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Driving Under Influence

Criminal Defense

It is important to have competent representation when dealing with criminal offenses especially those involving young offenders. A young offender faces many negative impacts of a conviction for underage alcohol use, drug use, driving offense, or any combination thereof.

Experience and understanding of the criminal system is a MUST when dealing with young offenders because convictions for drug use, underage drinking, and driving offenses may limit opportunities obtaining financial aid for college, employment opportunities, and driving privileges.

Our office is experienced and knowledgeable. Allow us to help you sort out the confusion and offer you and your family peace of mind.

Drunk Driving (DUI, DWI, and OWI Offenses)

Alcohol related driving offenses are serious no matter the age of the person facing charges. If you or a loved one is being faced with possible driving charges involving alcohol, contact our attorneys to walk you through the process.

What is drunk driving? The tickets that may be written by officers and charges brought by prosecutors have a variety of names such as “Driving under the influence” (DUI), “driving while intoxicated” (DWI), and “operating while intoxicated” (OWI). These names and acronyms vary based on the state or local statute that defines the particular crime.

What is the penalty? The penalties for drunk driving depend on whether you are a first time offender, under 21, and whether or not your ticket involved an accident. The reality is that the fines, costs, and possible jail time are the least of your concern. It is likely that limitations will be placed on drivers licenses or a complete revocation of driving privileges may occur. You could also forfeit your vehicle, or have a restricted license or in-car breathalyzer installed. These restrictions may make working and earning an income impossible. The cost is much higher than the fines alone.

Facts about the Law: The legal blood alcohol content limit in Michigan is 0.08 for adults. This limit is lower than the previous limit which was 0.10 for adults. This change in the blood alcohol limit means that consumption of alcohol that was legal before is now illegal for the purposes of driving a motor vehicle. Michigan has also enacted a ZERO tolerance policy for underage drivers found with ANY amount of alcohol in their system. In addition, the Michigan Legislature enacted a tiered system of punishment, with the passage of Michigan’s “Super Drunk” law, which has harsher provisions for those that test a blood alcohol of 0.16 or higher.

Give us a call at 586-580-4665 if you have questions about a drunk driving offense!

Minors in Possession of Alcohol and Drugs (MIP Offenses)

Offenses involving minors are particularly frightening because what is decided in court will affect the young adult for years to come. A drug offense may limit or completely block your child’s opportunity to obtain student loans or gain employment in certain fields. This is why having a competent attorney represent your son or daughter for even “little offenses” is extremely important. Inside a Court Room in front of a judge who has the power to put your son or daughter behind bars is not the time to “teach your child a lesson.”

The penalties for drug and alcohol offense for minors vary based on whether the charge is a local or state statute. A local statute may have stiffer penalties and may vary by minicipality. It is important for your child that you obtain an attorney familiar with these nuances in order to best protect your child’s rights and future.

The best possible outcome for many young adults is the opportunity to defer sentencing and be placed on probation. Upon successful completion of Probation and payment of all fines and costs (including the costs associated with Probation), the charge is dismissed. The caveat is that if you are placed on probation and you fail to comply (either by missing appointments, counseling, or drug testing, or by failing to pay fines and costs), then you are hit with a double whammy: you are charged with the original crime as well as face additional charges for the probation violation. It is important to stress to your child the seriousness of the offense and the consequences he or she faces because of one poor choice.

Organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have placed enormous pressure on the legislature to enact stiffer penalties for crimes involving impaired driving cases. These tougher penalties extend to young adults as well.

Give us a call at 586-580-4665 if you need legal help with a MIP Offense!

Driving While License Suspended (DWLS Offenses)

It is important to pay all outstanding parking and moving violations on time! If you fail to pay your tickets a warrant may be issued for your arrest and if you are pulled over, you can be immediately arrested and spend the night in jail! Do not let unpaid fines and fees prevent you from working and earning the money necessary to pay off these expenses. You then have to appear in Court. Having an attorney by your side through this process to ensure you get your record cleaned up and tickets paid can make a huge difference at your Court Date.

Public Act 255 of 2011 does away with $150.00 driver responsibility fees, charges for two consecutive years for the following violation, commented on or after October 1, 2011:

  • Operating a motor vehicle with an expired operator’s or chauffer’s license
  • Operating without a valid license
  • Having more than one license
  • Failing to surrender licenses from other states

The law also eliminates $200.00 driver responsibility fees, charged for two consecutive years, for these violations, committed on or after October 1, 2011:

  • Failing to have mandatory motor vehicle insurance coverage
  • Failure to provide proof of insurance
  • Knowingly providing false evidence of insurance

The more serious offenses including alcohol related, controlled substance and reckless driving remain for driver responsibility fees of $500.00 or $1,000.00 for two consecutive years.

Driving offenses carry penalties such as fines and court costs, possible jail time, loss of driving privileges, and driver responsibly fees. Driving offenses are serious and require experienced attorneys to review you specific situation and assist you in obtaining the best resolution.

Give us a call at 586-580-4665 to speak with a lawyer about your rights!