Operating While Visibly Impaired
Request a Free Consultation

Tailored Defense Strategies for Every Case

Our firm customizes defense strategies for each client's unique circumstances. From DUI's and other misdemeanors to serious felonies, we pride ourselves on obtaining exceptional results.

Home » DUI Defense » Operating While Visibly Impaired

Operating While Visibly Impaired Defense Lawyers in Michigan

Operating While Visibly Impaired, or OWVI, in Michigan is almost never charged from the beginning. However, it’s commonly offered to a first offender of OWI. If you’re facing charges, immediately speak with an experienced OWVI attorney.

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

owvi attorney michigan

Definition of Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) in Michigan

This offense isn’t associated with a blood alcohol content level, such as .06.

It’s never charged as the original offense, because those that are under the legal limit of .08 for OWI aren’t usually impaired or intoxicated.

This offense is primarily used for plea bargaining purposes, typically on first offense cases, but occasionally used on defendants with multiple prior offenses.

OWVI in Michigan means a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle was visibly impaired from the alcohol or controlled substances (drugs) that were consumed.

In other words, the driver operated the vehicle with less ability than an ordinary careful driver would.

The driving impairment must be visible, meaning it was noticed by another person (like a police officer).

A factual basis can be determined by the performance of the field sobriety tests, not necessarily by observation of the driving alone.

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

Conviction Penalties

The penalties for OWVI in Michigan are slightly less severe than OWI.

However, it’s still punishable by up to 93 days in jail.

There’s a potential vehicle immobilization, but it’s unlikely.

The likely penalties are:

The court can also impose up to two (2) years of probation, although one (1) year is typical.

Is OWVI a Good Result?

For some first offenders who care a lot about keeping their driver license, OWVI in Michigan is a good result.

It allows a restricted license for 90 days with no initial suspension period.

The reduced license penalty is the biggest benefit.

The reduction from six to four points and the reduction of the fine from $500 to $300 is negligible.

Neither is a game changer.

The reality is by rejecting the OWVI plea and fighting the case, the worst thing that can happen is a 30-day flat license suspension.

Everything else is almost the same.

The question becomes, why not fight the case if there are good issues to litigate?

This is why a great OWVI attorney and team is necessary, as they’ll provide their client with reasonable arguments to fight a case.

If you don’t fight, you can’t win.

When a defendant is provided all of their alternatives, they can make an informed decision and not just be stuck with what their inexperienced lawyer says (who is doing nothing more than what the prosecutor says).

Therefore, an OWVI can be a good result, but not always.

How To Obtain the Minimum Amount of Probation

First-time OWI offenses usually carry a one-year probationary term.

Every judge is different about their policies.

In order to reduce a probation term to less than one (1) year, it’s necessary to know the judge and what can persuade them to do so.

Oftentimes, a good DUI defense lawyer will suggest to the judge to consider early termination after six (6) months.

The lawyer will file a motion at the appropriate time to request early termination.

It would be necessary for the defendant to have paid all fines and costs, performed all community service, never failed a drug or alcohol test, and always shown up on time and respectfully.

It also helps to have the prosecutor’s consent, but it isn’t always necessary.

It’s usually necessary to have the probation officer’s consent.

Request a free consultation by calling us now at (248) 206-5397.

Reviews From Our Clients

50+ Reviews, 5 Star Ratings

Bryan Smith

Rated 5.0 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 5.0 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 5.0 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 5.0 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 5.0 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
Call Us Now Message Us