An OWI / DUI conviction does not automatically lead to jail. In fact, most first-time offenders receive a probationary sentence to go along with fines, substance abuse treatment and community service. Your punishment will depend on whether it’s a repeat offense, your blood alcohol level, and whether any aggravating factors were involved, such as causing the death or serious bodily injury of another person. Also, each individual judge has their own policies and practices when it comes to putting people in jail. Every court and every judge is different. An Oakland County DUI lawyer can evaluate the circumstances of your case and argue for the most lenient sentence possible. Our attorneys handle many DUI cases in every court in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb Counties and are experienced in dealing with the individual circumstances of each court and judge. Contact us today.
First, you want a Michigan OWI / DUI lawyer who will listen to you, explain your case to you and answer your questions. Your freedom and your driving privileges are at stake, and you deserve information. Second, you want a lawyer who is knowledgeable of the constitutional and statutory aspects of drunk driving cases. Third, you want a DUI defense attorney who understands the scientific evidence, such as breath and blood test results that will be at issue in your case. Finally, you want a lawyer who knows the local prosecutors, judges, practices and procedures, which will be helpful in securing a dismissal or making sure you receive the lightest punishment possible under the circumstances. It is crucial that your lawyer have a great deal of experience with OWI / DUI cases specifically. Many lawyers don’t know what they don’t know and lead clients down the wrong path.
Our drunk driving attorney fees vary from case to case. The factors we take into account are the severity of the charges against you and how many hours and resources we have to invest in defending your case, including the amount it will cost for independent tests or experts. We always make sure to discuss our fees upfront with each client so they will know what to expect as their Michigan OWI / DUI / drunk driving case moves forward. You should feel no pressure to contact us. We are glad to meet in person or discuss your case on the telephone. After our discussion we can quote you a specific fee. You will never be pressured into hiring our firm so feel free to call now.
In Michigan, if you are convicted of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) your license will be suspended for 30 days and then restricted for 150 days. If you are convicted of Operating While Visually Impaired (OWVI) your license will be restricted for 90 days. These are the license penalties for a first offense. For a second offense within 7 years of either Operating While Intoxicated or Operating While Impaired the license penalty is revocation of your driving privileges for a minimum of one year. For a third offense within 10 years the penalty is revocation of your privilege for 5 years. These license sanctions are severe and require that you properly defend any drunk driving arrest your face.
A first-time offender convicted of drunk driving also faces:
By law, you are required to submit to a breath test when requested by the police. However, refusal to take a preliminary breath test offered on the side of the road is a civil infraction punishable by a fine and no other penalties. Refusal to take the test at the station can result in a one year suspension of your driving privileges unless one of four rights are violated. Immediately contact an experienced DWI lawyer at Paul J. Tafelski, P.C. to assist you with your case if you have refused a breath test. Failure to act immediately to challenge the accusation that you refused the test may result in you unknowingly waiving your rights to fight the case. DO NOT DELAY in contacting a DWI attorney.
Fines and costs vary somewhat between courts. Generally, you can expect fines and costs from the court to be somewhere between $500 and $1000. However, there is little known, hidden expense called the Driver Responsibility Law. That is a tax that the Governor and Legislature introduced in 2003 to raise money by penalizing bad drivers. The Driver Responsibility law imposes an additional and separate fine on drivers convicted of drunk driving. A party convicted of Operating While Intoxicated will be assessed a fine of $1000 per year for two years. A driver convicted of Operating While Impaired will be assessed $500 per year for two years. If you don’t pay the fine your license is indefinitely suspended by the state.
The first thing to remember is, never say “I only had two beers” because that’s what 98% of people pulled over say to police officer, and they see that statement as a clue that you probably had more than that. Ultimately, that statement alone won’t hurt the outcome of your DUI. The results of the breath or blood test and the field sobriety tests will make the biggest difference.
Generally speaking, when you hear those words, it’s come following a very thorough review of the evidence and challenges to mistakes made by or things not done by the police and the court, which means that, in your DUI case, the fact that rules were not followed means the evidence is insufficient.
Bottom line, it starts with hiring an experienced, well-trained DUI lawyer as soon as the case arises and let them get busy gathering up all the evidence that exists, to review it carefully to bring forth any challenges to that DUI case and see if there are any issues in a case that are winnable, Getting the best result takes a lot of hard work and recognizing winning issues.
The biggest mistake many people and attorneys make is to not even bother to gather up all the evidence and review it carefully; the main thing that can screw up a winnable DUI case is a lack of thorough preparation or having an attorney who doesn’t know all the different angles of a DUI case. However, another big mistake is admitting to behavior to police that they shouldn’t admit to anyone, such as telling them they knew they shouldn’t have been driving.
Sometimes, it’s possible for health problems such as reflux or diabetes, to affect blood or breath test results, but also, improper monitoring by police before administering the DataMaster can affect the admissibility of that primary breath test. Other times, the police may not have a valid reason to stop a driver, which can result in a complete dismissal of the case. Many people have no idea that they have cases than can be challenged.
Michigan law for a second DUI is a minimum of five days, with a maximum one year; in most cases, judges will sentence someone to five days or more for a conviction, although some will give a full year in the county jail on a second offense. That wide range of possible jail time is a major reason to have a great attorney on your side. For example, if you knew you’d go to jail, you’d be a lot happier with a sentence of five days than a sentence of 30, 60 or 90 days.
