Attorneys Explain Detroit OWPD & OUID Cases

Attorneys Explain OWPD & OUID Drug Driving

Our Detroit area attorneys have helped hundreds of clients in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County with “drugged driving” cases. Here we explain the differences between OWPD, OUID, and the penalties that apply to each type of driving under the influence of drugs.

Keep in mind that this information is general in nature – and the best way to understand how the law applies to your situation is to speak to one of our experienced Detroit OWP attorneys.

OWPD – Illegal / Schedule 1 Drugs

If any Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine (even a trace) is found in your blood you can be convicted of OWPD. You do NOT have to appear impaired to be charged.

Schedule 1 Drugs are defined as drugs “having no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.” Schedule 1 drugs include: heroin, LSD, Peyote, Quaaludes, Ecstasy and many more.

Marijuana (cannabis) is also included as a Class 1 drug despite the fact that it is legal in some cities or and can be used as a medicinal drug.

The bottom line is that if ANY Schedule 1 drugs (even trace amounts) are found in your system when you have operated a vehicle you can be charged and convicted of OWPD. Even if you were not driving erratically or dangerously. Unlike OWI which requires a blood alcohol content above Michigan’s legal limit of 0.08%, in Schedule 1 drug cases, no legal limit exists.

This ultimately means you may be charged with OWPD if you are completely sober and have not taken the drug in days or weeks.

Detroit Michigan OWPD Penalties:

First offense OWPD penalties include up to $500 in fines, up to 93 days in jail, up to 360 hours of community service, 30 day driver’s license suspension (followed by 150 days restricted license),as well as possible ignition interlock and/or possible vehicle immobilization.

Second Offense OWPD sentences include between 5 days and one year in jail, fines up to $1,000, up to 90 days of community service, vehicle immobilization, driver’s license revocation for a minimum of one year, and more.

Third offense OWPD is a felony that potentially carries a sentence of 5 years in prison, fines of up to $5,000, and loss of driving privilege for 5 years or even longer.

For this reason it is important to have a skilled Detroit OWPD attorney handle your case. In some cases they may be able to challenge the traffic stop, the evidence, or even the blood test results. In other cases – where the evidence is simply irrefutable – a skilled Detroit OWPD attorney can usually negotiate a better plea deal that reduces the charges, the penalties and the jail sentence.

OUID – Operating Under the Influence of Drugs
(including Prescriptions)

Even if you have a prescription for the drugs you are taking, you can still be charged with OUID (Operating Under the Influence of Drugs) and/or OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired), if the police officer determines that you are unable to safely drive a motor vehicle.

If you are caught driving while taking OxyContin, Xanax, Percocet, Valium, Ambien or many other prescription medications, you can be charged and convicted. And Unlike OWI which requires a blood alcohol content above Michigan’s legal limit of 0.08%, there is no legal limit for drugs. If the officer thinks you are impaired you can be arrested.

Detroit Michigan OUID Penalties

First offense OUID conviction carries, fines of up to $500, mandatory community service, and as much as 90 days in jail. A second conviction within 7 years of the first carries up to a one-year jail sentence, driver’s license revocation, and fines of up to $1,000.

Third offense OUID – at any point – potentially carries a sentence of 5 years in prison, fines of up to $5,000, and loss of driving privilege for 5 years or even longer.

Free Consultation with Detroit OWPD / OUID Attorney:  800-717-4757

Detroit Lawyers Explain DUI Charges Penalties

Detroit Drunk Driving Lawyers Explain DUI Penalties

Drunk driving or “DUI” laws are the same across the entire state of Michigan. Whether you are arrested for DUI in Detroit, Southfield or Kalamazoo, the same laws and penalties will apply.

In Michigan there are three different specific drunk driving offenses with which you can be charged:

  • OWI (Operating While Intoxicated)
  • OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired)
  • UBAC/UBAL (Unlawful Bodily Alcohol Content/Level)

Additionally, other criminal charges may be added under some circumstances. If children were present in the vehicle at the time you were arrested you may be charged with OUIL/child endangerment. If someone was injured or killed as a result of your alleged intoxicated driving, you may also be charge with the felony of OUIL Causing Serious Bodily Injury or Death.

Also, separate charges exist for Operating With Any Presence of Drugs (OWPD) and Operating Under the Influence of Drugs (OUID).

Read about OWPD & OUID Drugged Driving HERE.

