Some people arrested for drunk driving in Michigan simply just go to Court and plead guilty as charged without consulting or retaining a DUI Attorney beforehand. In most DUI cases, if not all, this is a big mistake and can cost you in the end. On a first DUI charge or any drunk driving arrest in Michigan, your first court proceeding will be an arraignment.
At the arraignment, you will want to plead NOT GUILTY to the Judge or Magistrate when asked how you wish to plead to the charge, especially if you have not consulted and discussed your DUI arrest with a criminal defense attorney prior to appearing in Court. In some cases, where you are arrested for a DUI but the police overlooked your prior DUI convictions, pleading not guilty at the arraignment, can be a huge mistake. If you have prior DUI convictions, in Michigan or out of state, immediately consult with an experienced DUI Attorney prior to appearing before a Judge.
Discover Your Best Defense Options
A DUI Defense Attorney can help you with evaluating and achieving the best possible result for your OWI charge. In most first time drunk driving charge cases in Michigan, an OWI can be reduced. An experienced DUI Attorney will be able to gather the evidence from the police or the prosecutor in advance and will know what to look for and where to find it. The objective is to obtain evidence in advance to show any errors or mistakes by the police during your DUI arrest.
Errors by the police and sometimes with the Prosecution can lead to a better result for an OWI charge. Furthermore, the more you can weaken the Prosecutor's case against you, the stronger you can make your case and likelihood of better plea negotiations. In some cases, finding errors by the police can lead to a downright dismissal. By way of example, if the breath or blood results were improperly obtained or if there are breaches of your constitutional rights during the DUI arrest, the Judge can exclude evidence or dismiss your DUI charge.
Excluding evidence is important in a drunk driving case because it precludes the prosecution from using evidence, such as a breath or blood test, against you. This is evidence that the prosecution heavily relies on and without such evidence it impairs the prosecutor's ability to convict you.
To prove that someone was Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) in Michigan, the prosecution needs to show beyond a reasonable doubt your blood alcohol content (BAC) level was over the legal limit at the time of your arrest. If breath or blood results are excluded, then the Prosecution will have a difficult time showing the level of your blood alcohol content at the time when you were driving, which can lead to a dismissal of your case.
Having a good DUI Attorney to explore the necessary evidence right from the start of your DUI case is very important. In cases of a Second OWI charge or
Felony DUI charge, it is absolutely imperative!
In most cases, in order to convince the Prosecutor to dismiss your OWI charge in exchange to lower charge, such as OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired), Reckless Driving, Careless Driving or the like, your DUI Attorney will want to review the police video capturing your arrest as well as video after your arrest while you were being booked at the police station.
Your DUI Attorney will have to ensure that there are no irregularities, constitutional violations or mistakes in the rules and procedures for conducting breath tests as well as violations of your constitutional rights. It is a violation of a citizen's constitutional right if the police lacked probable cause to stop and arrest you for a DUI.
So never just plead guilty without consulting with an OWI Defense Attorney. DUI/OWI penalties in Michigan are severe and can be expensive in more ways than one. Attorney
Daniel D. Hajji is a Criminal Defense - DUI Attorney in Oakland County Michigan. We offer a free DUI Consultation as well as installment payment plans.
Direct Line: (248) 782-8322