Detroit Underage DUI Attorney
An underage DUI charge is often a person’s first encounter with the criminal justice system. After the stress of going through an arrest and initial detainment, the series of procedures and hearings that will determine your case outcome may leave you feeling confused and apprehensive. By consulting with a reputable Detroit DUI lawyer, however, you can bring clarity and hope to your situation.
Michigan takes a tough stance on underage drinking and driving. If you are under 21 and get caught behind the wheel with a measurable amount of alcohol in your blood, you will face severe consequences. Your license will get suspended immediately, and you will get charged with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). If convicted, you will have to pay fines and perform community service. Your OWI offense will be visible on your publicly available criminal record, which can severely restrict your employment and educational opportunities.
Fortunately, you can avoid all or some of these penalties if you hire a skilled and experienced Michigan underage DUI attorney to handle your case. By advocating on your behalf and ensuring that your rights are respected throughout the criminal justice process, your lawyer will greatly increase the chances that you obtain a good case outcome.
Call Davis Law Group today at (313) 818-3238 to find out how we can help you.
What Are the Michigan Laws for Underage OWI?
If the police catch you behind the wheel with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02 percent or more, you will be charged with OWI. The penalties that may result from a conviction will depend on your BAC and the number of times you have been convicted of OWI in the past:
- First offense – You will face a $250 fine and 15 days of community service. If your BAC was .08 percent or higher, the penalties increase to a 6-month driver’s license suspension, possible 93-day imprisonment, and increased fines.
- Second offense – If you get charged with OWI within 7 years of your last conviction, you will face 60 days of community service and fines of up to $500. If your BAC was .08 percent or more, you will have to spend between 5 days and 1 year in jail and pay fines between $200 and $1,000. Your driver’s license will get suspended for a year.
The consequences of an underage drunk driving conviction aren’t limited to your criminal sentence. In addition to fines, revoked driving privileges, community service, and possible jail time, you may also face:
- Court costs
- Attorney fees
- Probation oversight fees
- Reimbursing the cost of towing and impounding your car
- Driver responsibility fees of up to $1,000 a year
- Alcohol counseling
- Traffic school
- Vastly increased auto insurance premiums
- Disciplinary action from your school
- Inability to qualify for certain professional licenses
- Restricted ability to gain employment because of your criminal conviction
- Possible deportation if you are an immigrant
How Can a Detroit Underage DUI Attorney Help?
You may feel like your case is hopeless if you failed a BAC test when you got arrested. You might be wondering if pleading guilty is your best option. You should consult with a lawyer before taking any action on your case as there may be several defense strategies available to you, which may include:
- Removing evidence from the prosecutor’s case – Did you get pulled over for no reason? Did the officer have a valid reason to believe you were intoxicated? Did the arresting officer fail to inform you of your rights? Depending on your answers to these questions, your lawyer may be in a position to file a motion to suppress evidence. If successful, this will result in all or some of the prosecutor’s evidence being removed from the case.
- Requesting the dismissal of the charges – When the motion to suppress succeeds, the prosecutor will be lacking the evidence needed to connect you with the offense. There may not even be enough evidence for the case to go to trial, in which case your lawyer would file a motion to dismiss the charges.
- Taking your case to trial – In some cases, it may be in your best interest to refute the prosecutor’s case at trial. If your lawyer can show that there is a reasonable doubt as to whether you were actually intoxicated or whether you were in control of the vehicle, you may get an acquittal.
- Negotiating with the prosecutor – Many OWI cases get settled before trial when the defendant agrees to plead guilty in exchange for receiving the guarantee of a lenient sentence or a conviction for a less serious charge. Not all plea agreements are beneficial, however. You need a skilled attorney to negotiate with the prosecutor so that you get the best deal possible.
There are several possible avenues that might lead to the positive resolution of your OWI case. At Davis Law Group we will explore each one to ensure that your case gets the most thorough and effective defense possible. If you’ve been charged with underage OWI and are looking for an aggressive legal advocate to defend your interests, call Davis Law Group today at (313) 818-3238 for a free and confidential case consultation.