DUI Attorney MI - New MI Laws
ATTORNEYS OF MICHIGAN, PLLC - Traffic & DUI Defense Lawyers
MI Super Drunk Driving Law
The super drunk driving law is now in effect in Michigan. As of October 31, 2010, if convicted under this new law, you can face very severe penalties from the Court and at the Secretary of State. This new drunk driving law increases jail time, fines, driving suspensions/restrictions as well as other penalties for first time drunk driving convictions. 
The Prosecution can charge you under the super drunk law if:
  • your blood alcohol content must have been at least .17 or higher; and
  • It is your first drunk driving conviction.
Penalties under the new drunk driving law:
  • Up to 180 days in jail;
  • Fines up to $700 (excluding DRF and Court/Probation costs);
  • Interlock Ignition Device placed in your vehicle (at your expense);
  • No driving for 45 days and Restricted Driving for 321 days;
  • Mandatory alcohol treatment program for 1 year. 
If charged with a MI OWI prior to October 31, 2010, the new super drunk law will not apply to you and the penalties will be under the 'traditional' law. Similarly, if your BAC is less than .17 and it is your first drunk driving offense, then the new super drunk law will not apply to your case but you are still subjected to the existing OWI/DUI laws in MI. 
If you were arrested for an OWI/DUI in the Southeast Michigan area, contact our experienced and knowledgeable DUI Attorney
  • Q:  What is the new super drunk driving law in Michigan?
  • A: On October 31, 2010, a new law called the “super drunk law” went into effect in Michigan. It increases fines, jail time, restrictions on your driving privileges, even if it’s your first offense. Basically, if you end being convicted for a drunk driving offense with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .17 or higher, the new drunk driving law will apply to your case.  This is the more reason that you will need a good DUI lawyer who can help you avoid these ‘unreasonable and harsh’ penalties.
  • Q:  What is the difference between a DUI and OWI? 
  • A: In Michigan, the typical charge for drunk driving is called an "OWI (operating while intoxicated). However, many people refer to a drunk driving arrest as a “DUI” (Driving Under the Influence).  In Michigan, it used to be called a DUI until several years ago when the Michigan law changed to OWI and accompanying subcatagories. For simplicity and ease of understanding the drunk driving laws, we refer to on our website as a DUI, but in reality we ought to be calling drunk driving as “OWI” / “Operating While Intoxicated.
  • Q:  Michigan Police arrested me for an OWI, what is the first thing that I should do?
  • A: The first thing to do is to consult with an experienced Michigan DUI attorney, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the complexities of the court procedures, administrative rules and drunk driving (OWI/DUI) laws.  From there, it’s critical to start building an aggressive defense to your Michigan DUI arrest by gathering evidence. This evidence is not easy to gather and if you or your lawyer are not familiar with defending a DUI case, this evidence may be destroyed within a very short amount of time after your arrest. A DUI is no longer a simple charge. In fact it is just the opposite. The laws for drunk driving arrests are getting harsher and severe in many ways than one. In some Courts, you can go to jail on a first OWI conviction. You should always hire the best DUI lawyer in Michigan you can afford.
  • Q:  Do I need a lawyer to fight my Michigan OWI arrest case?
  • A:  While you don’t need a lawyer, a good MI DUI Lawyer with exemplary knowledge of the DUI Laws would certainly give you the strategic legal edge you need. A good DUI Defense Attorney who knows the ins and outs of the courtrooms in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb County may be able to obtain a lesser charge or sentence for you if your situation allows for it.  Additionally, if you're a repeat Offender, or one whose livelihood depends on keeping your driver's license and even a professional license (pharmacist, physician/doctor, attorney, nurse, etc), retaining the best Michigan DUI lawyer you can afford would be a prudent decision. Fortunately, a drunk driving charge doesn’t necessarily mean a conviction and good legal representation will help you get a DUI charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge/sentence and preserve your driving privileges and professional license.
  • Q:  Am I automatically guilty just because the police said that I was drunk? 
  • No!  Contrary to what most people think, before you can be convicted of an OWI, the prosecution must prove you guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”  It is not your initial responsibility to prove your innocence but it is your responsibility to gather the evidence of your sobriety. 
  • Q:  Can you get an OWI charge dismissed in Michigan? 
  • A:   Yes but that depends on the facts of your case. In most cases, an OWI can be dismissed through a plea bargain. A plea bargain  is an agreement between you and the government where your current charges are dropped or lessened in exchange for a plea for a lower, less severe charge, such as Operating While Visibily Impaired (OWVI). To get the best possible plea offer, your DUI lawyer should begin to gather evidence in advance of plea negotiations to show weaknesses in the government's case such as, police mistakes, violations of administrative rules, your consitutional rights.
  • Q:  The Michigan police officer who arrested me with a OWI had no reason to pull me over in the first place.  Is there anything that I can do about it? 
