Best Defense for Felony Drunk Driving in Michigan
Facing a felony drunk driving charge in Michigan is upsetting and distressing. With a waivable mandatory minimum 30-day jail sentence and the possibility of 5 years in prison, the most vigorous possible defense is essential.
Experienced Felony Drunk Driving Charges in Michigan
Prosecutors and judges consider felony drunk driving in Michigan to be among the most serious of criminal charges. Partly because of powerful lobbying groups, such as MADD, harsh treatment of drunk driving cases has become a necessity for the re-election of judges and county prosecutors throughout Michigan. The best defense in these cases is a felony drunk driving attorney with vast experience and a track record of success.
Felony Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) can be charged and proven in two separate ways. First, a defendant can be found guilty if they are proven to be operating a vehicle with alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substance in their body that substantially affected that person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. The second type of OWI is having a bodily alcohol content (BAC) at or above 0.08. This level can be determined through a chemical test, typically breath or blood testing.
Felony OWI and DUI Defense
The most respected felony drunk driving attorneys in Michigan are known for providing a tenacious, fearless, and intelligent defense. A strong defense can be crafted using a variety of strategies. The savviest lawyers can employ several defense strategies at one time so that the government’s case is attacked on multiple levels. In most cases, there are five potential defenses to drunk driving charges:
- attacking the facts,
- attacking the science,
- litigating constitutional violations,
- using medical explanations for inaccurate or mistaken test results and field sobriety test performance issues, and
- using statutes, case law, court rules, and the rules of evidence to seek the exclusion of unfavorable evidence and inclusion of favorable evidence.
Usual Penalties for Felony Drunk Driving
It is important to understand that every defendant and every case is different. When you factor in the presiding judge’s propensities, the assigned prosecutor’s proclivities, the lead detective’s influence, the defendant’s unique characteristics, and the case’s distinctive facts, you will see that no two cases are alike. Because of the complexity involved in drunk driving defense, the defense attorney’s skill and experience play a pivotal role in determining and mitigating the penalty the court will impose in the event of a conviction. The felony drunk driving defense attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have extensive experience and a well-known history of achieving extraordinary sentences on behalf of our clients.
Taking a Case to Trial
Very few criminal defense lawyers have taken a drunk driving case to trial. A prosecutor facing a defense lawyer with a reputation for having all of their clients take a plea has minimal incentive to offer an exceptional plea bargain. Defense attorneys who routinely take cases to trial get offered the most substantial deals. When a deal cannot be reached, a case might need to be tried before a judge or jury. Don’t forget a defendant is innocent unless the government can prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A drunk driving charge is made of parts called elements. The elements of felony drunk driving are:
- the defendant was intoxicated by drugs, alcohol, or a combination of drugs and alcohol,
- the defendant operated a motor vehicle, meaning either drove or had actual physical control of the vehicle,
- the defendant operated the vehicle on a highway or other place open to the public or generally accessible to motor vehicles, and
- the defendant has at least two prior alcohol or drug-related driving convictions in their lifetime.
If the prosecution cannot prove any one of the four elements beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant must be found not guilty.
Collateral Consequences of a Felony Conviction
In addition to jail and probation, there are indirect or collateral consequences of a felony drunk driving conviction that can be life-altering in a negative way. Rights that would be lost in the event of a conviction by plea or trial include:
- the right to possess and carry a firearm,
- damaged reputation,
- loss or adjustment in custody or visitation with children,
- the right to vote while incarcerated,
- the right to serve on a jury,
- the ability to obtain a liquor license or casino license,
- the ability to join the military,
- professional license holders, such as lawyers or doctors, might lose their ability to practice their profession or face penalties with their licensing agency, and
- non-citizens of the United States may face possible deportation proceedings or other immigration consequences.
Experienced, Effective Felony Drunk Driving Defense
The OWI Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience and consistently achieves extraordinary results. Our seasoned defense veterans are well-versed in every defense strategy that can be used to seek reduced or dismissed charges. Because we use a unique team approach, a client of LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. gets a team of proficient defense lawyers who will collaborate to ensure the client gets every conceivable advantage and that no stone is left unturned. If you are looking for a defense lawyer who will devotedly, painstakingly, and zealously fight to protect and defend you, you are in the right place! We will have your back and will not let you down.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.