Archive for the ‘Motor Vehicle Charges’ Category

Michigan Drunk Driving Attorneys — Holiday Season Brought Drunk Driving Arrests

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

We are officially past the 2011 holiday season, which was a time to get together with family, friends, and coworkers. Many of these gatherings involved the consumption of alcohol. On nights like Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, Michigan State Police and county and local patrol officers were on the lookout for drunk drivers. Judging by the number of calls we have received, many people were arrested for drunk driving during the holidays.

We are often asked, “Will I go to jail for drunk driving?” The penalties for an Operating While Intoxicated case depend on whether this is a person’s first drunk driving offense, second drunk driving offense within 7 years of the first, or third drunk driving offense in a lifetime. Sentencing also depends on whether the person’s blood alcohol level was high enough to be considered a Super Drunk offense.

Hiring a drunk driving defense lawyer is an excellent idea for those people charged with a drunk driving offense. This is because the attorney may not only argue that the charges should be dropped, but they may also argue against the imposition of any jail or prison sentence. At Kronzek & Cronkright, PLLC, we have successfully kept many of our clients who were charged with OWI out of jail.

If you have been charged with drunk or drugged driving, contact an attorney today.

Michigan Drunk Driving Defense – Drunk Driving App Available Today!

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

The Michigan Drunk Driving Attorneys are pleased to announce their first drunk driving tip-card application. This app is currently only available for the Android Operating System (OS) and requires version 1.6 or higher. This app is designed to work within the web-browser of your phone, and features tips on how to handle being pulled over by a police officer, what you can and cannot refuse during this roadside stop, and a quick contact form to instantly submit an e-mail to one of our DUI attorneys.

Please remember to drive safely and designate a sober driver when you are out with friends and drinking. If you do find yourself arrested for a DUI, we have an attorney on call 24/7 at 866-7-NoJail. That is (866) 766-5245.

Michigan Drunk Driving Defense Attorney App
Note: To install this app, please enable the install ‘unknown sources’ setting on your phone.

DWI Defense Lawyers – Michigan Under 21 Drunk Driving Defendant Postpones Pre-Trial Conference

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

One does not need to be an experienced DWI defense lawyer to know that drunk driving arrests are a very big deal. If convicted, the penalties for drunk driving are severe, and can include many life-changing consequences. Because of the harsh punishments associated with driving while intoxicated, it often takes time for a DWI defense lawyer to prepare their case and gather evidence. Sometimes, it is even necessary to postpone court appearances, so that the defense is fully ready to present their defense. Such are the circumstances in a Michigan drunk driving case involving an underage intoxicated motorist who struck another vehicle, killing the other driver.

In January 2011, Kelley Nagle, 20, was driving a Chevy Trailblazer south on Dequindre Road in Sterling Heights when she attempted to pass another vehicle in front of her, but ended up cruising into oncoming traffic and colliding head–on with a Ford Ranger. The driver of the other vehicle, Annette Evans, 53, was pinned in her car before being removed by emergency rescue services. Although she was rushed to the emergency room, Evans was pronounced dead.

The drunk driving penalties that Nagle faces are severe. After performing tests, law enforcement officials determined that Nagle’s blood alcohol content was 0.23 at the time of the accident–almost three times the legal limit of 0.08. Had this been her first offense, she could have been charged under Michigan’s new super drunk law, which enforces harsher punishments for “excessively intoxicated” motorists. However, since this is Nagle’s second drunk driving offense (the first was in 2009), she has also violated the terms of her probation which will likely work against her in court. Prosecutors are currently charging her with the 15-year felony of Operating While Intoxicated causing death and the one-year misdemeanor of Operating While Impaired.

With all the drunk driving consequences Nagle is facing, it is no surprise that this is the second time her drunk driving attorneys have asked the court to postpone the Pre-Trial conference. Especially when dealing with a minor, cases of drunk driving are very complex and defending them takes great skill and experience. This is why it’s essential for every person arrested for a DUI, DWI, or OWI in Michigan to immediately contact knowledgeable DWI defense lawyers. Doing so will not only ensure the best legal advice and legal representation, it will also guarantee you the best defense possible in your drunk driving case. Do not hesitate to be proactive to secure your defense. Your personal liberties and freedoms are at stake!

