First Offense DUI
A police stop can be an unsettling and stressful occurrence. If police believe that you may have been consuming alcohol before getting behind the wheel, they will do whatever is necessary to make sure that you are arrested if intoxicated. Being convicted of a DUI in Michigan will have long-lasting consequences. In addition to possible jail time, a DUI conviction will bring about significant fines and a criminal record. It’s important not to take lightly any traffic stop involving alcohol. As experienced defense attorneys, we understand how even a first DUI offense in Detroit can change your life. Given the severity of Michigan law, it’s essential to call an experienced DUI lawyer immediately after an arrest.
Michigan law has a strict .08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for motorists. According to our state’s implied consent law, you legally agree that law enforcement can test your BAC while you are on public roads. Police only need to believe there is probable cause that you are breaking the law for them to pull you over. Refusals to cooperate with a police sobriety stop will have an immediate consequence on the status of your driver’s license. Even a first DUI offense in Michigan can keep you off the road for up to one year. Do not hesitate to call a skilled defense lawyer if you find yourself in this challenging situation.
An experienced Detroit DUI lawyer from Davis Law Group can help you navigate the complicated process that follows a DUI arrest and help you protect your future. To speak with a skilled lawyer today, call (313) 818-3238 and schedule a free consultation.
A DUI Arrest Can Be Intimidating
Not only can your DUI stop and arrest be very stressful, but every part of this police encounter can have a significant impact on your case. Michigan law requires police to have probable cause to believe that you are breaking the law before they pull you over. This can be established in many ways. Maybe they saw you roll through a stop sign, or perhaps your car was weaving and unsteady in your lane. After stopping you, police need to have a further probable cause that you are intoxicated before they can arrest you for a DUI. To find this, they will be observing you for things, such as slurred speech, unsteady footing, and the smell of alcohol. Building a strong case against you starts at this point, and law enforcement will often request that drivers perform certain roadside exams to gather evidence about your possible intoxication. This can be a nerve-wracking experience, and you may be asked to complete the following:
- One-leg stand – Balancing for a few moments on one leg can be very difficult or impossible if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Horizontal gaze – You may be asked to follow an object such as a flashlight with your eyes. Police will be observing your stare to see if your eyes have a jerking motion, called nystagmus, which is a reliable indicator that you may be drunk.
- Walk and turn – Intoxicated people may have a hard time following directions for tasks that require several physical requirements. Being unable to complete a simple walk and turn test may show impairment due to intoxication.
While you legally have the right to refuse any physical exam or chemical test requested by officers at a roadside stop, it is encouraged to be cooperative with officers and their demands. Michigan’s implied consent law means that you are consenting to these types of law enforcement requests when you take to the road, and you can automatically lose your license for one year if you refuse to cooperate. This suspension can remain even if you are not found guilty of a DUI.
The best advice for a DUI stop is to follow police requests while also asking to speak with your lawyer as soon as possible if you are held on suspicion of a crime.
Penalties For a First DUI Can Be Harsh
A first offense DUI can have a significant impact on your life. Jail time and substantial fines can make things very difficult. Furthermore, a criminal record can be a source of trouble for years to come. Those who are found guilty of a first time DUI offense are often required to give up their driver’s license for many months and to get it back can require the installation of an interlock ignition device. These devices perform breath tests on drivers to make sure that they are not intoxicated before the car can start, and drivers must pay for their installation if the court finds this device to be necessary.
If found guilty of a first DUI, penalties that you can face include:
- Jail – Michigan law allows jail time of up to 93 days for first time DUI offenders.
- Fines – The state can fine you between $500 and $1000.
- License suspension – You can lose your license for up to six months on a first DUI conviction. This is a separate penalty than the year-long suspension that you automatically face when you refuse a chemical test by police in a DUI stop, which will be implemented even if you are never convicted of the DUI.
There Are Many Possible Defenses Against Your DUI Charges
While a DUI stop and arrest can be extremely stressful, it’s important to remember that you can defend yourself against any charges you are facing. Even a first DUI conviction can have a significant impact on your life, and it’s therefore vital that you have a skilled lawyer who understands the law and what is at stake for you and your family. We know that the details of each arrest are unique, and one or several of the following arguments may help you defeat your charges in court:
- The police did not have probable cause to stop you – Law enforcement must have a legitimate reason to detain you on suspicion of a crime, but sometimes there is no evidence of any reasonable probable cause. This can result in a case dismissal.
- The police did not properly collect samples when testing your sobriety – Breath and urine samples can help police determine your blood alcohol content, but outside substances must not be allowed to taint your chemical tests. If samples are not properly taken, your results can very easily be inaccurate and inadmissible in your prosecution.
- The equipment used to test you was defective or not properly maintained – Police can use many delicate machines when measuring the alcohol in your body, but officers often fail to properly store, maintain, or use this equipment. If this happens, evidence gathered can be misleading and must not be allowed to stand against you.
A DUI Attorney From Davis Law Group Can Help You
DUI charges are serious, and a first conviction will affect every part of your life. Fortunately, a skilled lawyer knows that there are many ways to defend someone charged with intoxicated driving. Building a strong defense can take time, and therefore it’s advisable that you contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
A DUI conviction will allow for the court to sentence you to jail time and require a large fee. Furthermore, you can face many difficulties in your future if you are under the age of 21 or you possess a commercial driver’s license. Do not delay in calling knowledgeable Michigan DUI lawyer Maurice Davis immediately after being charged.