Michigan Drunk Driving Defense Lawyers Who Know How to Win!
The defense lawyers in Michigan known for providing the highest possible level of representation on OWI, DUI, and related charges.
Effective, zealous, and fearless representation on felony and misdemeanor alcohol and drug-related driving charges.
A conviction for Operating While Intoxicated in Michigan will cost you. Your license will be suspended, and you will receive several points on your driving record. You could also spend thousands of dollars in court expenses and possibly receive jail time and the many terms of a lengthy probation period. Many lawyers handle these cases, but few are known for tirelessly and fearlessly fighting for their clients to achieve the best outcome. That is the type of representation that has made LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. widely regarded among judges and attorneys as one of Michigan’s top OWI Defense law firms. We have decades of experience defending clients on drug and alcohol-related driving charges, including charges under Michigan’s Super Drunk law.
You are in the right place if you seek an OWI defense lawyer who is:
- an excellent communicator,
- loyal and transparent,
- experienced and knowledgeable,
- renowned for achieving extraordinary results,
- part of a team of skilled lawyers who work together and collaborate, and
- who will never stop fighting to protect and defend their clients.
The ‘Super Drunk Law’
In 2010, Michigan adopted a new drinking and driving statute called the “super drunk” law. The law states that if you drink and drive and your blood alcohol level is 0.17 or higher, you are considered “super drunk.” The potential punishment for Super Drunk Driving is more severe than a DUI/OWI charge. The penalty for being convicted of the super drunk law is 180 days imprisonment instead of the DUI/OWI penalty of 93 days.
Gov. Rick Snyder signed Michigan Super Drunk legislation that allows local municipalities to enforce the Super Drunk law. Before this legislation, police officers could not write citations for super drunk violations under local ordinances. City attorneys now have the authority to prosecute super-drunk OWI offenses punishable by up to 180 days in jail.
Implications Now That City Attorneys May Prosecute Cases under Michigan’s Super Drunk Law
City and township prosecutors now can handle Michigan super drunk cases. A portion of the fines collected goes to the municipality where the offense occurred. In some cases, if a person under investigation for Super Drunk Driving hires a lawyer on a pre-charge basis before a warrant is issued, the attorney may be able to persuade an officer to submit the case to a city attorney instead of a state prosecutor. Most city and township prosecutors are more reasonable and have greater discretion than county and state prosecutors. After all, it is a money game with many local municipalities, which gives an aggressive, effective criminal defense lawyer a decisive advantage in court!
Defenses to Super Drunk Driving in Michigan
It takes years of specialized training and experience to provide an exceptional defense in Michigan Super Drunk Driving cases. Even lawyers with this expertise rarely provide an adequate defense because they are afraid or unwilling to do what is necessary to fight for their clients successfully. Defenses to these cases can be factual, constitutional, scientific, medical, and legal. A defense attorney must thoroughly and meticulously investigate any potential defense under the law to maximize the client’s bargaining power and minimize the government’s bargaining power.
The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has successfully defended several recent clients, achieving dismissals and reduced convictions, with the following defenses:
- Improper Stop: We successfully argued that a law enforcement officer had no valid reason (or “reasonable suspicion”) to make the initial traffic stop. The case was dismissed.
- Faulty Breathalyzer Test: We got an OWI charge reduced to a civil infraction because we proved a breathalyzer device was not calibrated or maintained correctly. In another case, we demonstrated that an Oakland County officer was not properly trained to use the breathalyzer machine.
- Field Sobriety Test Issues: In Macomb County, we successfully argued that the field sobriety tests were administered improperly, and external factors (uneven road surface and improper footwear) affected our client’s performance. The OWI charge was reduced to careless driving.
- Chain of Custody Issues: Our highly skilled criminal paralegal discovered that our client’s blood samples were mishandled or tampered with by finding irregularities in the storage, collection, and testing process. All charges were dismissed.
- Rising Blood Alcohol Concentration: We’ve recently negotiated vast reductions in charges based on credibly arguing that while the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was above the legal limit at the time of testing, it was probably below the limit while our clients were driving. Alcohol takes time to be absorbed, and levels rose between the time of driving and the time of testing.
- Medical and Diet Conditions: Certain medical conditions or diets might affect the results of a breathalyzer test. For instance, conditions like acid reflux or ketosis from low-carb diets can produce mouth alcohol that affects breath test results. We got a case in Wayne County dismissed a case under Michigan’s Super Drunk Law when the prosecutor failed to produce an expert to counter the evidence presented by our team.
- Improper Police Actions: Any violations of the defendant’s rights, such as failure to read Miranda rights or any form of misconduct by law enforcement, can be used in defense. We had a case in Wayne County where the officers were inexcusably violent with our client at the time of his arrest. The case was dismissed!
