1st (First) Offense DUI
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A First Offense DUI always presents itself rather unpleasantly. Absolutely no one goes out, dressed and ready to get arrested for Drunk Driving. In over 2 decades of being a Michigan DUI and DWI Attorney, I’ve never met anyone, no matter how high their Bodily Alcohol Content (BAC) who didn’t quickly sober up enough to dread being placed in the backseat of the Police car for the ride to Jail.
The next day, a person will usually be released on one of the following charges:
Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), or
High BAC (.17 or above Super-drunk).
In order to be a 1st Offense charge, a person cannot have had a conviction for ANY alcohol-related Traffic Offense within the 7 years preceding the date of the Arrest for the current Charge.
The term "First Offense" now carries a broader range of meanings than it did in the past. Beyond the simpler charges of OWI (Operating While Intoxicated), the State of Michigan has added another new, more serious charge to the DUI palette: High BAC (.17 or above Super-drunk), which carries enhanced penalties and Driver’s License Sanctions.
A 1st Offense OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) charge carries the following potential penalties:
Up to 93 days in Jail
180 days License Suspension
A Fine of up to $500, plus Costs
Up to 180 hours of Community Service
6 Points on Driving Record
$1000 Driver's Responsibility Fee for 2 years
It goes without saying that you hire a Detroit DUI Lawyer to make most of that go away. It is important to resolve the case so that the Client does not lose their License, never goes to Jail, and avoids most of the consequences listed above, and I that's exactly what I do. As your Michigan DUI attorney, I make things better, and better means not having to deal with those things.
Of course, the single best way to produce the best outcome in any DUI case is to get the case "knocked out." A Detroit DUI Lawyer's first obligation is to critically examine every single facet of the charge, from the moment of first Police contact (this includes things like examining the facts surrounding a cell-phone tip), the Field Sobriety Tests, the taking of any breath or blood samples, how the analysis and tests upon those samples were conducted, including how the machines that analyze those samples are calibrated and maintained, as well as how the people who operate them are trained. A skilled Michigan DUI Lawyer must not only know the Law, but also must have expertise in the science of alcohol testing in the field (side of the road) and in the laboratory.
Examining the Evidence
The first thing I do when I'm retained is examine the evidence. DUI cases do not dismiss themselves. They do not get better or go away if left alone. When I'm hired as your Detroit attorney, I swing into action and begin gathering all of the evidence in your DUI case, so that I can examine it. Discovering a defect in the case is almost always the result of making a a critical examination of the evidence. You won't find something without looking for it.
In some cases, the evidence that a person was "over the limit" is strong enough to survive any legal challenges, and that's when I begin negotiations with the Prosecutor to at least secure a break for a less serious charge. By negotiating a less serious charge, I can automatically avoid many of the potential penalties of a 1st Offense OWI charge.
In many of my blog articles, I have examined the real life considerations involved in a First Offense DUI. There are plenty. While staying out of Jail is important, and often the single most important thing to anyone facing a Michigan DUI Charge, there are all kinds of other, for-real consequences that a person will endure as a result of a DUI, and as your attorney my job is to avoid and/or minimize as many of them as possible.
This can mean anything from monthly Reporting Probation, or being put on "Non-Reporting Probation" for a year (and sometimes less), to avoiding Probation altogether, and simply paying Fines and Costs, and being told to "not do that again."
Most DUI Offenders are, with the sole exception of this instance of poor judgment, law-abiding, tax-paying and productive members of society, and certainly not like anything that comes to mind when we use the word "Criminal." Making sure that a person is not made to feel like a Criminal is important. Undoubtedly, a person had enough of that at the time of their Arrest. Sure, this is no trip to Disneyland, but part of my role as my Client's protector is to deflect consequences and help my Client get through this unscathed.