OWI (Operating While Intoxicated)

OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) is the most common of the drunk driving offenses in Detroit and Michigan. If a breathalyzer or blood test shows that your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is at or above the legal limit of 0.08% you will be charged with OWI.

OWI First Offense carries a penalty of up to 93 days in jail, fines of $100 to $500, 360 hours of community service – and occasionally vehicle immobilization and/or possible ignition interlock device during probation at the Judge’s discretion.

OWI Second Offense carries a penalty of jail time of 5 days to one year, fines of $200 to $1,000, a minimum of 30 days of community service (maximum 90 days), possible ignition interlock device during probation at the Judge’s discretion, as well as mandatory vehicle immobilization.

OWI Third Offense is a felony. It carries a penalty of prison time of one to five years, fines of $500 to $5,000, a minimum of 30 days probation with jail (maximum of one year), a minimum of 60 days community service, mandatory vehicle immobilization and possible ignition interlock device during probation at the Judge’s discretion.

OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired)

Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) differs from an OWI in that you can be charged and convicted of OWVI even if you pass the breathalyzer test – if the police officer believes that your ability to operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner was impaired by alcohol. This is often “determined” by field sobriety tests, dash or body cam video and the officer’s version of how they observed you driving.

OWVI First Offense carries a penalty of up to 93 days in jail, fines of up to $300, 360 hours of community service, and sometimes vehicle immobilization at the Judge’s discretion.

OWVI Second Offense carries a penalty of time of 5 days to one year, fines of $200 to $1,000, minimum 30 days community service (maximum 90 days), mandatory vehicle immobilization.

OWVI Third Offense is a felony. It carries a penalty of prison time of one to five years, fines of $500 to $5,000, a minimum of 30 days probation with jail (maximum one year), a minimum of 60 days community service (maximum 180 days), as well as mandatory vehicle immobilization.

UBAC/UBAL (Unlawful Bodily Alcohol Content/Level)

Unlawful Bodily Alcohol Content/Level (UBAC/UBAL) is nearly identical to OWI, and carries almost identical penalties. UBAC/UBAL and OWI are more or less two different ways that a prosecutor can convict you of driving while intoxicated – with some very fine legal distinctions. Technically, an OWI is defined as when alcohol has affected the ability to drive. Whereas a UBAC/UBAL, is when a person has a .08 BAC or higher, regardless of whether it lead to unsafe driving.

Unlawful Bodily Alcohol Content/Level (UBAC/UBAL) subjects you to the same penalties as OWI, with the difference being that if convicted will be required to perform community service – which can be optional in OWI cases.

OWI Causing Death

OWI Causing Death is a felony that carries a penalty of prison time of 15 years, fines of $2,500 to $10,000, as well as mandatory vehicle immobilization. If a firefighter or police officer dies, the sentence is increased to 20 years in prison.

OWI Causing Serious Injury

OWI Causing Serious Injury carries a sentence of prison time of five years, as well as fines of $1,000 to $5,000, and mandatory vehicle immobilization.

Driver’s License Suspension

In addition to these penalties, every DUI conviction also includes a driver’s license suspension, which is handed down by the Secretary of State. The length of the suspension will depend upon the offense and whether it is a first, second or third offense.

Free Consultation with Detroit OWI / DUI Attorney:  800-717-4757

 

Attorneys Explain Detroit DUI Cases

Attorneys Explain What to Expect in a Detroit DUI Case

Our Detroit area lawyers have helped hundreds of clients in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County with their DUI cases. Here we explain how the process typically works from beginning to end in a Detroit DUI case.

Keep in mind that this information is general in nature – and the best way to understand how the law applies to your situation is to speak to one of our experienced Detroit DUI attorneys.

Getting Pulled Over for DUI in Detroit

In Michigan it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content higher than 0.08%. Typically you will be asked to take a “Breathalyzer” test. Because of Michigan’s “implied consent law” if you refuse to take the Breathalyzer Test, your drivers’ license will be automatically suspended for 1 year and 6 points will be added to your driving record – in addition to any additional penalties and fines.

Additionally, Michigan’s Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) law means you can still be charged with a drunk driving offense, even if you do NOT have a BAC of 0.08% or higher.

If the officer has “probable cause” to believe you are impaired and unable to drive safely you can be arrested. A field sobriety test and/or the officer’s observation of erratic driving, slurred speech, the smell of alcohol or empty containers may all be enough for the police to charge you with OWVI.

