48th District Court Bloomfield Hills OWI Defense Attorney
The 48th District Court judges are notorious for their harsh treatment of those charged with OWI-DUI type offenses. It takes an influential and respected lawyer to get a fair shot in this Court.
OWI and DUI Charges – What You Need to Know
The “tough justice” reputation of the 48th District Court is justified; however, it is possible to fight and win with a robust and credible defense or a compelling argument for leniency. The 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills has jurisdiction over the following OWI-related charges:
- OWI – Operating While Intoxicated
- OWI 2nd – Second offense OWI
- OWVI – Operating While Visibly Impaired
- OWI High BAC – Called Michigan’s “Super Drunk Law.” OWI with a .17 or more BAC
- OWI Zero Tolerance – Person Under 21 Driving with a BAC of .02 or More
- DUI – Driving Under the Influence (In Michigan, it is called OWI)
- OWI Boat or All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV)
- OUID – Operating Under the Influence of Drugs
- OWPD – Operating with the Presence of a Controlled Substance
- OWI with a Commercial Driver’s License
Maximum misdemeanor penalties are either 93, 180, or 365 days in jail and two years of probation, depending on the particular OWI charge in Bloomfield Hills. A high BAC, injury, prior record, or other special circumstances can increase the potential penalty. Other than OWI 2nd Offense, which has a 5-day mandatory minimum sentence, drugged or drunk driving misdemeanor charges do not have a mandatory minimum. In the case of an OWI 2nd, the 5-day minimum is waivable if the defendant completes a sobriety court program or something similar.
The jurisdictions covered by the 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills include Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield, Birmingham, Sylvan Lake, Keego Harbor, Orchard Lake, and Bloomfield Township.
Avoiding Jail for OWI in the 48th District Court
A popular misconception is that jail time is unavoidable in the Bloomfield Hills District Court. Although the judges often order jail time, it is not impossible to avoid. There are three ways to avoid jail in this challenging jurisdiction:
- Extraordinary Plea Bargaining – Lawyers who are a credible threat to the prosecution, in terms of litigation skills and reputation, get the best deals. Lawyers who claim to have “special relationships” that result in generous plea bargains are snake oil salesmen. The real deals in this court go to skilled, experienced, and reputable defense attorneys. Under the best circumstances, reductions to Reckless Driving, Careless Driving, and other civil infractions are feasible.
- Acquittals – Many OWI charges are defensible. Although few OWI defense attorneys in Bloomfield Hills take these cases to trial and win, the Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have won OWI jury and bench trials in district courts throughout Michigan. A deep dive and skillful scrutiny of the evidence can turn up a credible defense, even when one is not readily apparent.
- Compelling Sentencing Advocacy – When the defendant enters a plea to an alcohol or drug-related driving charge, jail is a risk that is unavoidable in the 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills. The most effective approach to avoiding jail for an OWI conviction involves meticulous preparation, proactive planning and rehabilitation, thorough legal research, proficient written pleadings, and a compelling presentation.
OWI Expungement in 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills
Under new Michigan law, a first-offense OWI is subject to expungement in the Bloomfield Hills District Court. After 5 years, someone can file a Motion to Set Aside Conviction before the judge who presided over their case or their successor. A person seeking expungement must prove (1) they have only one alcohol or drug-related driving conviction, (2) they’ve been rehabilitated, (3) they’ve taken adequate measures to assure the Court that any alcohol or drug issue is under control, and likely to stay that way, and (4) that the expungement is in the “public welfare.” Many experienced lawyers struggle with proving an OWI expungement is in the public welfare. The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has developed a winning strategy to achieve expungements, even in the most challenging cases. We would value the opportunity to discuss your case and determine your eligibility for clearing your criminal record.
Bond and Probation Violations in the 48th District Court
Each of the Bloomfield Hills judges has proven they take a no-nonsense, strict approach to probation violations in the 48th District Court, especially on OWI and similar cases. Although a violation does not necessarily result in jail time, it is best if a defendant does everything possible to avoid a bond or probation violation allegation. If you are granted probation, your lawyer should take the time to review your terms and conditions and answer your questions. Ask your probation officer for clarification if you are confused about your responsibilities. Do not take chances! If you are accused of a violation, the probation violation attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. know how to help you and can work with you to either beat the violation or persuade the judge to focus on rehabilitation instead of punishment.
Implied Consent Violations – Refusal of Breath or Blood Test
Refusing to blow into a Portable Breath Test device (PBT) is a civil infraction without significant consequences. Refusing to blow into a breathalyzer or provide a blood sample upon an officer’s request is a much more serious offense, often referred to as an Implied Consent Violation in the Bloomfield Hills District Court. Suppose you are arrested for an OWI in the jurisdiction of the 48th District Court and accused of unreasonably refusing a breathalyzer or blood test. In that case, the officer will cite you with Refusing a Chemical Test. You will have 14 days to request an implied consent hearing with the Michigan Department of State DAAD. If you fail to request a hearing or lose the hearing, your license will be suspended, without restrictions, for one flat year. A driver with a suspended license due to an Implied Consent violation can file a Hardship Petition in the Oakland County Circuit Court for restricted driving privileges; however, a restricted license is no guarantee. Those facing an implied consent violation should immediately contact and retain an experienced OWI defense lawyer to avoid unnecessary penalties.
Arrested and Released for OWI
It is not uncommon for a driver to be arrested and released without charges while under investigation for OWI in Bloomfield Hills or a related charge. Charges are frequently initiated for first-offense OWI with just a ticket issued by the arresting officers; however, many cases commence at a later time with a Complaint and Warrant. If officers feel or are required to conduct additional investigation, such as a blood test analysis or an analysis of prior offenses on a driver’s record, they will seek charges through their municipal prosecutor or the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office. It is best if someone who is arrested and released on OWI investigation contacts a reputable OWI defense attorney immediately. In many cases, a savvy defense lawyer can negotiate with the police department or prosecutor for reduced charges before the case gets to court. Also, a lawyer hired on a pre-charge basis can generally prevent their client from getting arrested when the warrant is issued. Further, they can arrange for a self-surrender and low (or personal) bond.
Your Best Defense to OWI Charges in the Bloomfield Hills District Court
The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience successfully representing clients charged with all alcohol and drug-related felony and misdemeanor charges in the 48th Judicial District Court in Bloomfield Hills. A lawyer can defend OWI charges based on the law, facts, science, and constitution. If a lawyer doesn’t have the time, skill, or knowledge to challenge charges on every possible level, there is a good chance they will miss a legitimate defense. You are in the right place if you want an aggressive, credible defense, along with compassionate and respectful representation. We will do whatever it takes to get you the best possible outcome for your case, while charging fair and affordable legal fees.
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.
We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!
LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience successfully representing clients facing misdemeanor and felony charges originating in West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham, Sylvan Lake, Orchard Lake, Keego Harbor, and Bloomfield Township.