Skip to main content
Home Blog Drunk Driving DUI Success – Getting the best Result in your Case

The single most important issue when facing a Michigan OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) charge is getting the best possible result. This means avoiding or minimizing as many of the legal penalties and other negative consequences as possible. As Michigan DUI lawyers, that’s exactly what my team and I do for our clients.

It really all comes down to this:


This is the gold standard for any person facing a drunk driving charge, and for every lawyer who handles DUI cases. This truth is so simple that it’s easy to overlook. This is especially true in the online marketplace of lawyers trying to sell their services with ever-more competitive messaging.


The first thing my team and I do in every DUI case we take is look for a way out. Everyone wants to “beat” his or her DUI charge and have the whole thing just go away. The undeniable reality, however, is that the majority of Michigan DUI charges (more than 9 out of 10) do NOT get tossed out of court. This number is consistent from year-to-year.

Accordingly, an intelligent defense strategy has go beyond just hoping to get the charges dismissed. A key thing my team and I do is formulate a working plan to actually produce the best possible outcome. We will follow it to get the most lenient results given all the facts and circumstances.


It’s a given that everyone’s first priority is to stay out of jail. Particularly in 1st offense DUI cases, we can almost always do that. Likewise, even in 2nd offense and 3rd offense cases, we can often avoid any incarceration.

However, there are still plenty of other potential penalties that we need to escape, or at least minimize.

In any case that can’t be “beat,” it is important to get a plea-bargain.

A plea bargain is a negotiated “deal” that provides for the dismissal of the original charge in exchange for the person agreeing to plead guilty to a less serious offense. A plea-bargain is always a benefit, but there is more to winding up with the best result in a DUI case that merely getting a plea deal.

The DUI section of our blog is a great way to learn about plea bargains and DUI cases. It is updated twice per week, and has more useful information than can be found anywhere else. With hundreds of detailed and fully searchable articles, there is nothing else like it online.


Consider the following example of how a typical plea bargain works in the DUI world:

Imagine that Bad Luck Brenda gets arrested for OWI. The evidence in her case is solid, and can’t be successfully challenged. Her lawyer manages to convince the prosecutor that, all things considered, Brenda, who has never been in trouble before, deserves a break. 

Accordingly, in exchange for the dismissal of the OWI charge, she agrees to plead guilty to the reduced charge of OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired).  This will spare her from getting any driver’s license suspension, and save her both points on her driving record, and some money in fines and costs, as well.

Getting the best plea deal possible should always be the objective in every DUI case that makes it’s way through the court system. However, just like with being kept out of jail, there are still lots of other potential negative consequences to avoid or minimize..

One of the biggest “consequences” a person will experience as a result of a DUI conviction is being placed on probation. And to be clear, anyone who doesn’t get completely out of a DUI is going to wind up on some kind of probation.

This is where a DUI case gets real, because a probationary term in a typical DUI case can vary. It can range from something short, like 9 months, to something long – all the way up to 24 months.


That’s not the half of it, though. While on probation, a person will required to do some things, and forbidden from doing others. This is every bit as important as how long he or she is on it. In other words, beyond merely being long or short in duration, probation can also be easy or demanding. Let’s return to our example for help to understand this:

Assume that for her DUI, Bad Luck Brenda gets sentenced to 2 years of reporting probation. This would require that she appear every month at the probation department. As part of her probation order, Brenda is also required to do the following:

    • Attend AA twice per week
    • Complete an out-patient counseling program
    • Provide alcohol breath testing 3 times per day on a portable unit that she has to rent.
    • Provides a urine sample at a drug testing facility 2 times per week
    • Not leave the State of Michigan except for a work-related purpose, and only with prior written approval from the court.

“Well,” she thinks, consoling herself, “at least I didn’t go to jail.”


Next, consider the hypothetical case of Lucky Larry, who also got a plea-bargain to Impaired Driving (OWVI) after hiring our firm:

We really stepped up when the time came for Larry to be sentenced by the Judge. As a result, he was only ordered to complete a 9-month term of non-reporting probation. The only condition was that he must not get in any further legal trouble during that time.

Brenda has to test all the time, go to AA, attend counseling, and can’t leave the state unless it’s for work AND gets permission first. By contrast, Larry can basically do whatever he wants.

Larry (who does seem rather “lucky,” at least when compared to “Bad Luck Brenda”) doesn’t have to report to anyone. He doesn’t have to test in any way, doesn’t have to go to AA or attend any classes or counseling. He can go wherever he wants, whenever he wants, and pretty much do whatever he want. At least as long as he doesn’t get arrested for anything during the next 9 months.

Who in the world wouldn’t prefer Larry’s outcome rather than Brenda’s?


If you’re facing a DUI, consequences like those mentioned above are what’s really at issue. The job for my team and I is to help you avoid and/or minimize them. The easier we can make it for someone, the better for him or her.

DUI cases are complex, and each one has a lot of moving pieces. These include the underlying facts and the background of the person arrested, including his or her prior record. All of these things must be taken into account in order to properly defend a DUI charge. No matter what, a good outcome in a DUI case is always the direct result of good legal work.

Thus, we come back to the simple simple truth we noted at the outset: Success in a DUI case is best measured by what does NOT happen to you.

Of course, what matters most is how intact you make it out of a DUI charge. My team and never lose sight of that. We will always do what’s necessary to produce the best result possible for each and every one of our clients.

No lawyer can do more, and we will never do less.