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How Is OWI Or DUI Defined Under Michigan State Law?

Michigan state law defines DUI and OWI as operating a vehicle on a public highway while under the influence of alcohol.

Whether or not you are considered “under the influence” is determined by a breathalyzer test that registers the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream when it is administered.

The presence of a blood alcohol content level of .08 is considered determinative as to whether or not a driver is inebriated or under the influence.

It’s important to know that, contrary to popular belief, if you submit to a breathalyzer test and it registers under a .08 reading, there is still a high likelihood that criminal charges will be levied against you. This is because under Michigan state law, it is not a requirement that the breathalyzer test show a .08 for a conviction for any traffic-related alcohol offenses.

When Would A OWI/DUI Charge Be Classified As A Felony Under Michigan Law?

There are typically only two instances in which a DUI or OWI would be charged as a felony in Michigan.

The first instance occurs when a driver has had two prior DUI/OWI convictions and is receiving their third charge. A third DUI conviction, regardless of the amount of time that has passed between the first or the second conviction, is considered a 5-year felony in Michigan.

The second instance in which a DUI is considered a felony pertains to OWI/DUIs that cause injury or death to another individual. These situations result in 15-year felony charges and require a very strong defense to overcome.

What Are The Sentencing Guidelines Or Penalties For An OWI/DUI Conviction In Michigan?

The penalties for a first-time DUI offense are less severe than those of subsequent offenses. For example, a first offense DUI is treated as a 93-day misdemeanor, which is one of the lowest-level crimes in Michigan.

It should be noted that there are monetary fines associated with OWI/DUI convictions, however the heaviest consequences are generally those that are related to your driver’s license. This is true whether it’s your first DUI offense or your third DUI offense – there will almost always be consequences regarding your driving privileges in the state of Michigan.

This is one of the most important reasons to contact an attorney right away who can navigate the ins and outs of Michigan OWI law and can help you avoid penalties on your license when possible.

What Happens To My Driver’s License After An OWI/DUI Charge And Conviction In Ingham County Or Clinton County?

Whether this is your first, second, or third offense, there will be negative consequences regarding your driver’s license for a OWI/DUI conviction in Michigan.

At the very least, your license will be restricted for a period of time. At the very most, your license could be revoked.

A restricted license will mean that you are only allowed to drive to and from work, to and from school, to and from church, etc. and you will not be permitted to drive anywhere for pleasure or recreation.

Michigan does, in some cases, revoke driver’s licenses as a consequence of OWI/DUIs. This sometimes occurs for a second offense, and always occurs for a third offense – and it is important to know that once a driver’s license has been revoked, you must petition the state to get it back, which is an expensive and lengthy process.

Can I Ever Get An OWI or DUI Conviction Removed From My Record In Michigan?

YES! An exciting new law will take immediate effect in February 2022 which—for the first time ever, will afford Michigander’s the opportunity to apply for expungement of a DUI. Vuckovich Legal is all over this new law, and ready to help you move on from your past mistakes. Don’t wait until February! At Vuckovich Legal we are preparing applications NOW to make sure our clients are in the front of the line.

I Was Arrested And Charged With OWI In East Lansing. Is It Even Possible To Win An OWI Or DUI Case?

There are many ways to win an OWI/DUI case in East Lansing and across the state of Michigan, however the only way to achieve this result is to have an experienced attorney who knows the fine details of Michigan OWI Law.

Whether it be in the negotiation phase or trial phase, there are technical bases, constitutional bases, and arguments based on state law and local ordinances that can all be used to win OWI cases.

What’s more, there are certain technicalities associated with the reasons that someone is pulled over that can be used to win or dismiss OWI and DUI cases altogether. However, it takes a trained eye to review all the evidence and determine what outcome is most realistic.

Do I Still Need An Experienced Attorney If I Plan On Pleading Guilty To My OWI Charge In Michigan?

Absolutely. In fact, it’s imperative that you enter your guilty plea correctly – to the right charge and the charge that will result in the least penalties and monetary fines. Attempting to do this without an experienced attorney often results in harsher punishments and larger fines.

Hiring an attorney is absolutely crucial in these situations I can negotiate resolutions with prosecutors that can avoid many of the most undesirable consequences associated with DUI convictions and, in certain cases, avoid sanctions altogether.

For more information on OWI/DUI Charges Under Michigan State Law, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (517) 388-1081 today.

Andrew Vuckovich

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(517) 388-1081

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