With punishment for a DUI/OWI conviction as severe in Michigan as they have ever been, you need representation from a defense attorney who understands the complexities of the relevant laws and how prosecutors and judges treat DUI charges in the real world.
At our firm, David G. Moore, Attorney at Law, we regularly represent people charged with DUI in the Kalamazoo and Portage region. We know DUI law thoroughly and have closely observed how those laws have changed over time.
If you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI and need more information, here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
What If I Declined To Take The Breath Test?
Michigan is an implied consent state. This means that when you have a driver’s license, by implication you agree to submit to blood-alcohol testing when the police ask you to. If you decline, your license will automatically be suspended for one year and six points will be added to your record. However, you may be able to get full or partial driving privileges back by requesting a hearing.
What Are The Most Common Defenses To A DUI Charge?
The arresting officer’s conduct during your traffic stop is the key to most DUI cases, because that is when most of the evidence is gathered. Often, a skilled defense attorney is able to prove that the officer mishandled the stop. For example, the officer may have pulled you over without probable cause to do so. Or they failed to properly calibrate the breath test machine, leading to a faulty blood-alcohol reading. In other cases, the arresting officer misinterpreted the results of the field sobriety tests or did not account for things like slippery roads or a driver with a disability.
Will My Insurance Go Up If I’m Convicted?
Auto insurance companies usually raise their premium rates for customers after an DUI/OWI conviction. Sometimes the premiums will double or go even higher, and can last for years. This is something to consider before pleading guilty to a DUI/OWI charge.
What Are The Consequences Of A First-Time Conviction? What About A Second Conviction?
If you have no prior record, a conviction for standard DUI (driving with a blood-alcohol level of between .08 and .17) can result in up to 93 days in jail, the loss of your driver’s license for up to 180 days, up to 360 hours of community service and a maximum $500 fine. You may also be ordered to take a DUI education course or undergo substance abuse treatment.
The potential penalties go up for a subsequent conviction: up to a year in jail, a suspended license for at least a year, 30-90 days of community service, and probation. The court may confiscate your license plates, and you may have to pay for an ignition interlock device to get them back.