Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense in Michigan, and a conviction carries severe penalties. Even so, drivers suspected of breaking the law have rights. The job of a DUI defense attorney is first and foremost to ensure that their client’s rights were not violated. At The Cronin Law Firm, we are strong advocates for our clients and will do all we can to help them get a second chance after a DUI arrest.
Steps We Take for DUI/OWI Clients
In Michigan, drivers are subject to a few different charges that may be commonly referred to as DUI. These charges and the latitude police officers have in applying the charges, make it very easy for a one-time mistake to result in a long-term nightmare for a defendant. In Michigan, you could be charged with:
- Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). This charge is applied when a chemical test shows the driver has a bodily alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. Defendants can also be charged with having high BAC (or being “super drunk”) if their BAC is .17 percent or higher.
- Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI). Drivers can also be charged if their ability to operate a vehicle was visibly impaired, and there is evidence of alcohol use, even if the BAC does not meet the standard for an OWI.
- Under Age 21 Operating With Any Bodily Alcohol Content. Because it is illegal for those under the age of 21 to drink alcohol, they can be charged for any presence of alcohol in their system, even as little as .02 percent.
When we meet with a client who has been charged with one of these offenses, the first thing we do is ensure that their rights were not violated during the search and arrest process. We will do our best to answer the following questions:
- Did the officers involved in the arrest follow the law?
- Were proper procedures followed every step of the way?
- Was the traffic stop done correctly?
- Were the field sobriety checks administered according to protocol?
- Was the DataMaster BAC test administered correctly at the police station?
- Was the DataMaster machine properly calibrated?
- Was the DataMaster operator certified?
To answer these questions, we will interview police and secure dashcam video of the traffic stop and arrest, if it is available, to ensure that our client’s right to due process was not violated. We will also view the videotape of the administration of the DataMaster test to make sure all protocols were followed. Sometimes, an OWI can be thrown out because of a violation of the defendant’s rights. Other times, all protocols were followed correctly, and this is not an option.
We Care About Drunk Driving Victims as Well as Our Clients
At The Cronin Law Firm, we are strong advocates for our DUI clients, but we also sympathize with victims of drunk drivers and their families. Drunk driving kills hundreds of Michiganders every year, and our tough laws are necessary to protect the innocent. We represent those accused of impaired driving because we believe in protecting everyone’s right to due process and fair treatment under the law. We also understand that sometimes good people make bad mistakes and they deserve a second chance. However, when a client is a repeat offender, and we determine he or she has a serious drinking problem, we require them to be tested every day, get therapy, and go to AA meetings in order for us to continue to represent them. We want them to get the best results possible—in court and in life.
You Can Count on Us to Do the Best We Can for You
Sometimes, our OWI/OWVI clients are not entirely happy with the outcome of their case. Michigan views drunk driving—particularly repeat offenses—very seriously, and it is not always possible to get off with a slap on the wrist. We want our clients to understand that, given the totality of their circumstances, we will do the best we can for them. This may mean attending sobriety court to get their license back sooner, and meeting other difficult requirements. When you call us to discuss your DUI/OWI, we will discuss the potential outcomes of your case and explain what we will do to help you to the best of our ability. Click the “Text Us” button on this page, complete our contact form, or call us at 248-258-3500 today to schedule an appointment for a complimentary initial consultation.