DUI Charges in Michigan
Receiving a DUI is a frightening experience and life changing event. Many people are unaware of collateral consequences associated with a drunk driving charge. For instance, someone charged with a DUI in certain areas such as Oakland County may face jail time even for a first offense. Having an experienced DUI lawyer on your side is vital for not only staying out of jail, but also protecting your future.
Top Tips from Award Winning DUI Attorney Mike Kelly
How A DUI Affects Your Life
The consequences of being arrested for a DUI do not end after a night in jail. There are many other potential legal consequences and hardships associated with having a DUI on your record.
Here are some quick facts about DUI’s and how they can impact someone’s life:
– In most cases, they cannot be expunged or set aside
– Drunk driving offenses can stay on a criminal record permanently
– Having a DUI on your record may affect future employment opportunities
– The courts may sentence someone to jail, even for a first-time offense
– DUI’s can add additional points on your driving record and result in driver’s license suspension
At Kelly & Kelly we offer over 30 years of court experience and top notch advocacy for our clients. We understand good people make mistakes and shouldn’t always be punished for the rest of their life. We fight to ensure our clients avoid jail time and minimize the impact a DUI has on their future.
Having a DUI on Your Criminal Record
Many people do not consider the long term collateral consequences associated with having a DUI on their criminal record. In Michigan, it’s not uncommon for someone to receive a jail sentence and strict probation following a drunk driving conviction.
What’s missing here is what I call the “Scarlet Letter.” For instance, In Michigan, a DUI cannot be expunged or set aside at any period of time after completing probation. This is because it’s technically classified under the motor vehicle code and not the criminal code.
It’s very difficult because it involves the Department of State who’s responsible for licensing drivers on the road, which is a privilege, and then the courts which is responsible for administering penalties for those that violate our laws.
Unfortunately, a judge can’t prevent the Secretary of State from suspending someone’s driver’s license or adding points to onto the license. Furthermore, drunk driving charges aren’t eligible for certain deferral programs, youthful offender programs, or stay out of trouble programs.
It’s also important to note, International travel to Canada is prohibited as Canada will not allow someone with an OWI on their criminal record to cross the border and enter the country.
These are all collateral consequences that most people do not consider after being arrested for drunk driving. The consequences are major because the reality is that unless and until Michigan DUI first offender forgiveness program, these are the types of things that are on your record and you are going to have to answer for that for the rest of your life.
With that in mind, let’s start focusing on solutions. The next section will discuss your legal options after being arrested for drunk driving and why it’s vital to have a law firm specializing in DUI charges to represent you in court.
How A DUI Lawyer Can Help
As experienced criminal lawyers specializing in drunk driving offenses, we represent clients by observing all the facts and circumstances within a case and providing context to the judge where necessary. First, we look at every angle of a case to ensure the legal rights of our clients were respected by law enforcement. We consider details such as:
The Traffic Stop – Did law enforcement actually have proper legal grounds to make a traffic stop?
The Arrest – Did law enforcement have probable cause to stop your vehicle and make an arrest?
Legal Grounds – Was there legal grounds for police to believe you were under the influence of alcohol?
Preliminary Breathalyzer Test (PBT) – Was the road side PBT properly administered by the police? (i.e. whether or not the device was calibrated, if the officer was properly trained, if data was correctly entered, etc)
Miranda Rights – Were you read your rights by a law enforcement official at the appropriate time?
Method of BAC Testing – Did the case involve a breathalyzer to test the blood alcohol levels (BAC) or was a blood draw administered instead?
Blood Draw – Did law enforcement obtain the necessary legal documentation (valid warrants) to conduct a blood draw for DUI testing?
DUI Blood Testing – Was the DUI blood test properly administered with medical personnel that are properly trained in conducting these tests and were you read necessary legal rights prior to blood testing?
Blood Test Lab Results – Were the samples from blood testing correctly obtained, tested, and stored by the laboratory and was the data obtained from the samples properly entered?
Valid Warrants – Was there consent for the blood draw or were warrants obtained? Were these warrants issued by the correct court and signed by a judge?
If your legal rights were respected and the proper protocols were followed by police, then it’s unlikely a drunk driving charge will be thrown out or that a conviction will be overturned. In these cases, we focus our efforts on ensuring that a client’s criminal record does not simply end with, for example, “Oakland County OWI August, 2019.”
What I like to have my clients be able to do and what my clients enjoy the benefit of is simply being able to say “see attached” and with our plan our clients are successful. They have certificates of completion, cover letters of support, character references, community service endeavors, rehabilitative composite picture, etc.