DWI Defense Lawyers – Michigan Judge Deems Blood Tests from State Police Lab Unreliable

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

One does not need to be an experienced DWI defense lawyer to know that being arrested for drunk driving is not only serious, but a process. If a law enforcement official suspects that a motorist is operating a vehicle while intoxicated, they will perform numerous tests to see if they are correct. Besides basic, field sobriety tests, police and prosecutors use the results of blood tests to charge defendants with drunk driving–if their blood alcohol content registers above 0.08 percent, they were driving while intoxicated.

The results of blood tests are very powerful in drunk driving cases–not only can it convince a jury of a defendant’s guilt, it can also convince them of a defendant’s innocence. Because of the significant role that blood test results play in drunk driving arrests and legal cases, it is essential that the data are absolutely correct, and carries an error of margin. Without it, a crime lab implies that their results are absolute and the true result–essentially that if tested 100 times, the results would always be the same.

This reasoning prompted District Court Judge Peter Wadel to toss out blood evidence against a Michigan resident who was charged with drunk driving. Jeffrey Jabrocki was arrested for driving under the influence, and underwent two blood tests by police. One registered that Jabrocki had a blood alcohol content of 0.29, while the other said that his BAC was 0.30. Even though both are significantly higher than the legal limit of 0.08, because there was no stated margin of error, Judge Wadel concluded that there was too much “uncertainty in measurement” to be reliable scientific data. “Without an error rate, the lab leaves an inference that the test result is an absolute or true result,” Judge Wadel wrote. “This uncertainty needs to be accounted for.” Because of Judge Wadel’s ruling, prosecutors can still charge Jabrocki with drunk driving, but will not be able to use the blood test results as evidence.

As experienced DWI defense lawyers in Michigan, the law firm of Kronzek & Cronkright applauds the judge’s decision to question the reliability of crime lab testing, particularly in drunk driving cases. Being convicted of driving while intoxicated can change a person’s life forever, resulting in enormous fines, time behind bars, and a permanent stain on one’s reputation. If the legal system is going to charge drunk drivers with permanent consequences, it is important to at least do so with reliable scientific evidence. Without it, true justice cannot be served for anyone.

DUI Charges – Scope of DUI Law Tested After Two Men are Arrested for Riding a Mule and a Horse While Drunk

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Efforts to increase prosecution of drunk drivers has led to some incredible actions by lawmakers, prosecutors and police.  A recent example of this—one that has been getting the attention of every DWI defense lawyer—is the arrest of two men who in the state of Texas on DUI.

When law enforcement officials stopped the two men, one was riding a horse and the other was riding a mule. Upon questioning, the man on the mule apparently admitted to drinking vodka prior to riding the animal.  Nonetheless, both of the men and their animals were seized by the police and the men were charged with drunk driving offenses.  The officers on the scene interpreted the statutory definition of a vehicle to include the horse and mule, and therefore used that reasoning in arresting the two men. However, the charges were eventually dismissed because the court established that mules and horses are not within the statutory definition of a motor vehicle.

In Michigan, the question of what is a motor vehicle has been dealt with extensively in the legal system by both top DWI defense lawyers and prosecutors alike. Michigan drunk driving charges are frequently brought for people driving cars, motorcycles, boats, and off-road recreational vehicles such as quads and snowmobiles. As seen by the example above, however, it is clear that prosecutors are trying to charge people with drunk driving crimes, even when not driving a motorized vehicle.

Michigan lawmakers have also demonstrated a willingness to expand drunk driving laws in ways that are illogical. For example, a Michigan driver arrested but not yet convicted of OWI charges will have their license confiscated.  But, it is against the US Constitution to punish people who have not yet been convicted of crimes. As an experienced Michigan DUI attorney, it seems illegal to take away the driver’s license and then immediately supply the driver with a new license which has all of the same rights and privileges as the one that was just taken away (but does not have a photograph).

Another example of the expansive way in which Michigan legislators have treated drunk driving law is the question of what constitutes “operating.” Michigan law criminalizes operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.  However, many people in Michigan have been prosecuted for “sleeping it off” in their car when they chose not to drive drunk and were exercising good judgment. Several individuals have also been prosecuted in Michigan for driving on their own property when that property is open to the public, even if the driver never enters the roadway. Arrests on this basis would cite the part of Michigan drunk driving law which prohibits driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs on “a highway open to the public or generally accessible to motor vehicles.”

While Michigan prosecutors may not be so quick to file a case where the driver is riding a horse or a mule, there are plenty of  bizarre circumstances under which police and prosecutors are willing to bring charges.  Anyone charged with a drunk driving offense in Michigan should retain an experienced DWI defense attorney to assist him or her with an aggressive defense of their case.

