OWI Reduced to Reckless Driving

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Group

In a recent case with a professional client who frequently travels to Canada for business, LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. achieved an OWI reduced to Reckless Driving. Reducing an Operating While Intoxicated to a non-alcohol-related misdemeanor, civil infraction, or other traffic offense is rare. Only zealous representation, thorough preparation, and a lawyer who is a credible threat to the prosecution can achieve such a reduction. A lawyer is a “credible threat” to the prosecution’s case when they have an outstanding reputation and a track record of success. Only the top lawyers have a realistic chance of getting a case dismissed with a Motion to Suppress or an acquittal. Most criminal defense lawyers, even those who frequently handle DUI, OWI, Impaired Driving, or OWPD cases, do not have the reputation, credentials, or exemplary track record to achieve this type of result.

We are pleased to report that we could achieve this extraordinary result for another client in Oakland County, Michigan. When the plea bargain was stated in court, the judge commented that in the entire time he had been on the bench, this was the first reduction of this magnitude he had seen out of this particular jurisdiction and offered his high regard for the exemplary defense work done on behalf of the client.

Why would I want reckless driving instead of OWI?

An experienced Michigan OWI defense lawyer might recommend pleading to a reckless driving charge instead of an OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) for several reasons, each with different legal implications and consequences. Reckless driving is generally considered a lesser offense than OWI in terms of the penalties involved and the impact on someone’s criminal history. While both are serious, judges impose jail much less frequently for reckless driving. Either conviction will have insurance implications; however, an automobile insurance carrier is less likely to deny coverage due to a reckless driving conviction. Also, reckless driving has less stigma than a drunk driving conviction. One of the most significant benefits is that it is much easier and quicker to get reckless driving expunged from your criminal history than to obtain an OWI expungement. Many OWI convictions can never be expunged.

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What is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving occurs when you operate a motor vehicle “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” “Willful” is conduct that is purposeful or intentional (not accidental). “Wanton disregard” means you understood your behavior was risky but did it anyway. Reckless driving is punishable by up to 90 days in jail. Few judges order jail time for reckless driving convictions. A 90-day “hard” driver’s license suspension is the biggest downside to a reckless driving conviction. During the 90-day hard suspension, the convicted motorist may not drive under any circumstance for 90 days, and getting caught driving during this period will result in additional sanctions and a new criminal charge of “Driving While License Suspended (DWLS).”

Can I get OWI charges dropped to something less than reckless driving?

Experienced and influential OWI defense attorneys, such as those with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., can sometimes significantly alter the course of an OWI charge due to their deep understanding of legal nuances and extensive experience in the field. These attorneys are skilled in scrutinizing every detail of the arrest process, from the initial traffic stop to the administration of blood alcohol content tests. Their ability to identify procedural errors or breaches in protocol can lead to challenging the admissibility of evidence or arguing for the dismissal of charges based on violations of constitutional rights.

Moreover, an effective defense team leverages its relationships within the legal system, understanding how prosecutors and judges think about different aspects of OWI cases. This insight allows them to negotiate more effectively for reduced charges and, in some exceptional cases, to have charges reduced to a civil infraction or even dismissed entirely. The influence of such a defense team is also evident in their strategic approach to client representation, emphasizing a comprehensive and proactive defense strategy that aligns with the specifics of each case, potentially leading to significantly more favorable outcomes for their clients.

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An OWI reduced to reckless driving may be the exception to the rule, but it is possible.

The lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. pride themselves in providing the highest possible level of representation to clients charged with felony and misdemeanor offenses, including but not limited to OWI, DUI, Impaired Driving, and Operating With the Presence of Drugs. Although these offenses are very serious, they are often over-charged and over-punished. If you are accused of an alcohol or drug-related driving offense and want the best possible legal representation, you will want the OWI Defense Team at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. at your side. Call us for a free consultation today.

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.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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