With this plan, you can show the courts and potential employers that you incurred bad circumstances and responded in an exceptional way. The fact is, you’re human and humans make many good and bad choices every day; but, yet after a bad choice you showed the ability to rebound in the right direction from it.
This is the message that our clients walk away with. As definitive as these convictions are it doesn’t have to be that way. You have options, and one of these options is hiring an experienced DUI lawyer to represent your best interests and protect your future.
The lawyers at Kelly & Kelly P.C. experienced in all courts throughout the state of Michigan. This knowledge is required to defend your rights, affirm your innocence or minimize penalties/disciplinary actions.
Proactive criminal defense – Our law firm puts together personalized plans for each of our clients to help them navigate the system and address the situation which led them to being involved in the criminal justice system. We focus on putting the client in the best light when in front of the judge.
DUI in Oakland County
Being charged with a DUI in Oakland County (52nd District Court), is a particularly serious matter. This is serious because this area is notoriously strict on sentencing for drunk driving offenses. In fact, the county received national attention in 2011 when an Oakland County judge issued a jail sentence on an NBA player for a first-time DUI charge.
This was not an isolated event as the county prides itself for being tough on the enforcement of drunk driving laws. As a result, it’s not unheard of for someone to receive a jail sentence for a first time DUI in Oakland County, particularly, when they lack proper legal defense.
Michigan Drunk Driving Offense Classification
In Michigan, there are several types of DUI offenses. The offense may depend on the age of the driver, the level of intoxication, and the existence of prior drunk driving charges. Regardless of the circumstances, being charged with a DUI is a time sensitive matter; once released from custody, the clock starts ticking on the life-cycle of your case. Even though you may have just experienced the “worst night of your life,” it’s important to contact an experienced DUI lawyer right away. Read more about specific classifications for drunk driving offenses below.
(Person Under 21 drives with any measurable amount of alcohol (.02>))
– Possible Sentence: $250.00 Fine and/or 45 days Community Service Work (CSW)
- No Jail Allowed on 1st Offense
- $500.00 Fine and/or 60 days CSW, and/or 93 days Jail (2nd Off.)
- $500.00 Driver’s Responsibility Fees
– Points: 4 [Compared with 6 for OWI, plus higher fines]
– License Sanctions:
(a) 1st offense 30 days Restricted
(b) 2nd offense 90 days-1 Year Suspended, Restricted after 90 days
– Maximum of 93 days in County Jail or up to 24 months of probation
– Maximum of $300.00 in Base Court Fines
– 4 Points
– 90-day license suspension with restrictions allowed for entire period
– $500/Year for 2 years in Driver’s Responsibility Fees (Total $1,000.00)
– Maximum of 93 days in County Jail or up to 24 months of probation
– Maximum of $500.00 in Base Court Fines
– 6 Points on Driver’s License
– Mandatory 30-day license suspension, followed by 150-day restriction (driving privilege limited to work/school/treatment/court etc.)
– $1,000/Year for 2 years in Driver’s Responsibility Fees (Total $2,000.00)
-180-day jail maximum Misdemeanor and/or up to 24 months of probation
-Base Fine between $200-$700.00 (Excludes probation fees, court assessments, police recovery fees, victim fees, etc.)
-Mandatory 1-year Alcohol Rehabilitation Program
-Discretionary Immobilization of the vehicle involved in arrest
-45 day loss of license
-320 days’ restricted license only with Alcohol Interlock Device installed
-$2,000.00 Driver Responsibility Fee ($1,000/per year for 2 years)
Award Winning Michigan DUI Lawyer
Attorney Michael B. Kelly is an award winning attorney for criminal defense and drunk driving charges. Mike received Client’s Choice award by Avvo in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and counting. Furthermore, Michael was selected by The National Trial Lawyers as a Top 40 Under 40 lawyer for Criminal Defense. In addition to awards by peers, Michael has exceptionally high ratings from clients he’s helped throughout the years.
Michael is focused on criminal defense as his sole legal practice area and further specializes in drunk driving offenses. In addition to being a skilled attorney for criminal defense, Michael has access to a multitude of legal resources at his widely respected law firm of Kelly & Kelly P.C.
Kelly & Kelly is a Northville based law firm that represents clients all throughout Wayne County, Oakland County, Macomb County, and other locations throughout Michigan. Our law firm has proudly served clients in Southeast Michigan for over 30 years. Throughout this time, our legal practice has obtained irreplaceable experience within various court systems across the state.
If you, or someone you know was arrested or is being charged with a drunk driving offense in Michigan, Kelly & Kelly can provide you with the highest quality of representation and legal defense.