If you have been arrested for an OWI in Michigan, a conviction can result in serious penalties. Not only does it result in serving time in jail, paying expensive fines and losing the ability to drive for an extended period of time, but also having a criminal record can have a negative impact on your life and reputation. Fortunately, it is possible to reduce the charges with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case.
Your lawyer can make a plea bargain with the prosecutor to have your OWI charge reduced to the lesser charge of “reckless driving involving alcohol” or even careless driving. Although the maximum penalties for OWI and reckless driving are the same (i.e. 93 days of jail time and fine of $500), a careless driving is a civil infraction that results in no jail time and no criminal record. The prosecution typical agrees to bargain down an OWI charge for first-time offenders, when the BAC is on the borderline of .08 percent, or when there are weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case against the defendant.
Another lesser charge that can be obtained via a plea deal is an OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired). Essentially, a person can be convicted of this charge if there are visible impairment indications, as imposed to being under the influence.
While the penalties between OWI and OWVI are similar, some of them are less severe. For instance, there is no hard license suspension associated with OWVI. Furthermore, points on your driver record and the fines are much lower.
At White Law PLLC, we are dedicated to helping our clients facing OWI charges obtain the most favorable outcome possible. Our Okemos criminal defense lawyer can investigate your arrest, collect evidence, and attempt to find any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case to either have your entire case dismissed or your penalties reduced.
Just because you have been arrested, doesn’t mean that you are automatically guilty. You still have a fighting chance to avoid serious penalties with the help of a skilled lawyer.
For more information about our legal services, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.