How to Get Your DUI Charge Reduced or DismissedSep 01, 2017, by Criminal Defense, Legal Blog, OWI in
The state of Michigan imposes strict penalties for drinking and driving. Even if you manage to avoid jail time in the case of a first-time offense, a DUI/OWI conviction in Michigan will leave you with your driver’s license suspended for a period of time, followed by a restricted driver’s license that lasts for even longer period of time until you can finally have your original driver’s license restored. In addition, you’ll likely lose six points on your driving record and be responsible for paying a Driver Responsibility Fee, plus court costs, fines and other applicable fees. However, there are legal avenues of getting your DUI charge reduced or dismissed through the services of an experienced Michigan DUI attorney.
If you’ve been pulled over for drunk driving in Michigan and are facing a DUI charge, it’s vital to contact a talented DUI defense attorney in order to protect your constitutional rights. At Davis Law Group, we can mount a strong defense on your behalf in order to minimize or eliminate the charges against you. Plus, we have experience handling DUI cases in Detroit, Flint, Port Huron, Southfield, and more.
Call us today at (313) 818-3238, or contact us online to request a free consultation about your case.
Standard DUI/OWI Penalties
If you are convicted of a first time OWI offense, your punishment will be less severe than what is imposed upon repeat offenders. However, the potential penalties you face still include:
- 93 days of jail time
- Six points on your driver’s license
- Six month suspension of your license
- $100 to $500 fine
- 360 hours of community service
It is highly beneficial for you to obtain an attorney who understands and knows how to implement the various legal strategies and tactics that can have your DUI charge reduced or dismissed.
Reducing Your Charge to “Wet Reckless”
The state of Michigan does not expressly prohibit or permit something referred to as a wet reckless plea bargain. Your Michigan DUI lawyer is free to make a plea bargain with the prosecution to have your DUI/OWI charge reduced to wet reckless or another lesser offense.
The term “wet reckless” refers to a plea arrangement made between the driver arrested for OWI and the state. In this plea deal, the driver pleads to a lesser charge of reckless driving with alcohol involved. The plea carries with it lesser punishments and fewer obligations than a standard DUI/OWI conviction.
Most of the time prosecutors only agree to bargain down from a DUI/OWI charge when first-time offenses are involved, when the drivers BAC is on the borderline of .08 percent, when the personal injury or property damage resulted from the incident, or when the prosecution’s case has been exposed to have some particular weaknesses that help force a plea deal.
A wet reckless plea often carries with it no jail time. In addition to lesser fines, the driver does not add a DUI/OWI to their record. However, a wet reckless plea can be treated the same as a prior DUI/OWI conviction if the driver is later arrested for a DUI/OWI. This later offense will then be treated as if it was a second DUI/OWI and carry with it all of the elevated penalties that accompany a subsequent offense.
Reducing Your Charge to OWVI
Another lesser charge than an OWI is an OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired). This charge infers that the officer who arrested you had obvious indication that you are unable to operate the vehicle. This is a lesser offense than a standard OWI. Its application does not require a minimum BAC level. Many times this charge comes into play during the plea bargaining process.
If this is your first drunk driving charge, but the evidence of your impairment is still strong, your Michigan attorney may be able to reduce your OWI to an OWVI.
An OWVI carries essentially the same penalties as a standard OWI, only less severe. There is no hard license suspension. The only license restrictions are for 90 days. As well, the number of points and level of fines are lower than those imposed for an OWI.
Additional Defenses to Reduce or Dismiss Your DUI
Depending on their applicability, there are several other defenses you may consider to have your DUI charge reduced or dismissed. These include:
Roadside Sobriety Testing Accuracy
As an evaluation performed on a subjective basis, a standard sobriety test conducted on the side of the road is potentially vulnerable to mistakes. For instance, the results of a test can be affected by the training or instruction of the officer administering the test. If you have medical conditions that affect your coordination or balance, the test results may not be reliable. Sobriety tests performed on uneven, wet, or icy surfaces may also provide faulty results. An experienced attorney can identify and focus on these weaknesses in order to have your DUI charge reduced or dismissed.
Breath Testing Accuracy
When administering a breath test, the individual responsible for conducting the test must have proper training in the use of any machines used. These tests must be given to the driver within a certain amount of time in order to obtain valid results. If you vomited prior to submitting to the test, the results can indicate a higher amount of alcohol on your breath than is actually present in your blood. Your attorney may explore possible issues of the reliability of the testing machine itself, if evidence points in that direction.
Blood Testing Accuracy
If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, an officer may ask you to submit a blood test to discover your BAC. Again, the individual conducting the test must be properly trained to record and analyze the results. If blood samples were not properly drawn, stored, or processed they can suffer potential contamination and provide inaccurate results. A knowledgeable and experienced DUI lawyer will understand how these tests should be conducted. Your attorney should be able to identify any issues with the testing that may make the results invalid.
Inadequate Probable Cause
Law enforcement officers are required to have probable cause prior to pulling you over for a DUI. An experienced Michigan DUI lawyer will effectively cross-examine the arresting police officer who is unable to explain any reasonable suspicion they had that motivated stopping your vehicle.
Contact an Experienced Michigan DUI Attorney
An experienced DUI attorney working on your behalf can find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and fight to have your DUI charge reduced or dismissed.
If the state of Michigan has filed a DUI charge against you, our team at Davis Law Group can help you navigate the legal process ahead of you. We can apply our negotiation and representation capabilities, along with our extensive experience to fight for the reduction and potential dismissal of your charges. We have experience handling DUI cases in Detroit, Flint, Port Huron, Southfield, and more.