Articles Posted in Firm News

This page on DUI defense law in the State of Michigan discusses OWI charges, for a misdemeanor or felony in Michigan. The answer to “is a DUI a felony in Michigan?” is that it is usually not.

Regardless of which offense you face, your search for legal help must be limited to the top DUI lawyers in the Great Lakes State. Plus, if you cannot afford to hire a Michigan criminal attorney, remember that the criminal justice system in the United States  guarantees you legal counsel, under the Sixth Amendment if you qualify as being indigent (need financial assistance to obtain a defense lawyer).

About 95% of all drunk driving convictions in Michigan are misdemeanors, despite a felony charge coming on a 3rd lifetime DUI case, and not the usual 4th DUI within 10 years, like most other states. Even when facing an OWI 1st offense, every person needs to limit her or his search to only the good DUI lawyers near me.

Hiring the Right Criminal Lawyer and the Right to Have an Attorney Represent You. When a client retains a criminal lawyer, that criminal defense law advocate acts as the accused person’s investigator, guide, protector, and confidant when negotiating the frightening journey through a criminal law case. The American criminal justice system is one of the fairest in the world but still has many imperfections.

Criminal defence lawyers in Canada and England have the most similar criminal justice systems. This similarity is understandable since the USA and Canada both patterned most of their criminal laws after Great Britain.

Only a small percentage of criminal defense lawyers are part of a private practice criminal law firm. The heaviest load for handling criminal law cases is found in the public defender system. So, more than 3 of every 4 accused citizens facing criminal prosecution (felony or misdemeanor) will have a court-appointed legal advocate to defend her or him.

Our drunk driving defense team is often asked this question: how do I find a top-rated DUI lawyer in Michigan? For OWI Michigan charges, our lawyers for DUI in Michigan always answer this question the same way – there is only one way to find a top-rated Michigan DUI lawyer, and that is by finding one who has honestly and objectively developed the reputation for getting great results.

And there’s only one way for those facing DUI charges to do that, and that one way is the hard way. The best Michigan DUI attorneys have earned it by knowing Michigan DUI laws from every angle. That includes being willing and able to go to trial to win, and also knowing when a plea bargain is going to provide the likely best outcome.

OWI vs DUI Michigan. Do not get confused about acronyms for the criminal charge of impaired driving. Nationally, DUI is the most widely used, but in Michigan, OWI is written into our intoxicated driving statutes.

The Barone Defense Firm is pleased to announce that Madeline Barone will be attending Northwestern Pritzker School of Law this fall. Madeline is currently a paralegal at the firm.

Northwestern Law School, located in Chicago, Illinois, was founded in 1859. Since that time, Northwestern has continued to develop its standing as an elite law school, consistently being ranked among the nation’s top law schools. For example, Northwestern is a T-14 law school, meaning it is consistently among the top 14 law schools that are ranked in U.S. News & World Report. In fact, the law schools listed in T-14 are the only schools to have ever been in the top 10. Because of their high status, graduates of T-14 law schools are typically employed in the highest levels of government, the most prestigious Big Law firms, or hold C-level positions at Fortune 500 corporations. Madeline intends to pursue Northwestern’s Environmental Law concentration with the goal of future leadership in international environmental law and governmental policy.

Madeline began pursuing a career in environmental law as an undergraduate student. She is a 2019 honors graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a B.S. in Environmental Science and a B.S. in Psychology. She also is well-versed in Mandarin Chinese, with six years of formal Mandarin education. Due to her diverse academic background, Madeline is hoping to combine her knowledge of the environmental and energy sector with her Mandarin language skills to specialize in international environmental law.

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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.

Barone Defense Firm Partner Michael Boyle recently obtained a great result for a client charged with several gun and assault crimes. But that wasn’t the end of the story. It was only the beginning.

A Judge told my client he’s lucky. Is he right?

Imagine you are charged with a combination of three felony gun and assault crimes. Next imagine that if you’re convicted of these crimes, you’re facing a possible total sentence of 8 years in prison. And on top of that, you could also end up having to pay several thousand dollars in fines and costs. Now, imagine that after facing all that, you end up with two misdemeanors, no jail time and a small fine. Sound good? The Judge presiding over the case thought so. He told our client he was “lucky” to have gotten such a great deal. But was it luck, or was it the result of hard work and good lawyering?

