OWI Charges Can Be Dismissed
The only way OWI charges are dismissed is with the assistance of a highly-skilled, tenacious, and savvy defense lawyer willing and able to do whatever it takes to get the best possible outcome.
Few Lawyers Have Ever Gotten OWI Charges Dismissed – Here is How We Got It Done
As many members of the public are aware, and as all attorneys, prosecutors, and judges know, getting a plea agreement that involves the dismissal of a drunk driving charge is virtually unheard of. Did we get it because we know someone in the right position and get the dismissal on that basis? No. Senior partner and trial attorney Randall Lewis achieved the dismissal of an OWI charge through hard work and by strategically showing to the prosecutor the evidentiary weaknesses in the case and that the circumstances of our client’s life were such that justice and fairness militated in favor of a non-alcohol-related plea, even though the client had a prior drunk driving conviction on his record.
Our client had a congenital physical impairment, which interfered with his ability to communicate with the officer who pulled him over. Many attorneys, looking at the police report, would perhaps have missed the subtle signs that there was no real communication between the police officer and our client. Such attorneys may have thought there was enough communication, and our client probably understood the officer, so it’s not worth challenging. Such a conclusion would never have crossed Mr. Lewis’ mind. Why? Because LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. attorneys never leave any stone unturned and never stop being creative in attempting to save a client from a conviction by getting OWI charges dismissed when possible.
In this case, the client refused a breath test, and we argued that he did not understand the officer’s request to take one. To this day, we believe this to be true. Although LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.’s attorneys are creative, we never make bad-faith arguments to a prosecutor. We value our reputation, and being respected by prosecutors and judges goes a long way in favorably resolving cases or getting them dismissed. We want to keep it that way because our clients are the ultimate beneficiaries of our superb reputation when seeking the dismissal of an OWI or any criminal charge.
Because of the misunderstanding about the breath test, the police obtained a search warrant for a blood draw, and the client’s blood-alcohol level was determined to be over the legal limit of .08. However, for Mr. Lewis, this was just the beginning of his analysis of the case. This would have been the end of the analysis for most defense attorneys. Mr. Lewis compared the times of the stop and how long it took to do the blood draw. By sophisticated extrapolation, he determined that it was very plausible that the client’s blood-alcohol level was below the legal limit when he was stopped. The prosecutor may have argued that the alcohol level must have been higher at the time of the driving. Still, Mr. Lewis pointed out that the client stated he had drunk his last drink shortly before driving and that the alcohol probably had not risen over .08 by the time he was driving.
Due to the never-say-die approach of LEWIS & DICKSTEIN partner Randall Lewis, as with all attorneys in the firm, a very favorable resolution was negotiated. The client pleaded to two minor traffic offenses, was placed on six (6) months of non-reporting probation, and was given nominal fines and costs. This sentence is a world apart from the sentence the client would have been given if he had been convicted of a drinking and driving offense. He would have faced many hundreds of dollars in fines and costs, been on reporting probation for a year, had 4 or 6 points added to his license, been required to take alcohol safety classes and a MADD Victim Impact Panel, and been forced to submit to regular alcohol and drug screens.
How do the best OWI defense lawyers get charges dismissed?
The best OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) lawyers in Michigan, such as the attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., employ various strategies to pursue the dismissal or reduction of charges for their clients. Here are some tactics that experienced attorneys might use:
- Challenging the Traffic Stop: If law enforcement lacked a valid reason to make the traffic stop, evidence collected during that stop might be considered inadmissible and subject to a Motion to Suppress.
- Questioning Field Sobriety Tests: Field sobriety tests can be subjective, and factors like weather, terrain, medical conditions, or even the driver’s footwear can affect performance. The administration and interpretation of these tests can be challenged.
- Challenging Breathalyzer and Blood Test Results: An attorney may challenge the administration, calibration, and maintenance of breathalyzer machines. Similarly, the chain of custody and handling of blood samples can be critiqued.
- Evaluating the Arrest Process: Evidence might be thrown out if law enforcement failed to properly advise the defendant of their rights or if there was misconduct during the arrest.
- Scrutinizing the Evidence: Evidence such as dashboard camera footage or witness statements can sometimes work in the defendant’s favor.
- Medical and Dietary Defenses: Certain medical conditions or diets might affect breath or blood test results. For instance, someone in ketosis (from certain diets or diabetes) might produce breathalyzer results that show a falsely high blood alcohol concentration.
- Procedural Defenses: A lawyer may argue that delays in the legal process, missing paperwork, or other procedural hiccups compromise the defendant’s rights and justify a dismissal or the suppression of evidence.
- Evaluating the Officer’s Observations: The attorney can cross-examine the arresting officer to identify inconsistencies or inaccuracies in their observations or report.
- Plea Negotiations: Sometimes, the best way to avoid a conviction is to negotiate a plea to a lesser offense, like reckless driving, especially if it’s a first-time offense and there are problematic issues with the prosecutor’s case.
- Questioning the Actual Operation of the Vehicle: In some cases, there might be a lack of concrete evidence to prove the defendant was actually operating or driving the vehicle.
- Consulting Expert Witnesses: Defense attorneys may bring in experts to testify on subjects like the effects of alcohol, the accuracy of breath or blood tests, or the reliability of field sobriety tests.
- Rising Blood Alcohol Defense: If there was a significant time gap between when the defendant was driving and when they were tested, an attorney might argue that their BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) was actually below the legal limit while driving but rose above the limit by the time they were tested.
- Education and Training: Top defense lawyers consistently update their training and education to be abreast of the most advanced information and trial strategies for OWI defense.
- Winning at Trial: Lawyers who routinely win at trial become known to judges and prosecutors. The most successful lawyers have the best hope of getting substantial plea bargains and dismissals of charges.
While these strategies can be effective, it’s important to understand that every OWI case is unique, and there’s no guarantee of a dismissal. The best outcomes often result from a combination of legal expertise, a thorough understanding of the case’s specifics, a reputation for successful OWI litigation, and the ability to effectively communicate and negotiate with the prosecution.
The Best OWI Defense Attorneys for You!
If you face a drinking and driving charge, hire a firm that genuinely cares about you and your case and will always go the extra mile to protect your future and your freedom. The dedicated, experienced, and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented thousands of clients on felony and misdemeanor charges in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, and Livingston Counties, and throughout Michigan. Seeking dismissal of OWI charges, when possible, is always our highest priority. We have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality defense and aggressive representation, while showing empathy and care for each client.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.