DUI and OWI Defense in Ann Arbor
Drunk driving is a serious crime. You need serious representation.
The state of Michigan officially uses the term Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) to describe drunk driving offenses. Such offenses are also commonly called driving under the influence (DUI). Regardless of the terminology, being convicted of drunk driving can have serious implications for your future. You may lose your driver's license, spend time in jail or pay thousands of dollars in fines.
If you're facing OWI charges in Ann Arbor or anywhere else in Washtenaw County, don't fight them alone. You only get one shot in court, and you'll need to make them count. Get an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Get Manley & Manley.
Stopped for OWI in Ann Arbor? Know your legal rights.
When a police officer pulls you over on suspicion of drunk driving, he or she will likely want to conduct a field sobriety test. Commonly used tests in Michigan are the One Leg Stand (OLS), Walk and Turn (WAT) and Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN). Regardless of the type of test, remember that in Michigan, field sobriety tests are completely optional. You have the right to refuse.
When it comes to breath, blood and urine tests, however, your rights are much more limited. Michigan has an implied consent law, which means every licensed driver is required to submit to a chemical test when stopped on suspicion of drunk driving. You can refuse, but your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for a year. You do have the right to appeal this suspension within 14 days.
Michigan law also specifies that the officer can require you to take a preliminary breath test to establish probable cause. You can refuse this test, but you will be fined.
Charged with OWI? Here are your options.
With an experienced defense attorney on your side, you'll have multiple legal options to resolve your OWI case. One option is to plead down to a charge of "wet reckless;" that is, reckless driving involving alcohol. While wet reckless keeps your OWI/DUI record clean, we don't always recommend doing this, for two reasons:
- If you are subsequently charged with OWI, the wet reckless charge counts as a previous OWI charge for sentencing purposes. That is, you will face penalties for a second offense.
- While the legal penalty for wet reckless is lower than for OWI, your insurance may be affected more. Insurance companies often find that reckless drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents than drunk drivers.
That's why it's so important to consult attorney Manley before accepting a plea bargain for your DUI charge.
A better option is to get the charge dismissed entirely, and we know exactly how to do just that. Our legal team will look at the records surrounding your arrest and see whether the police officer violated protocol - because the laws surrounding OWI are so complex and change so frequently, this happens more often than you'd think. We'll review video evidence, interview witnesses and follow up on every reasonable lead to find a way to get your charges dismissed.
We'll protect your legal rights in Ann Arbor and throughout Washtenaw County
It's important to move quickly to face your OWI charge. There's too much at stake to wait to get effective legal representation. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation. Come to our office or call 810-238-0500.