Even if you’re totally guilty of DUI and there is no defense to your second offense DUI, you’ll need help to make sure everything is presented the best possible way, to minimize your penalty; in addition to the jail time, your driver’s license could be revoked for a minimum of one year, meaning no driver’s license at all. In order to avoid these very serious penalties, you need an attorney who can help you navigate that complicated system.
Sometimes, it’s really helpful for the attorney to know all about your personal circumstances, whether good or bad, because they can sometimes provide opportunities to resolve a case more favorably. For example, some clients do a lot of work with their church or are involved in the community, while others may be the primary caretaker to sick parents or relatives. Other times, there may be a good explanation as to how they got involved in the situation that got them in trouble.
The more you talk to your attorney, the more they know about you, and often, they learn things that may be useful in defending the case or making a deal to reduce consequences. In short, the more we know about the client, the better we can handle their case.
Obviously, you’ll want to ask about their experience, especially with your type of case, but you should also ask them about the court your case is in and the prosecutor you will be facing, as well as find out how many clients they’ve had with the same or similar background as you, including the same problems, the same situation you are facing. There are a number of issues that are influenced by experience and skill level and you want to make sure the attorney you choose is a good fit for you and your case.
A felony is a serious crime, such as arson or murder. In addition, if the law provides for imprisonment for an offense that is longer than one year, the offense is usually considered a felony. A felony arrest remains on your record forever and can be used against you for sentencing purposes on future cases, regardless if you were guilty or innocent of that previous charge. In Michigan a single conviction, even if a felony, can be expunged after five years. Some convictions are ineligible for expungement.
A misdemeanor is a petty offense. It is a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement. Most misdemeanors are punishable by up to 93 days in jail but a high misdemeanor is punishable but up to two years in prison. The confinement for anything other than a high misdemeanor is in a city or county jail, rather than a penitentiary or prison.
Generally, the potential punishment is the deciding factor in whether a crime falls into one category or the other. If imprisonment for longer than a year is the punishment provided by law, it is usually considered a felony. If the potential punishment is for a year or less, then the crime is considered a misdemeanor.
The biggest mistake people make who are not represented by a really good attorney is to simply show up to court and wait to see what happens; they don’t go in with a plan of attack and action. Preparation for everything is important; for court hearings, motions and especially for trial; if you want the best possible outcome, you have to make that happen
Being lazy and thinking that it doesn’t matter how you prepare for court is the biggest and most important mistake that people make. Another mistake is in thinking that it doesn’t matter who your attorney is, as is acting in a way that will make the court mad at you, such as showing up under the influence of alcohol or drugs while they’re on bond. Doing things like that can result in serious penalties.
The biggest difference between having a private attorney and being assigned a public defender centers on time; a private attorney will have the time to focus on their client’s case, while the public defender simply won’t. Public defenders usually have a huge caseload, and they simply can’t spend the time necessary to do a thorough analysis of the evidence and deal with various issues, and they can’t take the time to get to know their clients very well, which means it will be difficult to get the best outcome for your case.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t some good public defenders and bad private attorneys, but the odds are in your favor if you hire a private attorney. A public defender’s job is very difficult, and they can’t focus their attention on you the way a private attorney can.
A police officer may make a warrantless arrest if the officer has reasonable cause to believe that you violated your Personal Protection Order. If the police cannot find you, they may choose to file a warrant request for stalking or aggravated stalking.
Absolutely. The best time to fight a ticket is while you have a clean record. An experienced traffic lawyer can often negotiate the best plea bargain when the client has a clean record. Often, a deal can be made to reduce the ticket to an offense that does not get reported to the Secretary of State and therefore never appears on your record. That way, if you get another ticket you will still have a clean record and can try and avoid any points all over again.
Generally, yes. If you have an experienced criminal defense attorney, a reduction in the number of points can usually be negotiated. Sometimes the ticket can be eliminated altogether. Unless the officer gave you an unbelievable break they will usually agree to a reduction when an experienced lawyer is involved.
Most courts in metro Detroit recognize how busy people are and are now allowing traffic ticket attorneys to represent their clients without the clients having to be present in traffic matters. Often clients give us authority to negotiate the best possible deal for them and we handle everything without the clients presence. However, if you want to fight the ticket with an actual hearing you will need to be present.
Basically, it is a tax on bad drivers that Governor Granholm and the legislature created to help fix the states budget deficit. However, since politicians don’t want to be accused of raising taxes they called it a law about responsibility. The fees begin at $100 if a person has 7 or more active points on their record and increase by $50 for every additional point. For 18 points the fee is $650. Once you cross the point threshold you will have to pay the fee for two years. Failure to pay the fee will result in a suspension of your driving privileges. In addition, the following, more serious traffic matters have higher fines. Operating While Intoxicated- $1000 per year for two years, Operating While Impaired- $500 per year for two years, Driving While License Suspended- $500 per year for two years, No Proof of Insurance- $200 per year for two years. Below is a list of eligible offenses and their fines.
How did we do?
Note: Your review may be shared publicly.