Articles Posted in OWI

Driving a vehicle while intoxicated is a serious criminal offense across the United States. In the United States, and in no other nation, this crime is not always called a “DUI,” but D.U.I. is America’s most widely used abbreviation for this common driving crime.

Broadly stated, the crime best known as DUI (driving under the influence of intoxicants) has separate and distinct statutes in each. All 50 states and the District of Columbia created their own laws, with no two states tracking another exactly on what constitutes the evidence needed for a DUI conviction.

OWI vs DUI in Michigan - What Is the Difference?
This seemingly schizophrenic roll-out of statutes has important and fascinating historic roots, that have occurred since the early 1900s. For example, forensic breathalyzers were only invented and deployed in the late 1930s. Before that, an officer had to obtain a blood alcohol content test in any case that needed that proof of intoxication (e.g., a crash occurred, and the suspected drunk driver was not conscious).

Michigan criminal defense lawyer explains arraignment or first court date in Michigan criminal cases.
The criminal arraignment in Michigan is your first court date. In all criminal cases you have an absolute right to an arraignment. This is an “absolute right” because it is protected by the U.S. Constitution’s Sixth Amendment. This Amendment reads in part “in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation.”

Will I Learn What Criminal Charges I Face at My First Court Date?

The “nature and cause of the accusation” is set forth in a document called a complaint. The complaint sets forth the criminal charges. If you were given a ticket, such as in an OWI arrest, a complaint will be issued by the prosecutor before you are arraigned.

Yes, if you smoke enough marijuana to become impaired, and drive after, you can be charged and eventually convicted for intoxicated driving in Michigan. In fact, every month, more of Michigan’s drivers are being arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana. There are many reasons for this increase in DUI marijuana cases.

Michigan OWI marijuana lass make it illegal to smoke pot and drive.
Increasing numbers of Michigan’s citizens are using marijuana now that it is legal in the State for both recreational and medicinal use. This includes previous “illegal” users of the drug but also includes new users of the drug, or those who last used sometimes decades ago. Now that the drug is legal, the stigma of its use is largely gone, and those in their 40s, 50s, 60s and even 70s+ are returning to its use.

Navigating OWI DUI Intoxicated Driving Laws under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act

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First, our OWI law firm in Michigan will answer the top 9 questions about the OWI meaning. Other than one letter, little difference between OWI and DUI exists.

A Michigan first offense OWI charge carries severe conviction penalties including jail time community service hours, court fines, and possibly job loss. Look for an OWI lawyer near me whose legal services include trial experience and plea bargaining strategies.

  1. What is OWI, in the State of Michigan? A first-offense OWI in Michigan is a crime categorized as a misdemeanor in Michigan, unless the number of offenses reached a 3rd OWI in Michigan. Our state still uses different acronyms for being over the legal limit (OUIL).
  2. What’s the difference between DUI and OWI meaning? Each acronym stands for the same general crime, drunken driving, or drugged driving. Each state’s legislature names its laws on impaired driving or intoxicated driving. Generally, DUI is for “driving under the influence.” O.W.I. stands for operating while impaired in Michigan.

A drunk driving conviction has lifelong consequences. Long after your driver’s license has been restored, you’ll still have the DUI conviction on your permanent record. The good news is that the expungement laws in Michigan for DUI cases have recently been changed.

Michigan DUI expungement lawyer Patrick Barone leads the Barone Defense Firm and is partners with some of the best DUI attorneys who handle the toughest DUI cases.
This means your conviction involving an operating while intoxicated OWI offense can now be removed. And this removal or expungement comes with many benefits. Many kinds of DUI convictions are eligible, sometimes even those drunk driving convictions involving injury or death can be expunged.

What Does DUI Expungement Actually Mean?

The chart shown below provides a quick view of the various Michigan DUI penalties. A third OWI offense in your lifetime will cause a felony Michigan 3rd OWI offense, if convicted.

This infographic shows Michigan DUI conviction penalties ranging from jail time to probation, community service hours, and driver's license suspension. Even a Michigan first DUI carries harsh sentencing even though it is most likely a misdemeanor charge.
You must officially request an administrative license suspension hearing within 14 days of your arrest date to avoid having your MI driver license suspended even before your criminal drunk driving case concludes in a criminal court.. Michigan OWI lawyer Patrick Barone -can help you file this important request by the due date.
Protect Your Right to Drive! Failing to take appropriate action within fourteen (14) days after your arrest for DUI in Michigan can cause you to lose all ability to drive in the State of Michigan.

Why not let us help you demand an administrative license suspension hearing? Obtain more legal information about saving your driver’s license NOW before it’s too late, since this filing deadline cannot be extended.

Penalties for DUI in Michigan, top dui lawyer Michigan, Michigan DUI Lawyers, laws, driver licenseIn a Michigan operating while intoxicated case, also called OWI/DUI, the penalties will be based on the severity and nature of the offense, and your prior record. Possible penalties include jail time, license suspension or revocation, fines, costs, community service and probation.

How Much Jail Time Will I Get?

A person convicted of a first offense OWI in Michigan is subject jail time of not more than 93 days in jail. A second offense within 7 years is subject to as much as one-year in jail, and a felony third offense drunk driving is subject to 5 years in jail. You should know that even if you’re looking at a felony drunk driving it is possible to avoid jail time. The Barone Defense Firm, in conjunction with of counsel attorney Doug Passon, focus on sentence mitigation for all of our cases. We have obtained remarkable results in the past, and would like to do the same for your case if possible.

If you were arrested for OWI in Michigan the police may have tested either your breath or blood for the amount of alcohol. If your blood level is above the legal limit of .08 in Michigan, then you can end up losing your driver’s license and could even end up going to jail.

How to get a copy of a DUI blood test. Michigan DUI lawyer. Drunk driving blood test.
Your blood alcohol content (BAC) will be reported in a report. You can get your DUI blood test results by contacting the police department that arrested you for drunk driving. They may be unwilling or unable to provide you with the results.

If you can’t get your DUI blood test results from the police, then you’ll have to find out where the blood was tested, and contact the lab. Most chemical testing for a DUI involving alcohol or drugs or will tested by the Michigan State Police Forensic Lab in Lansing. If you were arrested for OWI in Oakland County Michigan, your blood was probably tested by the Oakland County Sheriff’s forensic lab.

Why Does Michigan’s Law of Implied Consent Exist?

The first DUI laws went in the books all the way back in the 1950s when cars where just starting to become very common. Back then, there were no breath tests, so that law enforcement tool in a DUI investigation was not available to police officers. That only happened ten years later, in the 1960s. Technology has improved a lot since then, and the law has changed too, because the law of implied consent is younger than the first breath tests. Back in the “olden days” people could refuse a breath test in a drunk driving case without an possible sanction. That is no longer true, and today, there are serious consequences if you unreasonably refuse to to a breath test.

The Michigan Law of Implied Consent

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.

A conviction for operating under of influence of drugs has a similar requirement. This is because 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, or consume enough drugs to become intoxicated, then you’ve committed the offense of drunk driving. In other words, DUI and OWI are essentially the same thing.

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