Given the potentially catastrophic consequences of drunk driving, it is no surprise that criminal offenses in this realm are treated with an extraordinary degree of seriousness in the Great Lakes region.
Thousands of individuals suffer fatal harm or life-changing injuries due to impaired or intoxicated driving, a fact which gives rise to the onerous penalties the legislature has seen fit to impose on those convicted of such conduct.
From long-term incarceration, costly fines, job loss and other consequences that can follow convicted offenders for years after the fact, the price paid for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be extremely steep and a defense attorney in Oakland County can be critical to your future.
Therefore, if you have been accused of getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, enlisting the help of an Oakland County DUI lawyer is the first step in safeguarding your liberty as well as your future.
According to Michigan statutes, it is illegal to operate a vehicle:
Furthermore, drivers under the age of 21 are prohibited from driving with a blood alcohol content registering 0.02 or higher or with any detectable amount of alcohol whatsoever, with the exception of a beverage consumed at a recognized religious proceeding.
Such drivers also may not possess, purchase or consume alcoholic beverages and may only transport them while accompanied in the vehicle by a passenger who is at least 21 years old.
In the case that an individual has been charged under one of these laws, contact an Oakland County OWI attorney to
Underscoring the critical nature of securing a vigorous legal defense in the immediate aftermath of a drunk driving charge is the penalties to which those convicted of such offenses are vulnerable. Even first offenses have the ability to initiate a domino effect of circumstances which can make life extremely difficult for months and often years.
The impact of subsequent convictions can linger for decades and cause harm not just to a defendant’s personal freedom and bank balance in the short term, but also their ability to earn a livelihood, their standing in the community and their familial relationships in the longer term.
In Michigan, a first OWI offense, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, can yield upwards of 93 days in jail, a six-month license suspension, hundreds of dollars in fines, substantial community service obligations, a $1,000 Driver Responsibility Fee for the next two years and 6 points on the offender’s driving record, which can lead to exorbitant increases in auto insurance rates.
Second offenses within seven years of the first can bring up to a full year in jail, license revocation, vehicle immobilization or forfeiture and increased monetary fines in addition to other sanctions. A third offense for drunk driving in Michigan is a felony, and as such, can result in particularly stringent penalties, including:
Drivers found guilty of causing serious injury or death while intoxicated or impaired face even stiffer sanctions, including up to 15 years’ imprisonment, fines reaching into the thousands of dollars as well as the full array of penalties typically applicable in serious drunk driving cases. Also, penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana can be just as severe.
Given how much is truly at stake when allegations of this type are made, there is no room for hesitation when it comes to marshaling an aggressive legal defense and obtaining an OWI lawyer in Oakland County.
The specter of a drunk driving charge is a terrifying thing, no matter if it is a first offense or if a felony conviction looms overhead.
However, it is crucial for defendants to bear in mind that a number of effective defense strategies can often be employed in order to substantially weaken the prosecution’s case.
An experienced Oakland County DUI lawyer will be able to review the evidence and identify constitutional problems with the initial traffic stop, the validity of breath and blood testing methods or other aspects of the process in order to pursue dismissal of charges, reduction in charges or, at the very least, a mitigation of the punishments levied.
Time, of course, is of the essence, and by taking swift action in crafting your defense, you will know you are doing everything possible to secure the outcome you seek.