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Defense Lawyer for Drunk Driving Cases in Lansing & beyond

A DUI, otherwise known as “drunk driving,” is the most common alcohol-related offense in the United States. A DUI charge is one of the most difficult charges to defend. The clinical and procedural techniques and strategies of safeguarding DUIs has developed into a complex practice by continually reducing the “legal limit” and positioning harsher consequences and repercussions on people charged and convicted of DUIs.
Bahrie Law will provide you with more than 40 years of working knowledge and experience in the courtroom. We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity while defending your case. Our expertise will make the difference. Time is critical whenever working with a DUI-related offense. Choosing a knowledgeable, well-informed team of attorneys will help secure and defend your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Sanctions & Consequences Within the State of Michigan

dui

First Offense (Misdemeanor Charge)

Operating while intoxicated (OWI), better known as drunk driving, carries fines of up to $500, with the possibility of up to 15 days or 360 hours of community service work. The judge can also apply jail time of up to 93 days. You may also have your driver's license suspended for up to 30 days; this is typically followed by restriction of your license for up to 150 days. If the judge feels it is necessary, vehicle immobilization or ignition locks may be placed on your vehicle. Your driving record will also have 6 points added to it. On top of all the other fees and costs associated with the charge, a driver responsibility fee of $1,000 a year for two years is required to be paid to the secretary of state.
Super drunk/high blood alcohol content, having a BAC of .17 or higher, carries fines up to $700, plus possible 180 days in jail and/or 360 hours of local community service. Your driver's license may be suspended for up to one year based on the judge's decision. License plate confiscation is typical if the court finds you have been operating a vehicle without a correctly installed ignition lock system. They may also require vehicle immobilization if you are found to be violating the ignition lock requirement. Your driving record will have 6 points added as well. On top of all the other fees and costs associated with the charge, a driver responsibility fee of $1,000 a year for two years is required to be paid to the secretary of state.
Operating while visibly impaired (OWVI), better known as impaired driving, carries fines up to $300, as well as a possible 93 days in jail and/or 360 hours of local community service. Driver's license restriction and or suspension is possible for up to 90 days. Vehicle immobilization or ignition lock is possible based on the judge's discretion. Four points will be added to your driving record. A driver responsibility fee of $500 a year for two years is required to be paid to the secretary of state.

Second Offense (Misdemeanor Charge)

Operating while intoxicated (OWIL), better known as drunk driving, carries fines up to $1,000, as well as (based on the judge's decision) up to one year in jail and/or 90 days of community service. Your driver's license can be revoked and denied for a minimum of one year (a five-year minimum if prior revocation was within the last seven years). Your license plate can be confiscated, and you may face vehicle immobilization for up to a possible six months or 180 days. Driving record impact would be 6 points added. On top of all these other charges would be a driver responsibility fee of $1,000 a year for two years to the secretary of state.
Operating while visibly impaired (OWVI), better known as impaired driving, carries fines up to $1,000, plus one year in jail and/or 90 days of community service. Based on the judge's discretion, your driver's license may be revoked for a minimum of one year (a five-year minimum if prior revocation was within the last seven years). Your license plates could be confiscated, and your vehicle could be immobilized for up to six months or 180 days. Driving record impact is 4 points added, with a driver’s responsibility fee of $500 a year for two years required to be paid to the secretary of state.

Third Offense (Felony Charge)

Operating while intoxicated carries fines of up to $5,000. The following will apply: possible five years in jail; probation, with up to one year in jail; possible six months or 180 days of community service. Based on the judge's decision, your driver's license may be revoked. Revocation and denial is a minimum of one year with a possible five-year minimum if there was a prior revocation within the last seven years. Your license plate may be confiscated, and your vehicle may be immobilized for up to three years, depending on the severity of the case; vehicle forfeiture is possible. Registration of vehicle will be denied, with an additional 6 points added to your driving record. Lastly, a driver responsibility fee of $1,000 a year for two years is required to be paid to the secretary of state.
Operating while visibly impaired, better known as impaired driving, carries fines of up to $5,000 with the possibility of up to five years in jail or probation, with up to one year in jail and 180 days of community service. Based on the judge's decision, your driver's license can be revoked and denied, with a minimum period of revocation and denial being one year, or a five-year minimum if there was a prior revocation within the last seven years. Your license plate will be confiscated, with the possibility of vehicle immobilization of up to three years. Vehicle forfeiture is possible and very likely. Registration of that vehicle will be denied. Driving record will see an additional 4 points and a driver responsibility fee of $500 a year for two years is required to be paid to the secretary of state.

Operating Offense That Resulted in Death or Serious Injury

If you have had an accident with a serious Injury or death that occurred while driving intoxicated, even if it is the first offense, you may be charged with a felony.  If the accident resulted in a death, you can face up to 15 years’ imprisonment with fines of $2,500-$10,000, or both. Causing serious injury has a possible five years of imprisonment, with a fine of $1,000-$5,000; sometimes both fee and imprisonment. If you caused an emergency responder death, you are facing up to 20 years’ imprisonment with fines of $2,500-$10,000, or possibly both. Your driver's license will be revoked and a denial for a minimum of one year will be applied. License plate confiscation is very likely, as well as vehicle immobilization for up to six months. Depending on the judge, vehicle forfeiture is a common penalty. Six points will be added to the offender's driving record, as well as paying a driver responsibility fee of $1,000.
In Michigan, you have an option of a blood-based or breath-based exam. If you decide to consent to a breath test, you are required to blow into a machine identified as the Datamaster. We are trained in the operation and functionality of this device, as well as knowing exactly which way to attack the validity of the device’s results. We understand the difficulties in DUI defense and will analyze and exploit any issues or defects in every test result. Choose a defense attorney who is trained in field sobriety tests – one who is aware of the validity of each test and how this kind of test can and is sometimes compromised by user error.
A variation to DUI laws was the addition of the per se law or legislation. This legislation states that it does not matter whether you were impaired or under the influence, but instead if your chemical exam resulted in a value that was higher than the state’s set amount. In Michigan, if a driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or above, they are assumed to be intoxicated. This tends to make the prosecution’s task significantly less difficult and the defense’s considerably more difficult. The prosecution presently relies upon the “science” of the chemical exam and does not care if you were actually intoxicated at the time.
Bahrie Law is very knowledgeable about chemical and field sobriety tests. Due to the complex and difficult nature of organizing an effective defense, selecting a DUI attorney with experience and expertise is critical. It does not matter what criminal offense you are charged with; one should never take any risks with their freedoms. If you have recently been charged with or are facing criminal charges/offenses, you will need the power of a reputable attorney in the courtroom. Bahrie Law is here to provide you with the right defense, at the right time, in the right place, as we have for more than 40 years. We are here to work with you and for your rights. Call us at 517-694-1300!