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Sterling Heights DUI Attorney

Sterling Heights DUI Attorney

Throughout most of the United States, drunk driving offenses are charged as “driving under the influence,” or DUI, or “driving while intoxicated,” or DWI. In Michigan and a few other states, this offense is charged as “operating while intoxicated,” or OWI. Although the terminology is different, the charge is the same: the driver allegedly drove while their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.08 percent or higher.

Understanding OWI Charges

Not all OWI charges are the same. Beyond operating a motor vehicle while one’s BAC is 0.08 percent or higher, related charges include:

  • Refusing to submit a chemical test when asked to do so by law enforcement. Michigan’s implied consent law requires all drivers pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving to comply with officers’ requests for chemical BAC tests.
  • Operating while visibly impaired (OWVI). If you are pulled over for driving erratically and your BAC is found to be below 0.08 percent, you can still be charged with OWVI.
  • Operating with the presence of drugs (OWPD). If you are found to have even trace amounts of Schedule 1 drugs in your body while driving, even if you do not appear to be impaired, you may face this charge. 

Penalties for an OWI Conviction

When you’ve been arrested for OWI, you may face administrative penalties separate from the criminal penalties imposed by the court. These administrative penalties are:

For a first OWI conviction with a BAC below 0.17 percent:

  • A driver’s license suspension for up to 180 days; and
  • Six points on your driver’s license.

If your BAC was 0.17 percent or higher at the time of your first OWI, you may face a year-long driver’s license suspension, six points on your driver’s license, a mandatory alcohol education course, and an ignition interlock device in your vehicle after a 45-day driver’s license suspension. For a second OWI conviction, your license may be revoked for one year.

Additionally, you may face criminal penalties for an OWI conviction. The exact penalties will depend on your BAC at the time of your arrest and whether you have previous OWI convictions on your record within the past seven years. Criminal penalties can include:

  • Fines;
  • Jail time; and
  • Community service.

A driver convicted of OWI can also be required to complete an alcohol education course or have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle while on probation.

As you can see, it is definitely in your best interest to avoid an OWI conviction if possible. Legal representation from a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help increase your odds of a positive outcome. 

Work with an Experienced Sterling Heights OWI Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with OWI, you can fight the charge to potentially have it lowered or dismissed. To get started on your legal defense strategy with The Law Offices of Bradley J. Friedman, contact our team of experienced OWI defense lawyers to set up your free legal consultation. During your consultation, we will answer your questions and work with you to develop an effective legal defense strategy.

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CRIMINAL CHARGES

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Lawyer At The Law Offices of Bradley J. Friedman,
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From our office in Farmington Hills, we serve clients throughout the Detroit metropolitan area and beyond in Michigan.

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