MI DUI Charges – Police Arrest Michigan Woman on ‘Super Drunk’ Charges in Auto-Bike Accident

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

One does not have to be a Michigan DUI attorney to know that being caught driving under the influence of alcohol is a very big deal. Not only can one lose their driving privileges if convicted, jail time and large fines are also common. In recent months, Michigan lawmakers have enacted even stricter penalties for drunk drivers with high blood alcohol contents (BAC). Known as the “Super Drunk” law, this law applies to those who are caught driving in Michigan with a blood alcohol content of .17 or higher. Considered excessively intoxicated, such an individual will be subjected to longer and tougher sentences, larger fines and longer suspension of driving privileges.

Even though this law went into effect in November of 2010, residents across  Michigan  are already being arrested on Michigan Super Drunk charges. Such an example is 37-year-old Michigan woman who was driving in Swan Lake Township, when she smashed into something. Not sure what she had hit, the motorist continued driving toward her destination. Once at her family member’s home, the driver learned that a man had been hit while riding his bicycle on the same road which she was previously traveling on. Immediately, the 37-year-old called 9-1-1, and turned herself into police.

Law enforcement officials arrived at the house and performed several field sobriety tests on the woman, including a chemical breath test, sometimes called a DataMaster or Breathalyzer test. When her blood alcohol content registered to .206, police officers instantly suspected that she had struck the bicyclist while driving drunk and then left the scene of the accident.

While this case is currently pending a toxicology report from the Michigan State Police Crime Lab, the motorist will likely face “Super Drunk” charges, as her blood alcohol content exceeded .17. If convicted, the driver will face doubled jail time and have a suspended license for at least 45 days. Additionally, the violator will be required to pay stiff fines, participate in alcohol treatments and even install a breath testing interlock system into her vehicle – all of which will amount to many thousands of dollars.

Because the new legislation imposes significantly harsher punishments for drunk driving, DUI, OWI and OUID, it is important that those accused of violating the “Super Drunk” law immediately seek legal assistance. Contacting knowledgeable and skilled DWI defense lawyers that are well-versed in the new legislation can help you navigate the complex legal process, as well as provide superior legal advice and legal representation for your case. Do not let a drunk driving arrest in Michigan change your life forever – contact experienced drunk driving lawyers today. Drunk driving cases can sometimes be beat.

MI DUI Charges – Michigan State Basketball Star Arrested For Drunk Driving

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Being pulled over for a routine traffic stop is a frustrating experience for any motorist to go through. If the police officer at the scene believes that you are driving while intoxicated, your problems instantly become bigger. This is especially true for those who are in the public spotlight, such as athletes on popular college teams across the state. Ask any experienced Michigan DUI attorney,  just because a person is well-known, does not mean that the consequences against them are lenient. If convicted, the individual will face criminal punishments, the shame of a tarnished reputation as the story runs through the media, and driver license sanctions by the Michigan Secretary of State.

Recently, such an example surfaced where a Michigan State University basketball player was arrested for DUI charges in Michigan.

Law enforcement officials in East Lansing witnessed junior point guard Korce Lucius driving erratically during early morning hours. After pulling him over, police administered several sobriety tests, including a breath test. Lucius’ blood alcohol results registered at 0.09, slightly over the legal limit for driving in the state of Michigan. It is also likely that the basketball player will face additional charges, as he is not the legal drinking age–Lucius turned 21 years old after his drunk driving arrest. However, a DUI under 21 may be the least of his problems–according to head coach Tom Izzo, the organization has been notified of Lucius’ arrest and is investigating the matter internally. “We’re aware that a ticket was issued, and we are still gathering information,” Izzo commented during a press conference regarding the incident.

While Lucius will certainly face legal consequences for both underage drinking and driving while intoxicated, it is unknown whether he will also face punishments imposed by Michigan State University and the athletic department. However, his dismissal from the team is possible, as former guard Chris Allen was dismissed from the team just for failing to meet Izzo’s obligations and requirements.

As evidenced by the example of Korce Lucius, being arrested for drunk driving is a difficult experience regardless of celebrity status. If convicted, he is likely to face several legal consequences including the loss of driving privileges, fines, or even jail time. Those in the public eye, like Lucius, also face the additional hardship of having their personal shame paraded through the media helping to tarnish their reputation. If you or a loved one is facing drunk driving charges, it is essential to seek knowledgeable and aggressive DWI defense lawyers Michigan. Acting quickly helps you get the best legal advice and legal representation, protecting your personal rights as well as your reputation.

