DUI Quick Start from a Michigan Attorney
[Please note that this site is currently being redone. As a result, some pages have different fonts and text than others and some spacing may be off. This is a temporary situation affecting only the appearance of the site, and by the Spring of 2017, everything will be uniform. Meanwhile, all of the information remains accurate and up-to-date]
If you are facing a drunk driving charge and are looking for Michigan DUI lawyer, you undoubtedly want information right away, and I have it right here. In the following sections, I have page after page of information about the realities of a Detroit-area DUI charge. I explain how they work in the real world, because that's where your case is going to be handled. When you're looking to hire a lawyer and have questions, just call my office. My consultations are done over the phone, and are completely confidential.
Making the call
In what county is your case?
I handle DUI cases in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties. My extensive experience as an attorney handling DUI cases in these Detroit-area Courts enables me to give you accurate information about what you can expect and what I can do to make things better.
Meeting with the Attorney
When we meet, we'll go every detail of your case. I'll make sure that you leave my office understanding how the legal system works, what you're realistically facing, and what can and will be done for you. We'll talk about getting your charge dismissed, or reduced to a lesser offense, and how that can save you from losing your ability to drive, points on your record, and money for fines and costs. In addition, as your attorney, I will clearly communicate and explain the other real life consequences that come with a Michigan DUI charge, and how we avoid them.
Handling your case
First, I must gather facts and investigate. Some things that can cause a Michigan DUI charge to be dismissed aren't obvious, and I will meticulously search for them. A charge is won because time and effort are spent in carefully examining all of the evidence. Every single part of the case, from the reason(s) for the first police contact, through the breath or blood test results, must be scrutinized. As a Detroit DUI and DWI attorney, I understand both the nuances of the law, and the science behind field sobriety, breath and blood tests. This enables me to make a critical evaluation of everything from how the police officer evaluated you on the road to whether the machine that analyzed your breath or blood sample worked properly. Problems with the evidence at any of these points can render it inadmissible, or at least unreliable, and must be used to your advantage.
In most drunk driving cases, I can spare you from having to go to Court for the first proceeding, called an “arraignment," where you're advised of the charge against you and a bond is set. My office will file papers with the Court so that you don't have to go, meaning that you can wait to go to court with me for the first real hearing, called a “pre-trial.”
At the pre-trial conference, I meet with the prosecutor and discuss the case. First, I look for a way to get the case dismissed. With my extensive experience with Michigan DUI cases, I know that police officers, despite being highly trained, still make mistakes, and these mistakes, when discovered by an attorney, can be critical. When police mistakes affect any of the evidence against you, become potentially inadmissible, and may be thrown out of Court.
Every DUI case is unique, and while it would be impossible to list all of the reasons why evidence is excluded from Court, or a charge gets dismissed, some of the more common reasons include things like an illegal stop of your vehicle, improper administration of the field sobriety tests, or technical problems with your breath (or blood) test results.
When a blood sample is taken, for example, there are strict rules that govern who can take the blood, how they take it, and how it is handled from the moment it is drawn right through testing it by the State Police crime lab.
If evidence in your Michigan DUI charge is good enough to withstand any legal challenges, then I will negotiate with the Prosecuting attorney to get a reduction of the charge, or otherwise get some real relief from what you are facing.
Mandatory alcohol screening
The most important aspect of a Detroit DUI case that is not otherwise dismissed is the legal requirement that a person convicted of an alcohol-related traffic offense must undergo a mandatory alcohol evaluation. This means that prior to being sentenced by the Judge, you will have an appointment with Court’s probation department, where you will be interviewed and take a written alchol screening test about your drinking habits and history. Because these tests are scored numerically, each and every you give answer has a "point value." As results go, the higher your score, the more likely you are seen to have a drinking problem. The lower the score, the less likely that is.
This means scoring lower is better. In this regard, I am unique among DUI attorneys. Beyond just being a DUI lawyer, I am formally involved in post-graduate University studies of alcohol and addiction issues, including their diagnosis and treatment. I know exactly how an alcohol evaluation test works, and how each answer is interpreted, or "scored." I provide an unmatched advantage to you before you take an alcohol screening test that will have a real impact on what happens to you.
Good test results mean good outcomes at your sentencing. Poor results will get you stuck in rehab, counseling, or expensive alcohol education classes. While that's not the whole picture, that's a very big part of it. Whatever else, avoiding as much of this as possible is your biggest priority, and I can help you do that better than anyone.
The sentencing recommendation
The end result of the alcohol screening test and the probation interview is a written sentencing recommendation that is prepared by the probation officer who conducted your interview. This recommendation is required by law, and is sent to the Judge for him or her to read prior to your sentencing. The written recommendation advises the Judge what terms and conditions (including classes and counseling and rehab) to order as the sentence in each case. In other words, it tells the Judge what to do to you.
It is extremely important that you are thoroughly prepared for the alcohol screening test and probation interview, and no other Michigan DUI attorney can do that better than me. Make no mistake about it, the sentencing recommendation is really like a "blueprint," instructing the Judge exactly what to do to you. In the real world, Judges always follow the probation officer's sentencing recommendation very closely.
At the sentencing the Judge first reads the recommendation, then orders that you do certain things, and not do others. "Sentencing" is where all the consequences we've been talking about are handed down, or not. Sentencing is where you stand in front of the Judge to find out what is going to happen to you. Unless your case gets dismissed for some technical reason along the way, we will have been working toward this moment from our very first meeting.
When all is said and done, success in a Michigan DUI case is determined by what does and does not happen to you. I will make sure everything goes smoothly, and that we avoid as many of the potential negative consequences as possible in your case.
My Fee schedule is for Drunk Driving cases is listed below:
• First Offense DUI: $3600.
• Second Offense Drunk Driving: $4800.
• Third Offense (Felony) Drunk Driving: From $6800.