Should You Fight DUI Charges?

Fight DUI Charges

Michigan DUI defendants often ask whether their cases are worth fighting, and the answer is almost always yes. DUI or driving under the influence cases are complicated, involving high costs and hours spent in court. Convictions can result in jail time, license suspension, loss of income, community service, and other penalties. A Michigan defense attorney can help you fight DUI charges and achieve a fair outcome.

Michigan DUI Charges

Driving under the influence is a serious offense in every state, and Michigan is no exception. Not only will you work with a DUI attorney and the state’s courts, but you’ll also go through the Secretary of State to get your license reinstated. Depending on your criminal record and the case’s circumstances, you may face various DUI or OWI (operating while intoxicated) charges.

  • First offenses are misdemeanors, carrying penalties of up to 90 days in jail, high fines, court costs, probation, community service, and counseling. You’ll lose your license for six months, but a skilled attorney may be able to get charges reduced.
  • Second offenses carry more serious consequences, including at least five days in jail, license revocation, and the other penalties mentioned above.
  • Third offenses are felonies, and they come with the potential for up to five years in prison. Penalties depend on the defendant’s history, rehabilitation potential, and case circumstances. 
Fight DUI Charges

If an OWI case involves serious injury or death, the severity of the charges increases. 

Probable Cause for DUI/OWI Stops

The first time you work with an attorney, they’ll find out whether the DUI stop was lawful. Probable cause is a legal requirement for a stop; police must prove that you’ve broken a law. If a stop is done randomly and without justification, the case may be dismissed for insufficient probable cause.

On-Scene Investigations

Although procedural rules apply to Michigan OWI stops, police tactics are similar from one jurisdiction to the next. If you’re stopped lawfully, you’ll face questions from the beginning. Police look for signs of inebriation, including confusion, slurred speech, and admissions of wrongdoing. It’s important to remain calm, as an investigating officer may use your rising anger to prove intoxication.

Contesting Sobriety Test Results

If officers have reason to believe that you’re intoxicated, they’ll ask you to take sobriety tests. It’s usually best to decline to do so, simply because these tests set you up to fail and grading is subjective. Attorneys use these facts to help clients fight field sobriety test results, and they can help you, too.

Can Urine, Blood, and Breath Test Results be Contested?

Under Michigan’s implied consent law, investigating officers can ask drivers to take chemical tests if there’s probable cause. These tests are done at the police station after field sobriety and handheld breathalyzer tests. Chemical test results can be contested, and in some instances, evidence is disallowed because of procedural missteps.

Michigan DUI/OWI charges are complex and experienced defense attorneys know what to expect from the state’s courts. Even under difficult circumstances, lawyers work to get charges reduced while protecting clients’ rights.