Operating a vehicle while intoxicated, or OWI, is a serious crime in the state of Michigan. An OWI conviction can lead to the loss of your driving privileges, community service, expensive fines, and even jail time. In addition to your sentence, you may also encounter problems in your personal life, as an OWI conviction can jeopardize future employment opportunities, and lead to higher auto insurance rates. To help avoid such penalties, an individual should not waste any time before consulting with a Grand Rapids DUI lawyer.
Fortunately, being charged with OWI does not automatically lead to a conviction—the state must first prove you are guilty of breaking one or more of the Michigan OWI laws. In order to avoid the most serious penalties associated with this offense, it is important those accused consult with an attorney immediately to discuss their case. An experienced criminal lawyer in Grand Rapids can help prepare you for what to expect and ensure that the damage is minimized as much as possible.
To convict an individual of OWI, the prosecution must prove they are guilty of one of three things: operating a vehicle while under the influence of liquor (OUIL), operating a vehicle with an unlawful blood alcohol level (UBAL), or operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs (OUID). Although the acronyms for these charges may seem similar, the methods for proving them are quite different.
For an OUIL violation, the prosecution must prove that an individual’s driving abilities were limited due to their alcohol consumption—regardless of their blood alcohol content level. On the other hand, in cases involving UBAL charges, the state only needs to show that an individual’s blood alcohol content level was above the legal limit of .08%. Unlike an OUIL charge, the prosecution is not required to prove an individual’s driving abilities were impaired in order for them to be charged with UBAL, which makes it important that a DUI attorney in Grand Rapids is available to assist in building a defense.
In OWI cases that involve OUID charges, the prosecution must prove an individual was driving while under the influence of drugs. This charge can be justified by proving an individual had a prescription drug or a controlled substance in their system. In situations involving prescribed drugs, the prosecution must also prove the drug in question can impair a person’s driving abilities. However, in cases involving controlled substances (such as cocaine or marijuana), the prosecution does not need to prove an individual’s driving was impaired.
Regardless of whether your case involves OUIL, UBAL, or OUID charges, the consequences for an OWI conviction are life-altering. As a result, it is important to speak with a Grand Rapids DUI attorney who knows the ins and outs of Michigan’s OWI laws.
With the right defense, you may be able to reduce or even eliminate your charges altogether. Contact a Grand Rapids DUI lawyer as soon as possible to begin navigating the legal process and building a defense to help reduce or dismiss any consequences associated with your charge.
Title: Effective and Intelligent
Mr. Boyle represented me for my first offense DUI and the outcome could not have been any better. We had a complex case on several fronts, and he was able to work with our fact pattern to defend successfully against the State's case. The outcome was restoration of full privileges and acquittal. Mr. Boyle also represented a close friend on a second offense and again was successful in defense of the case to reach an acquittal. The Barone Defense Firm is without question the most effective representation that can be found in the State of Michigan for DUI defense.