The state of Michigan imposes tough penalties for any charges related to driving under the influence of alcohol. Oakland County contains some particularly harsh courts that have been known to sentence offenders to jail for a first offense. Local drivers should know that DUI charges are not typical traffic tickets, but they are considered criminal offenses. A DUI conviction could cost a convicted person their license, a large fine, and even their freedom.
Do people need an Oakland County criminal defense attorney for DUI charges?
Anybody who faces DUI charges might be prudent to consider engaging a good Oakland County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. It might seem like all the evidence gets stacked in favor of the arresting office and prosecutor, but it probably only seems that way from the perspective of an average citizen who does not really understand what the courts need to pass down a conviction.
Many of the machines and computers that get used to analyze breath and blood samples have not been replaced for decades. Good attorneys can call in experts that can caste plenty of reasonable doubt on the accuracy of these machines.
Additionally, officers take videos of most arrests these days. Juries make decisions based upon the actions of defendants at the time of arrest, and these defendants often act perfectly sober.
The most important thing to understand is that a charge is not the same thing as a conviction. An experienced DUI lawyer should have a lot of success getting charges reduced or even dismissed.
What are common Michigan DUI penalties?
Even a first offense could mean jail, fines, fees, and a license suspension. Second and third offenses carry minimum jail sentences in addition to all of the other penalties. Typically, first and second offenses are considered misdemeanors, but they are still harshly punished.
Felony DUI offenses could even mean serving years in prison instead of a few days at the local jail. Prison sentences can range from one to five years. Typically, charges may get elevated to felonies for a third offense.
These charges may also get elevated to a felony if the DUI led to an accident that caused property damage or injuries.
When should an Oakland County criminal defense attorney get called?
These are not the kinds of penalties that anybody wants to suffer through or have on their records. That is why it is important for convicted people to do anything possible to avoid that first conviction. Experiences lawyers understand the system, and they help their clients make the right legal decisions.
These good decisions might help their clients get back their license, freedom, and clean records.
In any case, it might be a good idea to consult with a local attorney as soon as possible after a DUI charge. Many lawyers offer free consultations, and this can provide defendants with an opportunity to understand their options and legal rights. It should also help them remember that getting charged with a DUI is not the same as getting convicted of a DUI.