Articles Posted in Alcohol Treatment

By way of introduction, Michigan statutory law calls drunk driving “operating while intoxicated” (OWI). Drinking and driving is not against the law. To violate Michigan’s OWI law a person must be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you operate a vehicle after drinking enough alcohol to become intoxicated, then you’ve committed the offense of drunk driving. In other words, DUI and OWI are essentially the same thing.

Michigmichigan drunk driving field sobriety testan law provides that for every person convicted of drunk driving must be subjected to substance use evaluation prior to sentencing. More specifically, Michigan Compiled Laws sec. 257.625b indicates that such individuals must undergo a screening and assessment to determine if the person would benefit from “rehabilitative services,” which may include such things as alcohol or drug education or treatment programs.

What is a NEEDS Survey?

Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains Plea Bargaining

Attorney Patrick Barone of Barone Defense Firm is a criminal defense law firm near me that represents clients accused of sex crimes, whereby if convicted, they would probably have to add their name to Michigan's se offender registry (SORA).If you are facing criminal charges, the criminal justice system seem overwhelming. It doesn’t matter if you’re facing drunk driving, drug charges, sex crimes or white collar crimes in the State of Michigan, the same system of felony criminal procedures apply.

Many Michigan DUI charges and other criminal cases like sexual assaults, child pornography and drug crimes, are resolved through a process called plea bargaining. A plea bargain is what happens after your attorney discusses your case with the prosecutor and explains why it is appropriate to amend or reduce the charges you are facing with the court. Sometimes the reduction in charges to a lower criminal offense will lessen the impact on your drivers license and possibly jail time as well.


Early Discharge on OWI Probation in Michigan

The Michigan DUI Lawyers at the Barone Defense Firm have be advising our clients in Oakland County and throughout the State of Michigan, that if you are convicted of operating while intoxicated (OWI) then you should expect to be placed on a term of probation.

While on probation, you will have a variety of conditions of probation and these will be based in part on whatever “rehabilitative goals” are set by the Judge.

A question the criminal defense lawyers at the Barone Defense Firm are often asked by their client’s is whether it would be beneficial to begin in therapy. Although the question is typically offered in the context of “will it help my case” or “will it make me look better in front of the judge or prosecutor” this is only one aspect that underlies this question.

We have found that many persons involved in allegedly criminal behavior are doing so as an outgrowth or sublimation of an ongoing and improperly treated mental health issue. In the case of an allegation of intoxicated or drunk driving the individual may be suffering from an unmitigated substance use disorder. In such a case, the substance use disorder may be a further sublimation of a mood or personality disorder. On the other hand, a person accused of receiving, distributing, or producing child pornography may have themselves been abused as children or suffer from an addiction to pornography. These are just two examples of how the alleged criminal behavior is really a manifestation or symptom of something else.

Understanding the complexity of the issue, the criminal defense lawyers at the Barone Defense Firm often interview our clients with an ear toward thinking of what additional services might benefit them. If we believe that therapy will help them improve their lives, we will often make referrals to various mental health individuals or group centers. In doing so we are seeking primarily to help fulfill the Firm’s mission, which is to help our client’s win back their lives.

After a Michigan drunk driving arrest, the first thing on many people’s minds is: will I lose my job?  A recent story in the Detroit Free Press details how for many, the unfortunate answer is yes.

As the article explains, a public safety director for a city in Michigan was placed on leave because of an Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) charge. Even though the case hasn’t concluded, the officer is already facing consequences for the OWI charge. The final “verdict” on this officer’s job status could depend not just on the result of the case but also how the officer handles himself before the case is finalized.

The Michigan DUI lawyers are the Barone Defense Firm always discuss this issue with clients immediately after they have retained the Firm. It is important to address this issue at the beginning rather than at the end of a case because getting ahead of the issue can help our client’s save their jobs. There are several things to consider including:

Possession or Use of Firearm Under the Influence in Michigan

All firearms are inherently dangerous, so naturally, it is against the law in Michigan to possess or use one under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Because of the danger posed by individuals who violate this law, penalties are quite significant and are set forth in the statute found at Michigan Compiled Laws sec. 750.237.

This statute defines “under the influence” the following three ways;

  1. You are “under the influence” of alcohol, drugs or a combination of alcohol or drugs, and/or
  2. You have a bodily alcohol level (BAC) of .08 or more, or are;
  3. You are impaired by alcohol, drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol.

This crime is categorized as a misdemeanor punishable by possible imprisonment for up to 93 days.  Additionally, if you are found guilty of this crime, you may also be required to pay a fine of not more than $100.00 for carrying or possessing a firearm, or both, and not more than $500.00 for using or discharging a firearm, or both.

I suppose the answer to this question depends in part on what one thinks is the central role of the DUI defense lawyer?  I think the vast majority of those asked, lawyers and clients alike, would answer the question this way: the purpose of the DUI defense lawyer is to help the client with their legal problem.  Maybe it’s the DUI lawyer’s job to try to get their client’s off.  At a minimum it is the DUI lawyer’s job to get their client a better result than they would have achieved without a lawyer.

This all seems very logical and right, but is this the only answer to the question?  And, is a pending criminal case the only problem a person facing a DUI has? In other words, does the DUI defense lawyer have any role in addressing any underlying addiction issues that may be present?  Perhaps most importantly the question is whether or not there is a relationship between the legal issue and the addiction issues?

Clearly there is a relationship between the two.  Simply stated, addressing any underlying addiction certainly will help improve the client’s legal issues.  The reason this is true has already been discussed on these pages.  See for example:

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings take place almost any time of the day or night all over the state.  Because of this you should have no problem finding a meeting to attend at a place and time that is convenient for you.

If you are new to AA then don’t assume that all meetings are like the first one you attend.  If you go to a particular location at a particular time, and feel like you don’t fit in with the other attendees, try a different time or location.

There are also many trade or profession specific AA groups.  For example, there are AA meetings for Judges and Lawyers, Dentists, Health Care Professionals and so forth.  You may benefit more from AA attendance with a group of your peers.

An interesting article was posted recently on entitled:  Expert Witness: Little Changes at DAAD Mean a Lot.  The article addresses the new DAAD form to be used for driver license restoration, among other things.  In his article the author, Michael G. Brock, correctly indicates as follows:

In December the DAAD made some subtle changes to their evaluation form that may not seem like a big deal, but might be the difference between a person getting his or her license reinstated and have to wait another year and try again.  The Substance Abuse Evaluation form is now the Substance Use Disorders Evaluation.  Other than the title, the only real change in the form is the order of information requested, and that the relapse history has been replaced by a section titled “Periods of Abstinence” and “Abated by What?”  Meaning the cause of the relapse; i.e., quit going to AA meetings and began hanging around drinking/using friends.

In practice, the biggest changes seem to be that the hearing officers are digging into the appellant’s background more than in the past, and they are interested in any substance the person has ever taken, including those taken for only a brief time recreationally and a long time ago.

Contact Information