The first thing to know about beating a Michigan DUI charge is that your lawyer has to look for a way out of it, because DUI cases don’t dismiss themselves.
Moreover, prosecutors and Judges don’t dismiss them, either, unless they have no other choice.
The key to getting a case knocked out begins with the lawyer's mindset. Unfortunately, too many attorneys will merely “look over” the evidence to see if there is anything obviously wrong with it.
That's not enough.
Instead of just looking
at the evidence, a DUI lawyer
needs to really examine it, and assume there is something issue to be found, even if that’s buried deep, in the details.
As experienced DUI lawyers, we know, from experience, that better results can only be had by presuming that there is something to be found, and then digging for it, rather than just waiting for anything to “jump out.”
This is important, because there is no legal mechanism for anyone, from the police officer that made the arrest, to the Judge or the prosecutor assigned to the case, to dismiss a case because you “can't have" a DUI on your record.
The law doesn’t work that way. DUI cases stand or fall based entirely upon the evidence.
Accordingly, we need to wring every possible bit of advantage out of it.
The Traffic Stop and Alcohol Tests
Two of the best and most likely places to find problems with the evidence are the traffic stop and the breath or blood tests.
In order to successfully challenge a traffic stop, a DUI lawyer has to know the law, and how the Judge presiding over your case usually applies it.
The first step in every DUI case is to obtain the police report and other relevant evidence, like the police car dash-cam video, and any relevant body-cam video. Then, it must be reviewed - carefully.
Inevitably, every DUI case is written up in the police report in such a way as to "justify" the initial police contact and the arrest. No police officer is going to start out a police report with something like, “I decided to pull this car over for no reason…”
Accordingly, it’s our job to scrutinize every bit of the evidence beyond its mere face value.
This highlights the importance for me and my team to investigate each case thoroughly, and get a copy of that police in-car video to see what really happened.
Obtaining that video is standard practice in almost every DUI case we handle.
Examining the Evidence
To challenge a breath or blood test, you have to know the underlying science of the various testing methods, and how anything, like a health condition (hypoglycemia, for example), can affect the results obtained.
In addition, being “local” DUI attorneys means knowing how the various district and circuit court Judges here, in the Metro-Detroit area (meaning Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Lapeer, Livingston, St. Clair and Washtenaw Counties) interpret that science and apply the law to it.
This is an important part of what separates local DUI lawyers, like us, from other lawyers who just "do" drinking and driving cases as part of a larger, more general practice, or who will take cases all over the state.
I could write endlessly about what could, might, or should be, but anyone facing a DUI is far better served by focusing on how things actually are, in the real world, where his or her case will actually be handled.
To be sure, it’s not normal for the police to make mistakes catastrophic enough to render a case unable to stand up in court, but when a DUI lawyer does find something big enough to knock out a DUI, it's almost always because he or she looked hard and was persistent.
In that regard, it takes a meticulous review of all of the facts and that evidence to find anything (and often enough, just that one little thing) that can be used leverage your way out of a drunk driving charge.
Although most DUI cases do not get thrown out of court, my team and I almost always find something that can at least help get our client’s charge(s) reduced through plea bargain negotiations.
The real point here is that in order to have any chance of getting your drunk driving charge dismissed, we first have to look, and know what we're looking for. Because handling DUI and DUI-related matters is what we do all day, each and every day, we know exactly how and where to look.
Even in cases where things might first appear cut-and-dried, or otherwise hopeless, there are all kinds of things that can be done to get a DUI charge (usually written up as "OWI" or "Operating While Intoxicated") either dismissed, or at least substantially reduced.
Making Things Better for You
The bottom line is that just as a sick patient looks to his or her doctor for help in getting better, so should a DUI client look to his or her attorney for help in making things better.
If you're facing a drunk driving charge, my team and I will fight for you and protect you using all of the knowledge and the experience honed in our decades of practicing as local DUI lawyers, and will make sure that - whatever the facts of your case - we produce the very best outcome possible.