Many different controlled substances can affect your ability to drive and show good judgment in the face of changing traffic conditions. If you face a drug DUI charge in Michigan, you should consult a seasoned criminal defense attorney about these charges. At Michigan Defense Law, our Michigan drug DUI lawyers can help you. The penalties for a drug DUI mirror those for drunk driving and can be severe. In some cases, defendants face not only drug DUI charges but also drug crime charges. If someone is arrested for a drug OWI and the police found non-prescribed medication such as Vicodin or Xanax or street drugs like Heroin or Cocaine, felony charges for the drugs can come after the DUI arrest. These issues can significantly enhance or complicate the case It is crucial to retain an attorney with experience in this area.
At Michigan Defense Law, Michigan DUI lawyer Paul J. Tafelski and his team of criminal defense professionals may be able to help. If you are facing charges of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is important to seek legal representation from skilled Michigan drunk driving attorneys to ensure your rights are protected.
To schedule a consultation, contact us today at (248) 451-2200.
You can face drug DUI charges, also known as operating with any presence of a Schedule 1 drug or cocaine if you have any trace of a Schedule 1 controlled substance or cocaine in your body. Cocaine is a Schedule 2 substance. You could be charged with a drug DUI if you are driving under the influence of LSD, GHB, or ecstasy, for example. Under section 7212, any of certain opiates are included in Schedule 1; these include acetylmethadol, noracymethadol, trimeperidine, clonitazene, and dextromoramide. Schedule 1 also includes various opium derivatives, such as acetorphine, heroin nicomorphine, acetyldihydrocodeine, and thebacon. It also includes certain hallucinogenic drugs, such as 5-methoxy-3, 4-methylenedioxy, and amphetamine.
Driving under the influence of drugs is a serious charge; it is as serious as a DUI based on driving under the influence of alcohol. For a first offense, you may be charged with misdemeanor OWI, which can carry a term of incarceration, substantial fines, and a driver’s license suspension or revocation. You could face incarceration for a maximum of 93 days, a maximum fine of $500, a maximum of 360 hours of community service, a driver’s license suspension of 30 days and a 150-day license restriction, and six points on your driver’s license. In addition to all of these penalties, a court can keep you on probation for up to two years for a misdemeanor and add any other conditions they reasonably believe pertain to your rehabilitation or punishment such as drug testing, rehab, AA/NA meetings, etc. Under certain circumstances, you may be charged with a felony. This makes it especially critical to consult a drug DUI attorney in Michigan. Managing not only the legal defense but also the final outcome regarding terms and conditions of possible probation is important.
If you are charged with a drug DUI, and you have a prior DUI conviction within 7 years, you can face a mandatory minimum of five days incarcerated up to a maximum of one year, a maximum of $1,000 in fines, 30-90 days of community service, driver’s license revocation for a minimum of one year, confiscation of a license plate, immobilization or forfeiture of your vehicle, and six points on your driver’s license.
Third offenses, even combinations of alcohol DUI and drug DUI cases, will result in a felony charge with a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison. Every offense gets exponentially more troublesome and demands maximum attention.
There are various kinds of DUI tests that may be administered when an officer suspects that you are under the influence of drugs. These include breath tests, blood tests, and field sobriety tests. Often times a Drug Recognition Expert, or DRE, is called to the scene when the police suspect someone is operating under the influence of drugs. These officers are specially trained to detect impairment caused by drugs, which can be different than alcohol. In many of these cases, the issue of probable cause to arrest and level of impairment become relevant. For example, if you are taking prescribed medication and the police believe that you are impaired, the issue becomes whether that medication has substantially affected your ability to operate the motor vehicle. You are legally allowed to take the medication, but you are not legally allowed to drive if you are impaired by the medication. This situation can lead to complicated debates over a person’s tolerance level for medications taken for chronic conditions, blood levels of the medications, and their overall ability to perform field sobriety tests because of their disabilities. As a result, the field sobriety tests administered in these cases are very important and need to be scrutinized closely.
In cases where a client feels they have been wrongfully charged with Operating While Impaired by Drugs that were prescribed, we can work with their physicians and sometimes even consult experts to defend the client’s management of their medications and fight the charges. Sometimes, in these cases, the best approach may be to mitigate the damages and work toward a plea bargain while convincing the Court that this was simply a misunderstanding in the management of prescribed medications.
Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana has become a more common issue with the legalization of marijuana in Michigan. These cases also come down to whether or not the prosecutor can prove that a person’s driving was impaired by the marijuana. As of 2021, there is no current level that is used to define impairment, as .08 is for alcohol. This creates more opportunities for us to defend clients charged with this crime.
The administration of drug tests is another area where mistakes can occur. A Michigan drug DUI attorney can investigate whether any errors occurred in the testing process. Chemical tests need to be administered according to specific procedures and protocols. If they are not, we may be able to challenge the results with a motion to suppress the results. When chemical test results are suppressed, the prosecutor may reduce charges or dismiss them, depending on other factors.
Michigan Defense Law’s team of skilled DUI attorneys may be able to help you investigate the testing process. Our team of criminal defense professionals understands the gravity of a DUI/OWI conviction, so we will work hard to protect your rights. Contact us today at (248) 451-2200 to schedule a consultation.
Michigan’s impaired-driving and DUI laws are divided into two main types: operating under the influence (OWI), and operating while visually impaired (OWVI).
Operating Under the Influence (OWI) refers to driving while the driver has been unable to have clear thinking because of consuming a controlled substance. OWI can also result from driving with any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance in your blood. This category includes cocaine, amphetamines, and prescription painkillers. But, legal marijuana is not considered a Schedule I controlled substance. Although a valid prescription could be used to defend against a per se OWI accusation (based on possession of controlled substances in your system), the driver may still be convicted of the crime if the prosecution can prove that the driver was significantly impaired in normal control or clarity.
Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) has a lower standard of proof than “under the Influence”. As an alternative to substantial deprivation, the prosecutor must show that there were observable signs of impairment caused by drugs or alcohol. OWVI, or impaired driving, is often used when there is not a chemical test to prove impairment.
Proof of impairment is required unless the offense involves a schedule 1 controlled substance. A blood test result will be used by the prosecutor to determine impairment.
Depending on whether they are applicable, there may be other defenses that you can use to reduce or dismiss the DUI charge. These are:
Being charged with an OWI involving drugs can be complicated and scary, especially if it is your first offense. It is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Michigan right away. Having a skilled defense lawyer may be able to help you understand your rights and help receive the most favorable outcome possible.
At Michigan Defense Law, drunk driving lawyer Paul J. Tafelski and his team of top-rated DUI defense lawyers understand the gravity of a Michigan DUI conviction. They will fight hard to protect your rights. Contact us today at (248) 451-2200 to schedule a consultation.
An inventory search of your car will usually be conducted following an arrest for operating under the influence of drugs. Although routine, the police will be laser-focused on searching for actual drugs or weapons. If controlled substances are found in your car, you will likely be charged with a drug crime. For example, if the police find any controlled substance, such as a single pill of Vicodin or Xanax or an amount of Heroin, you will receive additional charges that are usually felonies. Your case may become more complex. It may end up in the county circuit court rather than the local district court. It is important to retain an attorney who understands the potential outcomes, the unique issues related to the search for automobiles, and how to fight these charges together.
If you are charged with a drug DUI, you should call Michigan Defense Law. Our experienced attorneys can examine your particular circumstances and strategize to build the strongest available defense. Michigan Defense Law represents clients in Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, and Washtenaw Counties.