It is illegal in every state to operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher. The illegal limit is less if you are a minor. If you are convicted of your first OWI (operating while intoxicated) in Michigan and this is your first arrest in seven years you are facing fines of $100 to $300, 180 day license suspension, possible community service and possible jail time (although jail is not required).
These criminal penalties are in addition to administrative penalties that may be brought by the Michigan Department of Secretary of State (DSS) if the DSS determines that you were arrested for OWI and you failed the field sobriety test (tested higher than the legal limit) or you refused a blood alcohol content test.
Many forum participants on our DUI forum want to know if they should plead guilty to a OWI. Whether or not this is a good idea will depend on many factors of your case, many of which are impossible to know without a consultation. After meeting with a drunk driving lawyer and having them review the evidence in your drunk driving case they are in a better position to give you solid advice about whether or not you should plead guilty or fight your OWI charges.
Although an OWI lawyer cannot guarantee a specific outcome they will have more knowledge about whether or not other clients with similar drunk driving cases were able to successfully fight the charges.
What factors should be considered in my OWI arrest?
The first thing to determine is the amount of evidence the state has against you. In the forum question our questioner admitted that there was “a chase” involved prior to the OWI arrest. The driver also admitted to “going through a crime scene.” Both of these pieces of evidence are not good.
The driver did not provide any other pieces of evidence about their arrest but the DUI lawyer would need information about whether or not the police administered a breathalyzer test or a blood alcohol chemical test and the results of the test and whether the driver took and failed a field sobriety test.
Also, did the police officers have any other evidence that the driver was intoxicated? For instance, did the driver stumble, slur their speech or admit to consuming alcohol? Did the driver appear to be intoxicated (red eyes or smell like alcohol)?
After gathering the OWI evidence the drunk driving lawyer can begin to analyze whether the police officers followed procedures for the OWI stop and for the drunk driving arrest and whether they administered the field sobriety test and the BAC test correctly.
Hiring a drunk driving lawyer in Michigan
After considering the evidence you may decide to plead guilty to your Michigan OWI or you may hire a drunk driving lawyer to fight the charges. Consider, however, that even if you do decide to plead guilty the DUI lawyer may be able to help you get a reduced sentence (although some states have penalties that cannot be negotiated).
Before deciding to plead guilty you must consider not only the drunk driving penalties outlined above for your Michigan OWI but also how the guilty drunk driving conviction will affect your driving record and employment opportunities.
- Michigan OWI – Penalties for 3rd OWI arrest (duiattorneyhome.com)
- Michigan Drunk Driving – Administrative License Suspension (duiattorneyhome.com)
- Blood Alcohol Content Test Lower than illegal Limit (duiattorneyhome.com)
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