Caledonia DUI Attorneys
Not everyone that is pulled over or charged with drunk driving is guilty. Most OWI stops in Michigan occur at night when it is more difficult for drivers to see. They may have made a mistake that causes police or other motorists to believe they were driving while drunk. For example, a driver may have swerved out of their lane trying to miss an object or driven very slowly while trying to find a certain street. In any case, being charged with a DUI is very serious. It is important to understand the penalties associated with these charges, your rights and responsibilities under the law, and how a Caledonia DUI attorney can help with your case.
The Law on DUIs in Caledonia
DUIs in Caledonia are charged as OWIs, or operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Similar to almost every other state in the country, a person may face OWI charges when they are driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is greater than the 0.08% legal limit. Even when an individual’s BAC does not exceed this level, they may still face charges of operating while visibly impaired (OWVI) if law enforcement believes they do not have the capacity to safely operate a vehicle.
In the most serious of cases, a person may be charged with a felony OWI. The circumstances required for this charge are as follows:
- The accused has two prior convictions for an OWI or another specific offense, or
- A person was seriously injured or killed as a result of the OWI
A conviction for an OWI can include jail time, fines, a loss of your driver’s license, points on your license, increased car insurance premiums, and a permanent criminal record you cannot expunge. To avoid these penalties, it is essential to work with a Caledonia DUI attorney.
Losing Your Driver’s License
One of the most stressful aspects of an OWI charge is the loss of your driver’s license, even if you are not convicted. You may lose your driver’s license if:
- You refuse a chemical test: You are not required to submit to field sobriety tests, but you must take a chemical test, such as a blood or breath test. Under Michigan’s implied consent laws, if you do not, your license will be suspended for at least one year if you cannot successfully appeal the suspension.
- It is your first conviction: The first time you are convicted with an OWI, your license will automatically be suspended for a minimum of six months.
- You are convicted of a High BAC: Also known as being “super drunk,” if your BAC is higher than 0.17, your license will be automatically suspended for a minimum of one year.
- You are deemed as a habitual alcohol offender: Two or more OWI convictions in seven years, or three in 10 years, will classify you as a habitual alcohol offender. In these cases, your driver’s license is automatically suspended for a period between one and seven years.
Losing your driver’s license is only one consequence of an OWI conviction, but its effects are often longer-lasting than other penalties, such as fines. A Caledonia DUI attorney can help you appeal a suspension, or obtain a restricted license.
Call Our Michigan DUI Attorneys Today
Being charged with a DUI, or any other related offense, is a serious legal matter. At Van Den Heuvel Law Office, our Caledonia DUI attorneys know how to aggressively defend these charges to give you the best chance of keeping not only your driver’s license, but your freedom, too. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation.