Answers to Questions About Macomb County DUI Charges
Our attorneys have successfully represented thousands of people charged with drunk driving in Macomb County and courts all over Michigan.
The most frequently asked questions by people in Macomb County, Michigan
What do police officers look for when trying to find drunk drivers?
Common questions about Macomb County DUI cases involve police officers and how they decide what cars to stop for DUI investigations. Most OWI arrests happen at night and on weekends. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has compiled a list of some of the things that police officers look for (this list is in no way complete):
- wide turns
- straddling the center lane marker
- almost striking an object or another vehicle
- following too closely
- slow response at traffic signals
- headlights off
What is the maximum penalty for DUI in Macomb County?
The maximum sentence for DUI in Macomb County is 93 days in jail for a first offense, up to one year for a second, and a maximum of five (5) years in prison on a felony DUI 3rd offense. Incarceration might be combined with years of probation or parole with requirements such as drug/alcohol testing, mandatory work or education, therapy, rehabilitation programs, community service, fines, costs, and more.
If a police officer stops me and asks if I have been drinking, what should I say?
A Macomb County officer’s inquiry about how much you’ve had to drink is tricky to answer when pulled over for DUI. You are not required to answer potentially incriminating questions. Saying that you’ve only had one or two drinks, combined with other evidence, can establish probable cause to arrest you. The best answer would be to respectfully advise the officer that you decline to answer any questions and would like to speak to a lawyer before further questioning.
Do I have a right to an attorney when a police officer stops me and asks me to take roadside tests?
No. There is no right to an attorney until you are formally arrested for DUI in Macomb County. Most OWI drivers have said and done too much by the time an actual arrest occurs. Even the questions a person asks while under investigation can be twisted by officers and used as evidence of intoxication or confusion. In most cases, the police officer has already decided to arrest the person and is just using roadside tests for additional evidence. It is often best to request a lawyer immediately when stopped and ask the police officer to note the time of your request on the report. Produce your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and registration; do not say or do anything further.
What is the police officer looking for during the traffic stop?
There are several signs that a person may be intoxicated. However, it is essential to remember that there can also be non-alcohol-related explanations for some of these signs. When conducting a DUI investigation in Macomb County, officers will look for the following:
- flushed face
- red, watery, glassy, or bloodshot eyes
- odor of alcohol
- slurred speech
- fumbling with a wallet to get a license
- swaying and using the car for support
- being combative or excessively happy or angry
- unable to follow or remember directions
Should I take the roadside tests?
Michigan law was amended in 2015 to change the requirements relative to roadside testing. They are now called “preliminary roadside analyses.” They include the on-site taking of a breath sample or performance and observation of field sobriety tests to determine if a person is intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. Michigan has not made it unlawful to refuse field sobriety tests; if you refuse them, the police will not be able to claim you failed the tests. Your attorney might also argue that without field sobriety tests or any other credible evidence of intoxication, the police lacked probable cause to make an arrest. If a Motion to Suppress based on lack of probable cause to arrest is successful, your case could be dismissed. It is almost always best to respectfully decline to perform the field sobriety tests. Do not make excuses, like bad legs or an injured back; say, “I respectfully decline to perform any field sobriety tests.”
More Macomb County DUI Questions and Answers
Should I agree to take a chemical test?
If you refuse to take the chemical breath test, you will likely face a driver’s license suspension. A chemical test is not the same as a preliminary breath test. A preliminary breath test is usually done on the road when a driver is pulled over for a DUI investigation in Macomb County. The officer uses it to gather evidence to justify an arrest. Refusing the preliminary breath test results in a minor civil fine that does not go on your record. On the other hand, a chemical test requires a blood draw or a breath sample in an Intoxilyzer 9000 machine back at the police station. Refusing a chemical breath test or a blood test will likely result in a one-year suspension of your driving privileges.
Will I go to jail for my first DUI in Michigan?
Judges in Macomb County do not sentence many first-time DUI defendants to jail; however, depending on the facts of the case or the accused’s circumstances, the sentence for a first-offense DUI is up to 93 days. The often overlooked and often more dreadful part of sentencing is probation. Judges often load a probationer up with complex, numerous, and tedious terms and conditions of supervision that last a year or more and set the defendant up for failure. Jail time is a standard penalty for probation violation, even for a first-offense DUI.
Is it okay to ask for an opportunity to speak to your attorney before deciding whether to take the chemical test?
There are substantial risks and benefits to either taking or not taking the test, and it would be helpful to have the advice of an attorney before making that decision. The officer must allow you to try to reach your lawyer. If you cannot readily contact your lawyer, the officer has the right to insist upon a decision. The Macomb County DUI attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are always available to answer your questions – day or night.
Can a first-offense DUI get expunged in Macomb County?
Under new Michigan law, a defendant can seek to set aside a first-offense DUI conviction in Macomb County. The process of setting aside a conviction is called expungement. To persuade a judge to grant a DUI expungement, the defendant must wait a minimum of five (5) years from their last contact with the criminal justice system, prove they’ve been rehabilitated, prove they have taken advantage of substance abuse-related programs, therapy, and/or education, and that setting aside the conviction is in the community’s best interest.
Can a top defense lawyer persuade the prosecutor to drop DUI charges in Macomb County, Michigan?
Getting Michigan DUI charges reduced or even dropped is possible under the right circumstances and with the help of the right Michigan DUI lawyers. Having an established, influential firm like LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. with an unparalleled track record for success in reducing criminal charges, can significantly benefit your case.
Do you lose your license immediately after a DUI in Michigan?
Once someone enters a plea or is convicted of a DUI in Macomb County, the Secretary of State (SOS) imposes sanctions within about 10 days to two (2) weeks. The SOS automatically imposes driver’s license sanctions based on the master driving record. For a first-offense DUI, the SOS will suspend the defendant’s license for 30 days and restrict it for 150 days. For impaired driving, OWVI, the SOS will restrict the license for six (6) months. More severe offenses and prior convictions often result in revocation of driving privileges.
How do I find a highly qualified drunk driving lawyer?
The answer to that question is to do your research. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is a law firm dedicated to the defense of felony and misdemeanor criminal allegations in Michigan. Our attorneys have decades of experience defending and protecting clients with OWI charges. We are renowned for our effectiveness in court. Top attorneys use science when defending clients facing drunk driving charges. Our attorneys have worked with doctors, psychologists, scientists, former law enforcement officers, and prosecutors to be on the cutting edge of drunk driving defense. We will always go the extra mile to protect our clients and assure them they get the help and defense they need and deserve. You can count on the attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.; we will not let you down. We are proud of our reputation for success, and we will provide you with the same level of service that resulted in our unparalleled track record of success. We are here to help and are not afraid to win in Macomb County!
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.