No one who gets behind the wheel after having an alcoholic beverage thinks that they are going to be caught. In fact, in some cases, the driver may not even think that they are doing anything against the law, believing themselves to be within the legal limit for driving.
The truth is, Michigan police are constantly on the lookout for anyone who looks like they may have had one too many. If you are pulled over and asked to submit to a breathalyzer test and your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is above .08 percent, you will have charges pressed against you. If you are convicted, this can change your life.
What You Should Do if Charged with a DUI/OWI
Most commonly referred to as driving under the influence (DUI), but officially called driving while intoxicated (DWI) under Michigan law, a DUI/OWI/OWVI conviction carries potential jail time, license suspension, community service, and a fine. If you are charged with a DUI/OWI, you should:
- Ask to speak to an attorney. The very first thing that you should do if you are charged with an OWI/DUI is to ask to speak to an attorney. You have a constitutional right to legal representation, as well as the right to not say anything incriminating about yourself.
- Don’t lie. The police officers may ask you a number of questions about your activities that night leading up to your arrest. Again, you should not answer any incriminating questions about yourself. You also should not lie or exaggerate. Silence is always preferable to a lie.
- Know your right to refuse blood alcohol testing. If police believe you to be intoxicated and have probable cause to support this belief, they can arrest you without blood or breath testing. However, convicting you of charges without a BAC test result may be very difficult to do. You have the right to refuse BAC testing, even if you are arrested. Because exercising this right violates implied consent laws, you will be penalized with six points on your driving record and a 1 year license suspension (2 years if one or more prior refusals within the last 7 years). However, understand that the police will often obtain a warrant to take blood if you refuse their request for testing. If you or a loved one find yourself in this situation, remember that you can always request a private blood test to verify the results of police testing.
How Can an Attorney Help?
Knowing whether or not to plead guilty, how to file motions to have evidence against you suppressed, and what your legal rights are can all be a bit overwhelming. At the Van Den Heuvel Law Office, we guide you through every step of the criminal process. We have been working with the court system for years, and have developed a relationship with prosecutors, police officers, and judges, giving us an understanding of the system that many other law firms lack. We advocate for you every step of the way.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
You can schedule your free consultation with our Michigan DUI lawyers online or by phone. The sooner that you call us, the earlier we can begin working on your case. Please reach out to us today for more information.