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First Offense DUI Lawyers in Michigan

When you’re charged with a DUI first offense in Michigan, an immediate sense of fear washes over you. It should. Michigan has some of the harshest drunk driving laws in the nation. If you’re facing charges, immediately speak with a first offense DUI attorney in Michigan.

Questions like, “What’s going to happen now?,” “Will I go to jail?,” “Will I lose my driver’s license?,” “What about my job?,”  and“My family?” race through your mind.

You’re not alone.

OWI (Michigan’s term for DUI) offenses are the most common criminal offenses in the criminal justice system.

But make no mistake.

Now is not the time to price shop for a first offense DUI attorney.

You need an experienced DUI lawyer.

And with an unrivaled track record, when you hire a DUI lawyer from The Law Offices of Barton Morris, you can rest assured that we’ll do everything in our power to win you less or no jail time, lower or no fines, and also save your driver’s license.

We have a track record to back up this claim.

Are you facing DUI charges? Unhappy with your current first offense DUI attorney? Request a free consultation now.

What is an OWI?

Michigan law calls a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) an OWI, which is short for “Operating While Intoxicated.”

Michigan chooses to use the term “operating” to highlight that a person doesn’t have to actually “drive” a motor vehicle to be guilty.

OWI means a person operated a motor vehicle while they:

  1. had a bodily alcohol content (BAC) equal to .08 or higher, or while
  2. they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In 2015, Michigan added the Driving with a High BAC offense, or “Super Drunk Driving” charge.

Super Drunk Driving is often charged when a driver has a BAC of .17 or higher.

Therefore, the maximum jail term for Super Drink Driving is two times that of a first offense OWI.

dui first offense michigan

Penalties for DUI First Offense

Michigan’s drunk driving laws are among the country’s toughest.

These are some of the penalties you face when convicted of first offense DUI:

  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Fines between $100 to $500
  • 360 hours (45 days) of community service
  • Vehicle immobilization at the court’s discretion
  • Possible ignition interlock device during probation

Super Drunk Driving carries a 180-day maximum jail sentence and a mandatory one (1) year of a restricted license, with the first 45 days suspended.

The Evidence Against You

DUI first offense Michigan convictions rely heavily on various types of evidence, including:

Standardized Field Sobriety Testing

  • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk-and-Turn, and One Leg Stand are standard.

Chemical Bodily Alcohol Testing

Police Dashcam and Bodycam Footage

  • The police dashcam reveals why the police officer decided to pull you over, while the bodycam footage will show angles of the field sobriety tests, breath test result, and arrest.

The Police Report

  • Did the officer observe erratic driving? Did they observe slurred speech or alcohol smell on your breath? These are just some of the observations that are noted in the initial police report.

How We Defend DUI First Offense Cases

Our firm has executed multiple defense strategies that many firms are unaware of or are unqualified to try.

This guarantees the best possible outcome for DUI first offense Michigan case clients that you’re unlikely to get from other firms.

Example of some of our strategies include:

  1. Challenging the Traffic Stop

The police must have a valid reason for pulling you over before arresting you for DUI.

A thorough review of the dashcam footage may show that the traffic light was yellow, a turn signal was used, or “swerving” was minor and within your own lane.

This would reveal that there was no probable cause for the traffic stop.

  1. Determining If There Was a Probable Cause for Arrest

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution holds that unreasonable search and seizure is unconstitutional.

Therefore, the police need “probable cause” to arrest you for DUI first offense. If the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and Preliminary Breath Test were administered incorrectly or by the wrong person, then there’s no probable cause for an arrest.

  1. The Rising Alcohol Defense

This defense explains that a person having a BAC over .08 at the time of the arrest may not have been over the legal limit at the time of actual operation of the vehicle.

To use this defense, a lawyer must have an extensive background in understanding and evaluating scientific evidence.

  1. Evaluating Your Medical Conditions

Acid Reflux and Diabetes are just some of the medical conditions that can cause an inaccurate breath test result.

However, this cannot successfully be used as a defense if you hire a lawyer with no scientific background.

  1. Determining If You Were Involuntarily Intoxicated

While this is a difficult defense to execute, it’s a strong one that we’ve used successfully in cases.

If someone’s drink was unknowingly spiked with alcohol or drugs, or if they took the wrong medication, then they shouldn’t face the penalties of a DUI first offense Michigan conviction.

Why Hire Us?

Barton holds numerous distinctions specific to OWI cases, such as:

  • President of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys
  • Michigan’s only Forensic Lawyer-Scientist designated by the American Chemical Society
  • Only criminal defense lawyer contributor on Michigan Impaired Driving Safety Commission’s report on whether THC equals to intoxication while driving
  • Board member for the Michigan Department of Attorney General’s Marijuana Legal Workgroup, Trial Lawyer’s College Alumni Association, DUI Defense Lawyers Association Justice Foundation, and more
  • Faculty for National College for DUI Defense and the DUI Defense Lawyers Association
  • Barton has trained some of the most well-known OWI lawyers in America

Many DUI cases rely on weak, flawed evidence.

There are hundreds, and potentially thousands, of people each year who face unfair penalties simply because their lawyer failed to recognize or understand how to contest evidence.

The stakes are too high.

You need and deserve an experienced DUI team to represent you.

Are you facing DUI charges? Unhappy with your current first offense DUI attorney? Request a free consultation now.

Reviews From Our Clients

50+ Reviews, 5 Star Ratings

Bryan Smith

Rated 5 out of 5
December 22, 2022

Barton was amazing and I could not have had the positive outcome without his guidance. His team is prompt and great to work with. He even called while out of the country on vacation, which I feel shows he went above and beyond what someone might expect from their attorney. Experienced and cares! I would highly recommend Barton!

Bryan Smith

Leng T.

Rated 5 out of 5
December 22, 2022

Very professional. I came and spoke to Barton Morris about my situation and my case. I asked him if he was willing to help me. He asked about the details and my background and history. He give me a positive confidence he can help me and my odds. His price is reasonable. He’s not one of those hole in the wall lawyers who treat you as a number. You are a human being with a personal life. You treats you as a valued client no matter how big or small the case.

Leng T.

Kelly M.

Rated 5 out of 5
April 5, 2022

I had Mike Norman as my lawyer for a case. I just wanted to come on here and thank him for doing his best for me. I am grateful during this stressful time. I’ve used Barton Morris as a lawyer about 11 years ago and he was awesome which is why we came back. I do recommend!

Kelly M.

Thomas Smale

Rated 5 out of 5
December 28, 2020

Extremely knowledgeable and very helpful when it comes to navigating the complicated nature of cannabis businesses in Michigan. I met with Barton where he answered all my questions about the pre-qualification application, and was prompt in answering subsequent questions through email after the meeting was completed. I certainly plan to continue utilize Barton’s knowledge in the future.

Marty Upfall

Thomas Smale

Marty Upfall

Rated 5 out of 5
November 10, 2020

Just sitting here on my balcony. A bit chilly but sunny and beautiful. I am ever so grateful to have 100% freedom. Wasn’t sure I would ever meet this day. Hiring you(and your team) was the best decision I have ever made. You are a true master of your trade. As you sit with your beautiful family on Thanksgiving know that this year I am truly thankful of my freedom and the choice to hire Barton Morris. Thanks again. I will never forget what you have done for me.

Marty Upfall