After being arrested for drunk driving, you will typically be taken to the police station for further BAC testing using a Datamaster device. You will generally be held overnight, then arraigned the next day.

Arraignments in Detroit DUI Cases

Your arraignment is where you appear in Court and will be advised of the charges against you, your legal rights, and the possible penalties you are facing.

This is where you are formally charged. If you have already been convicted of operating while intoxicated within the last seven years, you may be charged with a 2nd offense. Two or more prior convictions will result in a 3rd offense.

Second and third offenses have increasingly higher fines and longer possible jail sentences. Third offenses for drunk driving are also generally felonies.

At your arraignment a bond will be set and you will be released when you or someone else pays the bond on your behalf.

Having an attorney present at the arraignment is wise if at all possible, Often times an attorney can get your bond substantially reduced.

Pre-Trial Conference in Detroit DUI Cases

A pre-trial conference will be scheduled before you “go to trial” – regardless of whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony. This is where it gets quite complicated and it is highly advisable to have an experienced attorney representing you.

At the pre-trial conference the Judge, the prosecutor and your attorney will address several issues that will affect the outcome of your trial. A “motion” regarding what “evidence” can be used against you may be presented. A skilled attorney can sometimes get evidence (or even the entire case) “thrown out” at the pre-trial IF the facts and evidence are in your favor.

At this stage of the process, an experienced DUI attorney may also attempt to negotiate the possibility of a favorable “plea bargain” – in order to get you either reduced charges and/or reduced penalties. The Judges and prosecutors in Detroit may often want to avoid a trial – and so an experienced DUI attorney can often work out a “deal” for you.

Going to Trial in Detroit DUI Cases

If you do not work out a deal and accept a plea bargain, your drunk driving case will be scheduled for trial. You and your attorney may request a “jury Trial” or a “Bench Trial” that is heard by a Judge without a jury.

In Detroit, seven jurors will be selected if you are charged with a misdemeanor DUI offense – and 13 jurors will be selected if you are charged with a felony DUI offense. An experienced DUI attorney will try to select the “best” jurors that may be most sympathetic to your situation – and try to dismiss jurors that appear prejudiced against your situation in any way.

The trial will then start. The prosecuting attorney will have the burden of demonstrating each element of the crime you are charged with “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Knowledge of Court procedures and an understanding of the law is essential – so it is almost impossible to win if you represent yourself at trial. However a skilled DUI attorney can help “prove” your case – and challenge or discredit the prosecutor’s evidence.

After the trial the Jury (or Judge in a bench trial) will deliberate for a while and then return a verdict. If you are found guilty (convicted) of the DUI offense, your case will proceed to the sentencing phase.

Free Consultation with Detroit OWI / DUI Attorney:  800-717-4757

Detroit Lawyers Answer DUI FAQs

Detroit Drunk Driving Lawyers Answer DUI FAQs

Our Detroit area lawyers have helped hundreds of clients in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County with their DUI cases. Here we answer some Frequently Asked Questions about DUI charges in Detroit.

What are the different drunk driving crimes in Detroit?

Drunk driving or “DUI” laws are the same across the entire state of Michigan. Prosecutors in Michigan may charge an individual with:

one of three “drunk driving” offenses (OWI, UBAC/UBAL, and OWVI); and/or
a “drugged driving” charge (OWPD); and/or
special charges (OWI Causing Serious Injury or death; OWI With Children Present).
Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) is charged if your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is above the legal limit of 0.08% and your ability to drive safely is affected by alcohol.

Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) is charged if the officer decides that you weren’t able to drive safely and you do NOT need to have a BAC of 0.08 or above to be charged. Usually a field sobriety test and/or the officer’s observation of you driving are enough.

Operating With Any Presence of Drugs (OWPD) is charged if any Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine (even a trace) is found in your blood. You do NOT have to appear impaired to be charged.

What does DUI Zero Tolerance Law mean?

Michigan’s Zero Tolerance Law applies to drivers under 21 years old. Minors are not allowed to buy, have in their possession, or consume alcohol. If they are found with any alcohol in a vehicle―even unopened, and/or even off the road or in a parking lot, they can be charged with a misdemeanor.

Minors with a BAC of 0.02% or greater, will also be arrested – and face 4 points on their license if found guilty of the charge.

What if Happens if I Refused the Breathalyzer Test?

