Prosecutors take drunk driving charges very seriously. While there may be interest groups who have sympathy and understanding for many different crimes there will be nobody fighting for a person accused of drunk driving in Michigan except their lawyer.
In many cases, the prosecution will work up a drunk driving case carefully to make sure that the charges stick. This is why it is critical to retain an experienced Michigan DUI attorney to defend you. Among other things, we may be able to defend you by showing that a DUI warrant for a blood sample or arrest was not properly obtained. If you are concerned about how a DUI warrant for your blood was obtained, you should discuss your situation with an experienced Michigan DUI lawyer at Michigan Defense Law.
Under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, you are entitled to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. When a police officer wants to pull you over and detain you, he must have a reasonable suspicion of criminal wrongdoing. Moreover, with some exceptions, if the officer wants to search you, he needs to have probable cause.
In some cases, defendants refuse a breath test either when they are pulled over on the roadside or when they are taken to the police station after an arrest. If you refuse a breath test, the police can obtain a warrant to draw your blood by establishing probable cause to believe that you are under the influence. This means that a blood sample can be taken even though you did not consent. It is fairly straightforward for the police to obtain a search warrant to draw blood, even after hours. Blood tests may be used for both alcohol and drug-related DUI.
Anyone who obtains a driving license in Michigan also agrees to the state’s implied consent policy. Implied consent refers to a person’s agreement to provide a sample for BAC testing if they are suspected to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Implied consent is considered a part of a Michigan resident’s driving privileges.
BAC chemical testing uses breath and blood samples to determine a person’s blood alcohol content and see whether they’ve been drunk driving. The legal limit on alcohol consumption in Michigan is 0.08 percent. A BAC of 0.17 percent and higher can result in severe penalties. Those who are tested to be above the legal limit will most likely receive an Operating while Intoxicated (OWI) charge.
If an officer pulls you over at a traffic stop and suspects that you are driving while impaired, they will often ask you to perform a breathalyzer test. If you refuse, an officer will usually seek a warrant for you to give a sample of your blood to check for alcohol and to determine your BAC.
If you are arrested for a DUI charge, it is important to seek the legal representation of an experienced DUI lawyer right away. A skilled attorney may be able to help you create a solid defense strategy and help you protect your freedom. Attorney Paul J. Tafelski of Michigan Defense Law has years of experience defending his clients from DUI charges. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
When they pull you over for suspected DUI or another violation, the police will be on the lookout for whether you exhibit signs of intoxication or other crimes. They will note, for instance, if you have bloodshot eyes, alcohol on your breath, or slurred speech. This evidence can be used not only to arrest you for drunk driving but also to obtain a warrant for a blood test. The court is empowered to require you to give a blood sample without your consent when the police are able to show probable cause.
You should be aware that the circumstances of an accident DUI are a little different. If the police believe that you got into an accident because you were under the influence, you may be taken to the hospital by ambulance. Blood may be drawn for medical purposes. In that situation, blood can be drawn without your consent. For example, if you are in a car crash at an intersection and fall unconscious, the doctors may draw your blood as part of providing medical care. The police are entitled to access these results under a medical draw exception. If the test reveals that your blood alcohol content was over the limit or that you had drugs in your system that impaired your driving ability, the information could be used against you.
The police must respect your constitutional and procedural rights, both when they pull you over and afterward. In order to pull you over, they must have a reasonable suspicion of criminal wrongdoing; this is a much lower standard than probable cause, but an officer must still be able to state a reason for pulling you over, something more than a mere hunch. It may be appropriate to show that the police did not have a reasonable suspicion of criminal wrongdoing to pull you over in the first place. If the court suppresses all the evidence obtained in the unreasonable stop, this would include the evidence that provided the police with probable cause to arrest you and secure the warrant for a blood test. In addition, in seeking a search warrant for your blood the police need to follow proper procedures. For example, they will prepare an affidavit for the search warrant where the officer swears to certain factual findings related to your case that demonstrate probable cause to believe you were operating a vehicle under the influence. If the officer is untruthful or inaccurate in the sworn statement, we may be able to challenge the search warrant at a later date. If the search warrant were deemed improperly obtained the blood test results would be suppressed and the case could be won or would at least be severely damaged. Only after a thorough review of the evidence can we determine the best strategy for defending you in your OWI case. But only a complete review will often reveal the best strategy.
It can be challenging to show that the police did not have probable cause to get a warrant, such that the test results should be excluded. If you are concerned about a DUI warrant in Michigan, you should discuss the circumstances and charges with our seasoned attorneys. Michigan Defense Law represents clients in Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, and Washtenaw Counties. Call us at (248) 451-2200 or complete our online form.