If you are facing a drunk driving charge and are looking for a Michigan DUI lawyer, you undoubtedly want useful information right away.
In the following sections, we’ll examine the realities of a Michigan DUI charge and how OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) cases work in the real world, because that's where your case is going to be handled.
When you're looking to find representation, you should always check out your options and compare lawyers. The simple truth is that there is absolutely no downside to being an educated consumer. As you do look around, and if your case is anywhere in Greater-Detroit area (meaning any court in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, or the surrounding counties) make sure you contact our office, as well.
All of our consultations free, confidential, and are done over the phone, right when you call.
Making the Call
It's starts when the phone is answered. Whoever picks up becomes the Director of First Impressions, and that's important. My team and I are really friendly people who will always be glad to answer your questions, explain things, and even compare notes with anything some other lawyer has told you.
When you call, we’ll be happy to answer your questions, but we'll also have a few of our own:
- Where were you arrested?
- What is your charge (OWI, High BAC, OWI 2nd Offense, OWI 3rd Offense)?
- What happened?
- When did it happen?
- Did you take a breath test or a blood test?
- If so, do you know the results?
We'll want to know as much as possible about what was going on before, during and after your arrest.
Where is your Case?
We have extensive experience handling DUI cases in the Greater-Detroit area courts.
This enables us to give you accurate information about what can happen, what's likely to happen, and what will happen in your case, and what we can do to actually make things better for you.
Meeting With the Attorney
When we meet (whether remotely, or in-person) we'll go every relevant detail of your case that's available.
We'll make sure that you fully understand how things work in the court where your case is pending,
You'll know what you're realistically facing, and what we’ll be doing to get your case dismissed, or negotiated to a lesser offense in order to avoid as many of the legal penalties and negative consequences as possible.
Handling Your Case
First, we must obtain the evidence, including the police report and any police in-car video.
Many of the things that can result in the dismissal of a DUI charge aren't obvious, and my team and I will meticulously evaluate the evidence to see if there is anything we can use to challenge it.
Every part of the case and every last bit of evidence, from the initial police contact, through the breath or blood test results, must be carefully examined.
We'll never do less.
Good work is the key to getting good results. In that regard, here are 2 things about DUI cases that you can take to the bank:
1. DUI cases are never won by accident
2. DUI cases never dismiss themselves
As Michigan DUI attorneys, we understand both the nuances of the law, and the science behind the analysis of the chemical evidence. We know how to win cases, get them dismissed, and otherwise produce the very best results possible.
We do the kind of good work to make that happen.
We will undertake a careful evaluation of everything, from how the police officer tested you on the side the road to whether the machine that analyzed your breath or blood sample got it right.
Problems with the evidence at any point can render it inadmissible or unreliable, and must always be used to your fullest advantage.
In most drunk driving cases, we can spare you from having to go to court for the first proceeding, called an “arraignment."
At an arraignment, you'll be advised of the charge against you and a bond is set. Usually, whatever amount you paid to get out of jail will be considered your bond amount, and no further money will be required.
Our office will file papers with the court so that you don't have to go, meaning that you won't have to go court until later, for the first substantive proceeding, called a “pre-trial.”
At the pre-trial conference, we meet with the prosecutor and discuss the case.
First, of course, we look for a way to get the charge (or charges) dismissed. With our extensive experience handing Michigan DUI cases, we know how to successfully challenge improper evidence, and also how to figure out if it is good enough to withstand a legal challenge in the first place.
The truth, however, is that most cases are not screwed up badly enough to get them tossed out of court.
In these far more common situations, we will negotiate with the prosecuting attorney to get your charge(s) reduced and otherwise get some real relief from the penalties you are facing.
Mandatory Alcohol Screening
The most important aspect of a Michigan DUI
case, by far, is the legal requirement that a person convicted of an alcohol-related traffic offense must undergo a mandatory alcohol evaluation
- Prior to being sentenced by the Judge, you will have an appointment with the court’s probation department, where you will be interviewed and take a written alcohol screening test about your drinking habits and history.
- Every answer you give has a point value, and the test is scored numerically.
- As results go, the higher your score, the more likely you will be seen to have, or be at risk to develop, a drinking problem.
- Obviously, the lower your score, the better. We're going for better.
- Here, we can help you more than anyone. Having completed a post-graduate program of addiction studies, I have both a clinical and practical understanding of the development, diagnosis and treatment of alcohol problems.
- My team and I actually use that knowledge to produce better results. Because we know how alcohol evaluation tests work and how your answers will be interpreted, we can give you an unmatched advantage before you ever sit down to take it.
The takeaway, of course, is that good test results mean a better outcome at your sentencing.
Anything less than the best possible test results, however, can get you ordered into all kinds of counseling or treatment, even if you really don't need it.
Avoiding as much of this as possible is the main priority in any DUI case that doesn't get dismissed, and that's where we come in.
The Sentencing Recommendation
By law, after the alcohol screening test and the probation interview have been completed, the probation officer must send a written sentencing recommendation to the Judge, who will read prior to your sentencing.
The written recommendation advises the Judge what terms and conditions (including classes, counseling and/or rehab) to order for you. In other words, it tells the Judge what to do to you.
It is extremely important that you are thoroughly prepared for the alcohol screening test and probation interview.
Make no mistake about it, the sentencing recommendation is really the "blueprint” for exactly what the Judge will do to you.
In the real world, every single Judge out there follows the probation officer's sentencing recommendation very closely, if not to the very letter.
The sentencing is where you stand in front of the Judge to find out what is going to happen to you, and where all the consequences we've been talking about are handed down.
At the sentencing, the Judge first reads the recommendation, listens to your lawyer, then to you, and ultimately decides what to order, meaning what you'll be required to do, and what you'll be forbidden from doing, like drink alcohol while on probation.
Unless your case gets dismissed, this is what we will have been working toward from our very first meeting.
When all is said and done, success in a DUI case is always best measured by what does NOT happen to you.
Here, less is always more. As Michigan DUI lawyers, my team and I will make sure that we avoid as many of the potential negative consequences as possible and produce the very best results in your case.