Michigan has something called an “implied consent law” which means that if you drive you automatically agree to taking breathalyzer tests when stopped. So if a person is arrested on any DUI offense and they refuse to take the Breathalyzer Test, their license will be automatically suspended for 1 year and 6 points will be added to their driving record – in addition to any additional penalties and fines.

Refusing a Breathalyzer Test twice within seven (7) years results in a two year drivers’ license suspension by the Michigan Secretary of State.

If I Pass the Breathalizer Test in a DUI Stop am I Free to Go?

Unfortunately, passing a breathalyzer test does not automatically mean you are “off the hook.” Michigan’s Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) law means you can still be charged if the officer decides that you weren’t able to drive safely – even if you do NOT have a BAC of 0.08 or above. Usually a field sobriety test and/or the officer’s observation of your driving are used in these cases.

You cannot be arrested for DUI unless a police officer has “probable cause” – which basically means “good reason to believe you are impaired”. However erratic driving, slurred speech, the smell of alcohol or empty containers may all be enough for the police to charge you with OWVI – even if you “passed” the breathalyzer.

Free Consultation with Detroit OWI / DUI Attorney:  800-717-4757

How Southfield Traffic Attorneys Fight Tickets

Southfield Traffic Attorneys Discuss:
Fighting Traffic Tickets in 46th District Court

So you received a traffic ticket in Southfield. We know that sinking feeling when you get pulled over. Now what do you do? Our experienced Southfield traffic attorneys have helped hundreds of people fight or dismiss traffic tickets in Southfield. Here’s what you need to know.

Dismissing Traffic Tickets in Southfield with Traffic School

Some traffic tickets can be dismissed by attending a basic driver improvement course. Not all traffic offenses qualify for this. Read more about traffic school here. To see if your offense “qualifies” for a “traffic school” dismissal call our traffic attorneys at:  800-717-4757

If your traffic ticket is not for a min or offense, or if you have 2 points on your driving record, or if your ticket carries 3 or more points it cannot be dismissed by attending traffic school.

Learn more about Traffic School HERE.

How to Fight Traffic Tickets in Southfield

The only way to “fight” a traffic ticket in Southfield Michigan is by pleading not guilty – in a timely fashion.

If you pay the ticket, you are admitting responsibility and you give up your right to “fight” the ticket. Similarly, if you do nothing and ignore the ticket, you will be considered guilty by “default” and you also give up your right to fight the traffic ticket.

The length of time you have to fight a ticket is very limited. It will depend upon where you received the ticket. In Southfield you typically have only 14 days to plead “not guilty” or “not responsible” to a civil traffic citation.

The length of time you have to respond is typically printed on the ticket. If you are unsure, or you have lost your ticket, you may call the Southfield District Court – or call our office and speak to a traffic attorney at: 800-717-4757

Fighting the Ticket

Once you have entered your plea, you may request either an informal hearing or a formal hearing. We recommend that you request a formal hearing. If you request an informal hearing you are not allowed to have an attorney. – and so you are “on your own” against the police officer and the magistrate (judge)!

Remember pleading not guilty means you believe that you did not violate the law. So you will be required by the magistrate (traffic judge) to present “evidence” to prove that you are innocent. And when it comes to “your word” versus the police officer’s word – we all know who the magistrate is going to believe.

Hiring a Southfield Traffic Attorney Improves Your Chance of Beating a Ticket

Michigan does not provide court-appointed lawyer for traffic violations. So it is wise to consider hiring a Southfield traffic ticket attorney to appear at the hearing and fight your ticket.

An experienced Southfield traffic attorney will know how to argue the law (and exceptions or special circumstances) that may apply in your case. An experienced Southfield traffic attorney can also call witnesses, present evidence, question the officer who issued the citation, even negotiate with the prosecutor or city attorney to have your charges dropped or reduced.

Addressing a ticket “head on” with the advice or representation of a skilled Southfield traffic attorney is always the best way to get a ticket reduced or possibly even dismissed.

In most cases, investing a relatively small amount of money in an experienced Southfield traffic attorney more than pays for itself. Having an attorney get your ticket reduced or dismissed can save you thousands of dollars when you consider fines, insurance increases, driver responsibility fees and license restoration costs later.

Our Southfield Traffic Attorneys Can Help. CALL:  800-717-4757

If you received a traffic ticket in Southfield, Oakland County, or anywhere in Michigan do not pay the ticket until you talk to one of our experienced attorneys. We have helped hundreds of people “beat” their tickets – we can help you, too.