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Standard of Proof in a DUI Case

In Michigan, there are several different charges that may stem from a drunk or drugged driving arrest, which is why is it important to contact a Michigan DUI attorney. The specific offense that you are charged with will depend on the factors of your case. The more common charges include:

How Do These Charges Differ?

For the average person with no legal background, it may be difficult to distinguish these charges from one another. The most important thing to remember is that the prosecution is going to pursue whichever charge they think they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt in court. In order to do that, certain criteria must be met:

  • To be convicted of OWI, the prosecution must show that you were operating a vehicle while having a blood alcohol level of .08% or greater. In an OWI case, it does not matter how intoxicated you may have appeared or whether you "passed" the field sobriety tests. If the state can show that your BAC was at or above the legal threshold at the time of driving, you can be found guilty. In legal terms, this is referred to as the statutory or "per se" theory.
  • To be found guilty of OWVI, the state needs to show that your ability to safely operate the vehicle was lessened due to alcohol or drugs (or both). This means that you can end up with a drunk driving charge on your record even if you tested under .08% BAC. In the legal community, this is known as the common law theory.
  • The standard of proof for an OWPD or OWPCS charge involving illegal (non-prescription) drugs is even lower. To convict you of this charge, the state merely needs to show that, at the time of driving, you had a trace amount of any illicit or controlled substance in your system. This is especially troubling given the long detection time of certain drugs , such as marijuana.
Client Reviews
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Patrick Barone is the ONLY choice for DUI defense. He was realistic from the start and made it a point to look at my case before taking my money. As a business owner, when I think of attorneys, I think of the "shark infested waters. Patrick is a shark alright, but his prey is not the client; it's justice for his client. Ten stars Patrick!! Chris F.
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Attorney Patrick Barone was very helpful and helped me understand the charge and sentence absolutely clearly. He also guided me through step by step helping me form a statement. His instructions were clear and detailed. It was obvious he cared about me understanding every important detail within my case. I would absolutely recommend this defense firm to anyone in need. Aaron B.
★★★★★
The Barone Defense Firm is the firm I recommend. They are truly concerned about the person, not just the legal issue, but the person as well. They are the most knowledgeable defense firm that I am aware of, having actually written the book on DWI Defense. If you are faced with a DWI you will not find a more professional and skilled law firm. But, most importantly, they care about how the accused individual recovers his or her life when the case is complete. Very remarkable group of lawyers. William H.