  • A:  Yes, there is something that can be done.  Since a law enforcement officer can’t just pull you over for no reason. Why? Because that violates your constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures under the 4th Amendment of the Michigan and U.S. Constitution. Your DUI Defense Attorney can bring a Motion to Suppress the evidence based on an illegal traffic stop.  Upon cross-examination of the police officer, the objective is to cast doubt on his testimony for the reasons why he pulled you over. In our experience, we have found that their police reports are inconsistent with their in-court testimony.
  • Q:  Is there any way that I could be arrested if I had a BAC of less than .08? 
  • A:  Yes.  You can be prosecuted for a Michigan OWVI if the Prosecutor proved that you were  less than a safe driver due to impairment by alcohol or drugs – based on the law enforcement officer’s observations.  His or her opinion will have more weight if field sobriety tests, the smell of alcohol, blood shot, watery eyes, loss of coordination, and general attitude are disclosed.If your BAC results came back at .08 or lower, you have a good chance of getting the drunk driving charge of OWI dismissed altogether or reduced to a non-alcohol related crime or even a civil infraction.
  • Q:  Will I go to jail if convicted on a first OWI offense?
  • A:  There is always that posibility and there are many factors to consider. For example, prior criminal convictions and high BAC results can increase your chances to getting jail  time for a first OWI conviction. Each Michigan Judge has her/his own policies.However,  many DUI cases result in negotiated plea agreements.  For those cases that are not tried or dismissed, an experienced DUI Defense Attorney can often negotiate with the Prosecutor and/or Judge for alternative penalties associated with drunk driving.
  • Q:  If I am arrested, what happens to my driver’s license?
  • A:  Upon arrest, your license will be confiscated and you will be issued a “paper license” also known as “625 G” license to drive while your case or charges are pending. In addition to the “papaer liense, you should consider a visit to your local Secretary of State Office and request a Michigan State ID for identification purposes. The cost is minimal (around $8.00-$12.00) and some Michigan SOS Super Centers can issue you one on the spot.
  • Q:  Can you get cited for OWI in a Boat?
  • A:  Just like cars, trucks or RV’s, operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs has serious consequences.
  • Q:  What makes your law firm different from other DUI lawyers or OWI attorneys?
  • A:  Our clients will most likely tell you that both our professionalism, customer service and aggressive defense strategies set us apart from the rest.  We answer our phones and meet meet our clients at night and over the weekend, and we conduct a thorough independent investigation of each case that we represent. This is critical because many attorneys who claim they know DUI laws, miss this step and can strengthen the Prosecutor’s case.  We look for evidence to prove that the police officer was mistaken, didn’t follow proper procedures, or that the tests were flawed.  Once we begin our investigation, we go to the scene of the crime and sometime take pictures to show evidence of unfair road conditions, and may even look into medical records that would show a condition making you unable to perform field sobriety tests no matter what condition or time of day.
  • Q:  How much will you charge to represent me (DUI lawyer fees)?
  • A:  The first step is our Case Evaluation. We will not charge for this consultation, so it makes good sense to meet with us and explore your options.Once we have a clear understanding of your case and personal circumstances, we will tell you in advance of our attorney fees and the work we will undertake if we accept your case. DUI Attorney Fees vary depending on a number of factors, such as,  the facts of your case, your past criminal record, breath alcohol content level (BAC), etc. Our fees are almost always on a fixed-fee basis because charging an hourly rate does not work well and fixed fee arrangements is the standard fee arrangement in the criminal/DUI practice amongst the majority of DUI lawyers in Michigan. We take our cases seriously, and must restrict the number of cases we take so that each case gets the time and attention that it deserves. You always know our fees up-front. Plus, if you don’t want to go all the way to trial, you don’t have to pay for trial.
  • Q: I was arrested for an OWI but did not get a ticket nor have I been charged. What to do?
  • A: Police investigate a crime and prepare a written report. The report is then forwarded to the State or City/Township Prosecutor’s Office. The Prosecutor or City Attorney are the ones who decide whether to file criminal charges and what criminal charges will be filed. The investigation process could take time, or could occur very quickly. It is important to know to not to talk without the presence of a good DUI/criminal defense lawyer because it can come back to haunt you. Police are trained to elicit information from those investigated for a crime (DUI). It is human nature to want to explain your position. Doing so without first talking to an experienced DUI criminal defense attorneycan have a daunting effect whether you will be charged or not, and in some cases, additional information may be elicited by you that can lead to additional charges filed against you.Therefore, it is essential to be able to fight your case before charges are filed. The police or other law enforcement agency may have already contacted you, your work, your family, or other individuals, and are asking questions. A search warrant may have already been served. Typically, you are under no obligation to talk to anyone or to do anything. This is your constitutional right under the laws of the State of Michigan and U.S. Constitution.
You should always first consult with an experienced DUI/Criminal defense lawyer beforehand.When you feel you may be investigated, or you know you are the subject of an investigation in Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, Monroe or Wayne county, Michigan.
Attorneys of Michigan, PLLC
(888) 432-6425 - DUI Attorney Hotline
(248) 865-4705 FAX
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