Being charged with a crime is most certainly one of the most traumatic events you can experience, and then attempting to retain the right attorney or law firm might also feel like a daunting task. The Criminal Defense Trial Attorneys at the Barone Defense Firm understand that difficulty and that trauma, therefore we want to address some important factors in hiring the right trial attorney for your case.

Trial is an Endangered Species

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) recently published a report that 3% of all criminal cases in State and Federal Court are resolved through Trial compared to 20% of cases from 30 years ago. A related article lists that some of the reasons for this decrease include fear of what is known as a trial penalty or trial tax, meaning a worse sentence after a loss at trial. This is balanced against the fact that a lesser sentence can be arranged as part of a plea agreements. Certainly, another reason is the lack of ability or lack of experience of the trial attorney themselves.  The very fact fewer cases reach trial every year is reason enough to seek an attorney that does not have significant trial experience, and who will not be afraid to go to trial.

Barone Defense Firm Partner and Senior Trial Attorney Michael J. Boyle recently was one of the guest presenters at the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan (CDAM) Fall Conference at Boyne Mountain.  The annual seminar was attended by hundreds of criminal defense attorneys from throughout the State of Michigan. CDAM is one of the largest and well-respected membership groups in the State and is dedicated to the improvement of criminal advocacy across all practice areas in the criminal justice system.

Boyle accepted the invitation to speak and was the only attorney that presented on two topics.  He presented on Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring, known as SCRAM, and he also did a presentation on Self-Defense and understanding Michigan’s Stand Your Ground and the Castle Doctrines.

Boyle has enjoyed the opportunity over the last several years to be part of the process of educating and teaching other lawyers the complex understanding and best practice techniques in representing clients on multiple disciplines. He has presented on numerous occasions for the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys (MIAOWIA), the State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section, CDAM, and the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (OACDL).

Michigan drivers arrested under suspicion of intoxicated driving will have their bodily drug and alcohol levels tested by the police. When drugs including marijuana are suspected, a police officer will see if that distinct marijuana smell is present. Many OWI lawyers near  me wrongly believe that DUI cases involving blood tests can’t be defended. The Michigan DUI lawyers at the Barone Defense Firm alcohol, the police will take and test a blood sample. The forensic method used for blood testing is considerably more complicated. Our law firm however believe that in some ways blood test cases are easier to defend. This belief is born out of a comprehensive knowledge about this complex scientific method.

To help other lawyers understand forensic blood testing in DUI cases, the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys (MIAOWIA) periodically presents seminars on this topic. Barone Defense Firm founding criminal defense attorney near me Patrick Barone, and Partner Michael Boyle, were both closely involved in the creation of MIAOWIA, and Mr. Boyle currently serves as an officer to the group.

As an example of Mr. Boyle’s expertise as well as his commitment to helping other lawyers get better at defending Michigan DUI cases involving blood test evidence, in early October 2021, he served as a host, moderator, and presenter for the Michigan Association of OWI Seminar on Blood Alcohol.  Mr. Boyle is an original member of MIAOWIA, which is membership dedicated to the education and training of attorneys throughout the State of Michigan in the complex litigation and representation of individuals charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs.

The Barone Defense Firm is pleased to announce that the firm’s founding partner and CEO Patrick Barone was recently appointed to the NCDD mental health task force. The committee was formed in 2021 to provide a confidential resource for any NCDD member feeling overwhelmed with the rigors of running a law practice or the pressure and stress of being criminal defense trial attorney.

Whether it be learning how to better accommodate clients who are going through what may be the most stressful event of their lives, or dealing with difficult and demanding prosecutors or courts, practicing as a criminal defense trial lawyer is an exceptionally difficult and stressful endeavor. It’s easy for the practitioner to become overwhelmed too. This is especially when practicing as a DUI defense lawyer. The defense of intoxicated drivers has its own unique demands and stresses, and the NCDD mental health task force was formed to help members deal with these stresses. Additionally, the task force will be available to offer consultation on how best to help anxious and stressed clients, including those who may be in need of treatment.

Mr. Barone brings a unique skill set to the NCDD mental health task force as he has recently completed the requirements necessary to become a Board-Certified Trainer, Educator and Practitioner (TEP) of psychodrama. Nationally, there are only a small handful of trial lawyers who possess this highest level of psychodrama certification thereby earning this distinction.

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