Contact
How can we help?
(248) 602-2799
Attorney

Building a Birmingham Felony DUI Defense

DUIs are already taken quite seriously in Birmingham, and the penalties for a felony DUI can be significantly harsher. Furthermore, a felony offense can limit your access to certain opportunities. That is why it is important to retain experienced legal counsel. If you have been arrested for a felony DUI, consult a qualified DUI lawyer. Your attorney can begin building a Birmingham felony DUI defense for you.

Importance of Discovery When Building a Defense

An attorney will want to start the process of getting discovery immediately. Discovery is any kind of information that can include things like videos, police reports, testing logs, any kind of blood test work or records showing the certification of machines or testing instruments. It can take an extended period of time and with a felony case, there is a timeline that can work against the defendant.

While it is good to have a preliminary examination conference very quickly, especially if a client is incarcerated because, with a felony, this limits the time for obtaining and reviewing discovery. The rationale behind the quick scheduling is that on felony cases there is a higher percentage of defendants that are going to be incarcerated, awaiting their day in court. They have a right to a speedy trial and deserve to have their day in court. However, if a person is not in custody, then it makes the most sense to delay the process to ensure plenty of time to establish defenses.

Addressing Underlying Issues

When building a Birmingham felony DUI defense, attorneys will want to meet with the defendant to understand what happened and make sure that they are starting to take appropriate steps to address any underlying issues. For somebody who is in a felony situation where it is a third offense, this could be a warning sign of a problem with alcohol or drugs and, if so, it is important to get treatment for them.

The worst thing an attorney can do is be so busy focused on the case at hand that they ignore the underlying problem. Drunk driving is often a symptom of other problems. Just dealing with the one symptom is not necessarily going to avoid another drunk driving incident from coming up. So it is very important to not just focus directly on the legal battle but find out if someone might need treatment.

Another thing to consider is the impact that these charges may have on a person’s driver’s license. With a drunk driving third offense or one of the other charges where somebody has been hurt or killed, a person could be looking at a possible revocation and complete loss of license. The revocation or suspension of a license can be stressful, especially for those who are reliant on their cars and do not live in areas with reliable public transportation.

What Makes Felony DUIs More Difficult to Defend?

The problem with a felony is that, usually, by the time somebody reaches a third offense, the alcohol levels can go up. Anytime someone has a higher alcohol level, that can be a little bit more difficult to defend. Whenever an attorney is defending a third offense scenario or an offense where somebody is seriously hurt or killed, the individual is likely going to be considered an alcoholic from the get-go.

They think of a habitual offender as somebody who is potentially dangerous to society, somebody who is unable to stop themselves from drunk driving or, again, in these other types of felonies, somebody who has already hurt or killed someone. There is not as much sympathy towards the defendants as in a first offense or even a second. There is less margin for the innocent explanation. When someone comes upon a third offense, it is usually going to be assumed that if they are not taken care of very quickly, that there is going to be a fourth or a fifth offense.

Dealing With State Prosecutors

As soon as somebody gets a third offense, very quickly they turn around and get further offenses. Additionally, with a felony, there is no more dealing with a city prosecutor. Because felonies are handled by the state prosecutor, which is each county’s individual prosecuting attorney for the state, they have many more resources than a local, city attorney.

They have bigger budgets, more time to handle these cases and they generally hire people who are much more geared towards fighting these kinds of cases out. People who feel a certain calling to the prosecutor’s office are going to be much more difficult to deal with than a city attorney who does this as a part-time job. So, they are going to want to see a lot more effort out of the defendant and will probably delineate a lot more, in terms of issues with the case, before they come down to a reasonable offer.

Recognizing the Role of District Courts

Attorneys should recognize that some prosecutors are reluctant to offer deals if the case goes to circuit court. So, the gross majority of effort has to be applied directly at the district court level because it is important to agree on a deal before the case gets bound over. That means that if an attorney puts effort into building a Birmingham felony DUI defense at the district court level, they could potentially increase the likelihood of receiving less stringent punishment.

Establishing a Rapport With the Defendant

Your attorney should attempt to establish a good rapport with you because it is important that you understand what is happening with your case and that you trust your lawyer. This may be your first time facing a felony and it is normal to be afraid. You may be facing a minimum amount of jail time, 30 days’ minimum on a third offense drunk driving, which many of the people with one or two drunk driving incidents in the State of Michigan have not done more than a few days in jail, if any jail, on those priors. If you have been charged with a DUI offense, consult a skilled lawyer that could begin building a Birmingham felony DUI defense for you.