defense Law represents clients in Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, and Washtenaw Counties. Call us at (248) 451-2200 or use our online form.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
My son was charged with two serious felonies for home invasion. Paul worked long and hard on the case and was able to negotiate a deal so that all of the charges were dismissed after my son completed probation. He is now in college without a criminal record. Mr. T.
★★★★★
I was arrested for drunk driving and possession of a controlled substance (Vicodin). Paul worked hard on the case and kept the felony off my record and got the drunk driving case reduced so that I kept my driver’s license and my job. He really cared about helping me. J.T.
★★★★★
When I recently had an issue at the airport, I decided to call Paul on the weekend. He called me back on a Sunday! He dealt with my issue without me having to fly back to Michigan and got it dismissed. Until you go through the court system especially for the first time, you don’t have a sense for how harrowing it can be. E.W.