Our attorneys have successfully defended cases of all sorts, including misdemeanors and felonies. The most common crime in Michigan has, for many years, been Drunk Driving. It is sometimes referred to as OUIL, OWIL or OWI. There is much to say about these offenses. The first thing is DO NOT REFUSE THE BREATHALYZER! A refusal will cost you your license. There will be little your attorney can do to help you save it (possible but not likely). Click here for more information on that!
For more general information about drunk driving, click here:
But we do more than handle drunk driving cases. We handle:
MIP (minor in possession)
OUID (operating under the influence of drugs)
Possession of drugs
Delivery of Drugs (and possession with intent to deliver)
Marijuana related cases
Larceny (including shoplifting)
A&B (Assault and Battery)
FA (Felonious Assault)
AA (Aggravated Assault)
CSC (criminal sexual conduct)
DWLS (driving while licensed suspended or revoked)
and many more...
Being charged with a crime is frightening. Before you do anything you and your attorney might regret, watch this video!
Being bombarded with now terms makes it even harder. Here are the stages of a criminal case and some common terms:
Arrest - this is a more common term, but anytime the police tell you that you are not free to go, you are under arrest. This is relevant to the admissibility of statements, Miranda rights, etc.
Arraignment - This is a brief hearing in front of a magistrate where he tells you your charges, asks you how you plead and sets a bond.
Bond - A security charged by the court to assure a defendant's appearance at court dates. The bond is usually returned at the end of a case. Therefore, if you can pay your bond, it is important not to use a bonding agency -- money you pay them is gone forever. Money you pay the Court for bond comes back to you.
Preliminary Exam (felonies only) - a hearing in which the prosecutor has to show that a crime was committed and that there is reason to believe that the defendant committed it.
Bind Over - If the District Court finds that the probable cause burden in a preliminary exam was met, he must send the case to the circuit court. That is called binding over.
Pre Trial - A conference where the attorneys meet and possible plea or sentence deals are discussed.
Plea - When a defendant pleads guilty. He is sworn in and tells the court why he is guilty.
Trial - The prosecutor calls witnesses designed to show the Defendant's guilt. The defense can cross examine and call its own witnesses.
PSI (Pre Sentence Investigation) - A probation officer reviews the charges and the history and writes a recommendation to the judge as to how to sentence.
Sentencing - The judge reviews the charges, the history and the sentencing guidelines and gives the Defendant a sentence, which can be a fine, jail, probation or all three.
Why did the judge refuse to accept my guilty plea? I see this a lot. A person is charged with a crime and his lawyers works out a deal for him to plead guilty to a lower crime, with the agreement that the original charge be dismissed. Sometimes, the parties are so focused on the charge being dismissed that they forget the obvious -- the judge can not accept a guilty plea if the defendant will not admit that he did something wrong. A defendant has to be properly instructed as to what he has to say in order to successfully plead guilty to the lesser charge.