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Do You Need a Lawyer for Your First OWI in Michigan?

Drunk driving is one of the most common reasons that people get arrested. In fact, according to MLive, more than 30,000 people were arrested for drunk driving in 2019 alone. While drunk driving may be common, it is still a serious criminal offense that can result in significant criminal and collateral consequences. As a result, if you have been arrested for drunk driving, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.

What are the Potential Penalties for a First OWI?

Under Michigan law, you can face up to $500 in fines and 93 days in jail for a first OWI conviction. These penalties can increase if your BAC was over .17 at the time of your arrest. While these penalties are bad enough by themselves, it’s important to understand that a DUI conviction can result in significant collateral consequences, including:

● Termination from your current employment

● Difficulty getting a job

● Problems renting an apartment

● Sanctions imposed by your school, including the loss of financial aid, suspension, or expulsion

● Problems with professional licensure

What can a Mount Pleasant OWI Defense Lawyer Do to Help?

Fortunately, a DUI arrest does not necessarily have to result in a conviction. In many cases, there are defenses that an experienced DUI lawyer may be able to raise that could result in your case being dismissed or an acquittal at trial. Some of these defenses include:

Challenging the given reason for the initial traffic stop. In order for a traffic stop to be legitimate, the police must have reasonable suspicion that a crime has recently been or is currently being committed. If they just pulled you over on a hunch, it may be possible to have any evidence they gathered dismissed and your case thrown out.

Pointing out legal problems with the way the police conducted sobriety or breath testing. In order to be accurate, breathalyzer testing devices must be calibrated properly. In addition, the person administering the test must have certain training. If there are issues with either, it may be possible to have the results of the breathalyzer test excluded from the evidence.

Offering alternative reasons for the signs of intoxication observed. In some cases, it may be possible to argue that the signs of intoxication the police observed were caused by medical issues unrelated to alcohol. For example, diabetes can cause body odor that may be mistaken for alcohol, and GERD can increase mouth alcohol and result in inaccurate breathalyzer results.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with a Michigan OWI Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested for drunk driving, it’s critical that you do everything you can to protect your rights. At DeCloux & Pierce Law, PLLC, we are dedicated to defending the rights of people accused of OWI and other crimes and do everything possible to obtain the best possible outcome in every case we handle. To schedule a consultation with an OWI defense attorney in Mount Pleasant, call our office today at 989-317-8333 or email us at

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