Skillful lawyer represents motorists in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties

Getting arrested on a drunk driving charge can be an intimidating experience. Many motorists choose not to fight the allegation, especially if their test result seems to show that they were legally drunk. At the Law Offices of Kevin R. Lynch P.L.C. in Sterling Heights, we help Michigan residents understand their rights and deliver strong advocacy at every phase of the law enforcement process.

Michigan laws prohibiting driving under the influence

Prosecutors can charge motorists with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) if their blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds the applicable legal standard. For most drivers 21 years of age and older, legal intoxication is defined as a BAC of .08 percent or higher. However, a tougher standard exists for commercial vehicle operators, who can be prosecuted for OWI if their result shows a BAC of at least .04 percent. A zero tolerance law exists for motorists under 21, who can be arrested even with a BAC reading of .02.

Even if your breathalyzer result does not indicate intoxication, you could still be charged with Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) if you show signs of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These determinations can be very subjective and effects of alcohol use, such as red eyes, could have many causes unrelated to alcohol. If you’ve been accused of OWI or OWVI, we will investigate the relevant facts thoroughly to develop the strongest possible defense.

Penalties for OWI convictions

A first drunk-driving conviction could lead to a jail sentence as long as 93 days and a fine of at least $100. You could also be required to perform community service as part of your punishment. These penalties are increased for motorists whose BAC was .17 percent or higher. In those cases, the top jail term is 180 days. Sentences get tougher for individuals who have been guilty of drunk driving in the previous seven years. With a second conviction, there is a minimum five-day jail term, but you could spend up to a year behind bars. The maximum fine also rises to $1,000. For a third offense, a defendant faces incarceration that runs from one to five years.

How an experienced defense lawyer can help

After you’ve been charged with OWI, the best thing you can do is hire a qualified criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Kevin R. Lynch can investigate the circumstances to see if police had the necessary legal grounds to stop your car or make an arrest. Evidence that was collected improperly should be excluded from a prosecution against you, even if it is a test result that shows you were legally intoxicated. Errors can also be made in breathalyzer testing and the handling of results. Our firm is committed to identifying problems in the law enforcement process and achieving the best result possible for clients, whether that is a dismissal, acquittal or reduced charge.

Civil cases seeking compensation for victims of drunk driving accidents

Our firm also represents victims of car crashes caused by intoxicated drivers in litigation seeking monetary damages. Under Michigan’s no-fault insurance law, many claims are filed with the victim’s own carrier, but you can pursue payment from the at-fault driver or their insurer if you’ve suffered a serious injury. We strive to maximize compensation for payments through insurance claims and lawsuits against liable motorists if they lack sufficient coverage.

Contact a Michigan defense lawyer for a free consultation if you’re facing a drunk driving charge

The Law Offices of Kevin R. Lynch P.L.C., with an office in Sterling Heights, defends motorists accused of operating while intoxicated in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. To discuss your legal options in a free consultation, please call 586-336-1088 or contact us online.