- Mistaken Symptoms: Arguing that symptoms the officer took as indications of intoxication were due to another reason. For example, red eyes might be due to allergies. A shaky demeanor could be due to fatigue. We got a NOT GUILTY verdict in a 48th District Court jury trial for a doctor whose sleep apnea symptoms mimicked signs of intoxication.
- Necessity: Arguing that the defendant had a valid reason to drive to prevent more significant harm (this isn’t easy to prove and is used rarely). We got charges reduced to a civil infraction when we confirmed that our client was taking her father to the hospital for a medical emergency and reasonably believed she had no other option.
- Involuntary Intoxication: Asserting that the defendant was not aware they were consuming alcohol or were drugged without their knowledge. We successfully argued that someone at a bar in Macomb County likely drugged our client. She left when she started to feel unwell, but before the drug took its full effect.
- Improperly Administered Blood Test: Challenging how the blood test was administered or how the results were analyzed. The officer told our client to “blow as hard as possible” on the testing equipment. Unfortunately for the government, those instructions contradicted the established testing protocols, and the evidence was ruled inadmissible at trial. Case dismissed!
- Independent Tests: Sometimes, we have the Michigan State Police send our client’s blood sample to an independent laboratory for analysis. We recently had a client forced to provide a blood sample pursuant to a search warrant. Our independent lab was able to prove the government’s test lacked credibility. The prosecutor significantly reduced the charge to avoid trial.
Penalties for Super Drunk, Operating a Vehicle with a High BAC .17
- License Sanctions for a first conviction include a hard suspension (no license) for the first 45 days, followed by 320-day restricted with BAIID.
- Maximum Jail Term of 180 days
- Maximum two-year term of probation
- Maximum Fine of $700.00
- Court Costs Approximately $1,000.00 to $1,500.00
- Police and Prosecution Restitution from $400.00 to $800.00
- Community Service for up to 360 hours
- Vehicle Immobilization Discretionary with Judge
- Substance Abuse Program and Victim’s Impact Panel or Weekend are Mandatory
- Random Drug/Alcohol Testing
- Points: Six (6)
- CPL Rights Lost for three (3) years
No Substitute for a Top Drunk Driving Defense Attorney
There is no substitute for having a defense attorney who exclusively practices criminal defense. A general practice lawyer or lawyer who handles different types of law will not have the specialization, experience, and reputation to get you the best possible result. If you have a drunken driving arrest in Oakland County, Wayne County, Macomb County, or elsewhere in Southeastern Michigan, you will want to contact a Michigan Drunk Driving Attorney familiar with the courts in these areas. The defense attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. practice regularly in all of these areas and can consistently help our clients avoid jail and, in some cases, avoid a conviction altogether. Some larger law firms will take your money and then hand your case off to an attorney with little experience in the field of alcohol-related offenses. Some smaller firms have only one lawyer that handles criminal cases. The thing that makes LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. unique is our team of lawyers, who each have decades of experience. They work together to ensure that each client is protected diligently and thoroughly.
Every Drunk Driving, DUI, and OWI Case is Defensible
If a defense attorney can mount a strong defense, they may persuade a prosecutor to dismiss OWI charges or reduce a charge to a nonalcohol-related offense or a civil infraction. Not every legal defense has to be a winner to be helpful to the defense. When an experienced OWI defense attorney negotiates with a prosecutor, they must use every tool at that person’s disposal to achieve the best possible result. Using every tool means that even though a case may not have a rock-solid defense, a persuasive attorney will use whatever strengths can be found in the defense to increase their client’s bargaining power. Even a few cracks in the armor of the prosecutor’s case can lead to an exceptional resolution or a very favorable sentence.
Remember that not all defense lawyers are the same, and the attorney’s reputation and experience can be instrumental in obtaining a favorable outcome. For example, a lawyer with a reputation for getting all of their clients to plead guilty is not likely to have much bargaining power, even with a credible defense. Conversely, an attorney with a reputation for zealous, fearless, and effective representation can make a strong argument with a weak defense issue. Don’t trust your fate to the lowest bidder. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. If you value your freedom, ability to drive, liberty, reputation, and education or employment, you will want the best lawyer possible at your side.
Defense Attorneys With an Established Reputation and Track Record for Winning
Our team has a 10.0 rating on Avvo (Superb), an AV rating on Martindale-Hubbell (Preeminent), and National Super Lawyer. If you are looking for the most qualified, most effective OWI defense attorneys to represent you at a fair and affordable price, LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is the firm you want by your side! Our attorneys will do whatever it takes to achieve the best possible outcome.
If you are charged with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), DUI, Impaired Driving, or Super Drunk Driving and looking for a Michigan drunk driving attorney, you will want to contact one of the attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. We will find a way to help you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.