In Michigan, drunk driving is charged as operating while intoxicated (OWI). This is the same charge that is known as driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) in other states. For adults over 21, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle when one’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher.
The penalties an individual faces for an OWI charge vary widely according to a variety of factors. These factors include the individual’s previous criminal record, his or her BAC at the time of the arrest, and whether there are any aggravating factors present. To gain a full understanding of your charge and what to expect in court, speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
In Michigan, there are a few different types of OWI charge. They include:
The penalties an individual faces for an OWI conviction depend largely on whether he or she has previous OWI convictions on his or her record. For a first-time basic OWI conviction, a driver faces a fine of $100 to $500, up to 93 days in jail, a driver’s license suspension for up to six months, and the possibility of an ignition interlock device installed in his or her vehicle. With second and subsequent convictions, these penalties become more severe.
When an individual’s drunk driving results in a victim’s serious injury or death, the driver faces much steeper penalties. These include a prison term of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
You always have the right to fight an OWI charge. Depending on the circumstances present in your case, your defense strategy could result in your charge being dismissed or reduced to a wet reckless charge. Successfully fighting an OWI charge does not just help you avoid the penalties associated with your charge. It also keeps an OWI off your record, keeping you from facing a steeper charge and more severe penalties if you are charged with OWI again.
When you are facing an OWI charge, it is in your best interest to start working on your legal defense strategy with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. To get started with a member of our team, contact Van Den Heuvel Law Office today to set up your initial legal consultation in our office. We are here to help you reach the best possible outcome for your case.