Let’s start with the simple reality that a Michigan DUI case will NOT dismiss itself.
The only way to beat a DUI charge is to fight the evidence. Any lawyer who starts a case with the idea that he or she is simply going to “plead it out” has surrendered in advance.
On the flip side, however, is the time-proven fact that any kind of real contest or fight is won through a strategy. At its most basic, a strategy is a plan.
Being a Michigan DUI lawyer actually means being a DUI defense lawyer. We often think a defense lawyer’s job is fighting, but that not completely accurate.
Properly defending a DUI charge often means fighting some aspect or aspects of it, but a scattershot approach to fighting everything, just for the sake of fighting (and getting paid), is not any kind of strategy or plan.
Instead, what should be fought are those things that can be soundly challenged. Judges know which lawyers actually fight for their clients and those that fight everything, just for a payday.
Unfortunately, a person already stressed out about a pending DUI case doesn’t know any of this, and usually has nothing to go on other than what he or she finds on the internet, or a recommendation from a friend or family member.
The best thing a person can do, and the only thing one can do, really, is to be a wise consumer and compare lawyers. The goal of “looking around” is to seek real information, and not merely sift through a lot of self-praise or curated testimonials.
There is a lot that goes into a DUI case, but at the end of the day, we return to the simple truth that success
in a DUI case is best measured by what does NOT happen to you.
The goal in a DUI case is to avoid or minimize as many of the legal penalties and negative consequences as possible, and that’s the starting point for a DUI lawyer.
The first thing that any lawyer must do to move toward that goal is obtain the evidence. It is impossible to come up with any kind of plan of defense until the evidence has been carefully reviewed. Only then can it be determined if any of the evidence was improperly obtained or analyzed.
The kinds of things that can be successfully challenged in a DUI case are often not obvious, and are only found after a methodical analysis.
This is an important point, because while most lawyers will go over the evidence to see if anything jumps out, that’s not enough. Instead, as the saying goes, everything has be put "under the microscope.
That's how things are found that can be challenged. Fighting, merely for the sake of fighting, and just flailing around blindly, hoping to "hit" on something is NOT any kind of strategy.
Let’s not forget that the client is paying for all of this. Beyond throwing money down the drain, there is an even bigger cost to an unfocused, shotgun approach of just fighting everything - the lawyer’s credibility. As noted above, Judges know those lawyers who come in and make a lot of noise, all for show.
Pretty much any and everything about a case can be “challenged,” but what matters is whether or not there is any genuine legal issue to debate.
Soon enough, a lawyer who just “fights everything” will exhaust the court’s patience and cause him or her to NOT be taken seriously - although he or she will be getting paid all along.
Beyond the financial interests of the lawyer, who does that serve?
The proper way to fight a DUI charge is to do so intelligently. This follows the age-old advice to “pick your battles.”
And while that's true, there is, unfortunately, a certain, defeatist mindset among other attorneys whose only plan is to simply “plead out” every case they get, or at least to not fight the evidence unless something about it jumps out at them.
That, of course, is a losing mindset. If a lawyer begins by merely going over the evidence to see if something “jumps out,” he or she was not working the case hard enough.
Our firm would never do that.
Instead, my team and I dig hard in order to find something that can be used to beat a case, and we find lots of other little things that can be used to drive a better deal in those cases that can’t simply be thrown out of court.
In other words, even though most DUI charges are legally solid enough to not dismissed outright, there are plenty of small things, that, while themselves not significant enough to get a case knocked out, can be used to drive a much better outcome than if we merely looked at the evidence and waited for something to “jump out.”
Because we are Michigan DUI lawyers and handle OWI (Operating While Intoxicated
, the actual legal term for what everyone just calls “DUI”) cases all day, every day, we have the benefit of having examined countless police report reports and dash-cam (and now, body-cam) video from drunk driving arrests. We know what to look for.
A lawyer with a broader practice and who simply “does” DUI cases will simply have never have the opportunity to analyze a fraction of evidence that my team and I examine on a daily basis. In that context, any lawyer who doesn’t concentrate in DUI cases simply won’t have the depth of experience to know what to look for, or, for that matter, what he or she is missing when they do look.
The key, of course, is to find things that can be used for the client’s advantage.
At the end of the day, a DUI lawyer should challenge those things that have a reasonable chance of making a difference in the outcome of the case, and not just “fight” for the sake of fighting (and getting paid).
That's how to properly fight a DUI charge.
On the lawyer’s part, this requires a proper combination of experience, integrity, and skill.
For the potential client, it means being a good consumer and comparing attorneys to find one with those qualities and with whom he or she can work effectively.