8 Things to Consider When Charged with a DUI in Michigan

The decisions and choices you make after being charged with drunk driving in the state of Michigan are crucial to your foreseeable future. The following are eight things you should consider (and avoid) if you are in the position of a drunk driving criminal charge in the state of Michigan.

1. Do not assume that a criminal drunk driving defense is useless and not worth the fight.

It goes without saying that Michigan is one of the toughest states when it comes to DUI laws on the books. A conviction can carry some stiff penalties, including a jail sentence up to 3 months, a suspended license, 6 points added to your driving record, a ridiculous amount of community service – and even an ignition lock being installed on your car. Michigan’s super drunk law carries even stiffer penalties, including even more time in jail, more fines, and typically a sentence of mandatory alcohol abuse counseling. But do not let these things scare you away from hiring a highly experience DUI attorney. An excellent attorney can help mitigate all of these penalties under Michigan law.

2. Don’t make the mistake of believing that your DUI charge is of no consequence.

Unbeknownst to many who try to “go it alone”, pleading guilty and saying “I’m sorry” will not pull much weight in court. If your case is not defended in a systematic manner, you may end up with a serious conviction resulting in a lifetime of consequences that you will with you did not have to endure. And these consequences could permanently tarnish your record. A huge increase in insurance premiums, travel restrictions, and even new employment issues could be the result of your DUI conviction.

3. Do not make the mistake of taking advice from someone who is not a top criminal DUI defense attorney.

You might feel compelled to take the advice of Michigan law enforcement at the time of your arrest, or even a family member after your DUI arrest. They may even suggest that you do not need a lawyer in your case, and to save your money. This is BAD advice. Always seek a free consultation from an experienced DUI attorney before making any decisions regarding how to proceed with your case.

4. Do not make the mistake of using another person’s case as a template for your own.

Every DUI arrest in Michigan is unique and carries unique circumstances before, during, and after the arrest. Case outcomes will always vary depending on its nature. Be sure your DUI defense attorney understands all of the aspects of your case before proceeding.

5. Don’t believe that your career or social status will have any affect of the outcome of your case.

Michigan DUI convictions are taken seriously no matter what your career is or your social status. Law enforcement, judges, and even politicians have been charged – and convicted- with DUI and faced the same penalties as everyone else. It is how your case is defended that is the most important factor. Those with higher social status may even be punished MORE severely due to the example they have set. Consequences can be more damaging for someone in a high-profile position. Doctors, dentists, therapists, surgeons, etc. may put their professional licenses in danger as the result of a DUI – especially a super drunk violation.

6. Do not be stupid and hold back information from your criminal defense attorney.

Always be upfront with your criminal defense attorney – always. Lying or fabricating facts to your attorney will most likely come back to haunt you. Don’t do it.

7. Always document as much information as possible regarding your drunk driving charge.

Do not make the mistake of trusting your memory for a court case that is scheduled for 3 months into the future. Write down as much information as you can as soon as you can after your arrest and DUI charge.

8. Do not make the mistake of hiring an attorney because they are “cheaper” than the others.

The old adage of “you get what you pay for” is true when hiring a criminal DUI defense attorney. Experience attorneys may charge more because they are worth it and they have the experience and proven track record to minimize your penalties. That is not to say the most expensive attorney is the right choice, but beware of attorneys that quote you a flat rate to defend your case that seems to good to be true. Attorneys who spend time and money with specialized and additional education in Michigan are worth the cost. Their knowledge will go far in defending your case and limiting the penalties you may face. The most experienced and most qualified DUI attorneys will typically not be the lowest priced ones.

If you have been charged with a criminal DUI charge in West Michigan, call the DUI attorney helpline at 616-541-6134 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced drunk driving attorney in Grand Rapids MI

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