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Possible Penalties for DUI/OWI in Michigan

The penalties for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are particularly harsh, especially if it is not your first DUI or if you caused an accident or injured anyone as a result.

Generally speaking though, you may face:

  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • Community service
  • License suspension
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device installation

For those who face DUI charges and have been convicted of one or multiple DUI's before, the penalties could be much worse.

Is a DUI a Felony in Michigan?

In Michigan, driving under the influence (DUI) is a misdemeanor if it is your first offense. A second-offense DUI can be either a misdemeanor or a felony based on specific circumstances, such as the presence of any aggravating factors. Aggravating factors include having passengers in your vehicle who are under 16 years old, refusing to take a breathalyzer test, having a BAC higher than 0.17%, and causing serious injury or property damage while driving drunk. If you have been convicted of a felony DUI offense in Michigan, it is important to speak with an experienced Rochester Hills DUI attorney at Little & Boylan PLLC, who can help protect your legal rights.

How Long Does OWI Stay on Record in Michigan?

An OWI offense will stay on your record for two years in Michigan before the points go away. If you face charges of a DUI, known as an OWI, it is removed after two years also. The Michigan courts take drunk driving cases very seriously and categorize them as misdemeanors.

Have you been arrested recently for driving under the influence? A DUI – or an OWI, technically called in Michigan – is a severe offense. Many DUI cases might appear very cut and dry, and the evidence could look damaging.

However, as with any other type of criminal charge, you are innocent until proven guilty.

Why Choose Our Firm?

  • Regardless of the circumstances of your situation, Little & Boylan, PLLC can build a solid defense on your behalf.
  • Our team of experienced Rochester Hills OWI attorneys can provide sound legal advice and relentless effort as we work to achieve a favorable outcome in your case.

    Contact us online or call (248) 809-1402 to request a consultation with our team.

    Understanding DUI Charges

    If you are pulled over and found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher, you can be charged with OWI. You can also be charged with this crime if you have any amount of a controlled substance in your system. Police officers may ask to conduct a preliminary breath test and/or a chemical BAC test. Due to Michigan’s implied consent law, you are required to submit to these tests. Refusal to cooperate means that you are violating the implied consent law and will be subject to penalties.

    Chemical Tests

    If you have been stopped for DUI or OWI in Michigan you are required to submit to a chemical test. This is commonly referred to as implied consent. DUI charges can come with harsh penalties if convicted so it is important to seek legal help immediately from an experienced DUI attorney in Rochester Hills, such as Little & Boylan, PLLC. A chemical test will analyze your blood alcohol content (BAC). In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a BAC above .08.

    Chemical Test Submission

    Michigan law provides that the operator of a vehicle must submit to a preliminary chemical breath analysis if asked to do so by a police officer. The test must be given in accordance with the law. If not, your attorney may be able to have illegally obtained evidence eliminated from the trial. The arresting officer must inform you of the law pertaining to chemical tests. If you refuse to submit to the test you will be charged with a misdemeanor which is punishable separately from the original charges. Refusal to submit to the test can only be used at trial to indicate that the test was offered but not as evidence that the driver did anything wrong. A qualified Rochester Hills DUI attorney will be able to answer your questions and help you through the legal process.

    Chemical Testing

    Chemical testing must be completed only by a licensed physician when a blood draw is used. The test will be used to determine the presence of alcohol or any controlled substance. The test must only be requested if the police officer has reasonable grounds to think that the person has committed a crime. It is essential to know that you are able to have your own chemical test completed. You will need to pay for the expense of this test, but it can be very worthwhile because it could indicate a different finding than the test completed by the authorities. If so, your Rochester Hills DUI lawyer could utilize this information to prove that the test results were not reliable or that the test was improperly completed.

    Controlled Substances

    In Michigan there is a zero tolerance law in place. What this means essentially is that when a controlled substance is found in the system there is no amount that is considered allowable. For example, if chemical testing indicates that you have a controlled substance in your body then impaired driving is automatically indicated – it does not need to be proven. If you have been seriously injured in an accident that requires you to go to the hospital, blood drawn for medical purposes could be tested for alcohol or controlled substances. The results of all testing must be made available to you or your attorney at least 2 days before trial.

    Possible Defense Strategies for DUI Charges in Rochester Hills

    Sometimes, authorities don’t follow proper procedures, which means your arrest is completely invalid and the charges can be thrown out. Other times, you might have been charged when you weren’t actually drunk. It’s also possible that the equipment used to test your BAC was faulty.

    The bottom line when it comes to DUI charges is that you can’t afford to fight these charges on your own. The prosecution in your case will try to paint a convincing picture to the court that you are guilty. With the help of an experienced DUI defense attorney in Rochester Hills, you can fight those charges and find a favorable resolution to your case.

    We encourage you to contact us before talking to the police or discussing your case with anyone else. Give our Rochester Hills DUI lawyer a call at (248) 809-1402 right away if you have been charged with OWI.

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