MI DUI Charges – Northern Michigan Doctor Violates Probation, Faces DUI Charges

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Anytime a person is convicted of criminal charges in Michigan, significant restrictions are placed on their life as terms of probation. Often, the person is prohibited from consuming controlled substances including alcohol, leaving the state or even driving a vehicle. One does not need to be an experienced DWI defense lawyer to know that violating probation is no laughing matter particularly when charged with drunk driving. Conviction will only serve to further limit one’s personal freedoms and liberties.

An example of this is seen in the recent case of Northern Michigan resident Dr. Jeffrey Hoffa who is facing legal troubles again after pleading guilty to various charges earlier this year. Following a sting operation in May 2009, Hoffa was arrested on ten felony counts including numerous forms of health care fraud, drug possession charges as well as unlawfully prescribing medication. As a result, Hoffa’s medical license was suspended and he was sentenced to serve 24 months of probation with 80 hours of community service. Additionally, Hoffa was restricted from consuming any controlled substance, driving for six months, or violating any criminal law.

Despite the conditions set forth in his original plea bargain, Hoffa found himself back in court for different reasons: DUI charges in Michigan.

Law enforcement officials in Leelanau County pulled him over after witnessing him swerve his vehicle over the center line. After performing a breath test, police  determined that Hoffa’s blood alcohol content was 0.18 – about three times the legal driving limit. Because he violated the terms of his probation by consuming alcohol and by violating another Michigan criminal law, he was arrested for drunk driving. It is almost certain that he will face increased punishment as a repeat offender and probation violator.

As seen by the example of Dr. Jeffrey Hoffa, the consequences for criminal charges can be severe and seriously limit your personal livelihood and freedoms. Repeat offenders, particularly those accused of drunk driving, face an even bigger challenge, as judges and juries are less likely to be sympathetic regarding repeat offenses and probation violations. Because of this, it is essential to seek knowledgeable and aggressive DWI defense lawyers for assistance. Acting quickly will help to ensure the legal advice and legal representation needed to be successful in court, keeping you at home and not in jail.

MI Drunk Driving – Michigan Drunk Driving Laws Clarified in DUI Case

Friday, December 10th, 2010

It is difficult to turn on the television or surf the web without seeing drunk driving cases from around the country highlighted in the news. Although drunk driving laws by state tend to vary, these crimes are largely referred to as DUI, an acronym standing for “driving under the influence.”

However, Michigan drunk driving laws are phrased a little differently. Generally, offenders arrested for driving while intoxicated are charged with one of four crimes:

  1. Operating Under the Influence of Liquor (OUIL)
  2. Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI)
  3. Operating Under the Influence of Drugs (OUID)
  4. Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)

Of these three charges, the most common is Operating While Intoxicated.

Unless you are an experienced DWI defense lawyer, it is likely that the terminology used in these laws are confusing to you. For instance, what does it mean to “operate” a vehicle? Certainly, under Michigan DUI law, driving down the road is considered “operating” a vehicle. But, what about if the keys are in the ignition, but the intoxicated person is not driving the car? Or what if the motorist already drove the vehicle, but was caught only after stopped? With all these “what if” questions, no wonder accused drunk drivers in Michigan are confused.

Although the puzzle is far from complete, a recent ruling from the Michigan Court of Appeals has provided some clarification.

In this drunk driving case, the Defendant was driving on a slippery freeway and lost control of his truck, striking the guardrail on both sides of the road before coming to a complete stop in the middle of the freeway. At the time of the accident, the motorist’s blood alcohol content was 0.12, which is over the legal limit in Michigan. (o.o8%) After collision, the Defendant was unable to move his truck, but he did turn off the headlights and turned on the hazard lights. However, it was not long before an oncoming vehicle came on the wreck too quickly and had to swerve to avoid hitting the truck. In the process, the oncoming car struck and killed a motorist who was stopped at the scene to offer assistance.

The truck driver was charged with a drunk driving crime, but argued in court that the charge was misplaced as his truck was stopped and he was not “operating” a vehicle under the dictionary definition of “operating.” However, the Michigan Court of Appeals disagreed with the Defendant, ruling that a motorist is considered “operating” a vehicle until the car is in a position that will not cause risk to others. Because the Defendant drove drunk and left his truck in the middle of the freeway in the dark, the truck posed a safety risk to others on the road, and therefore he was “operating” the vehicle at the time of the motorist’s death.

The above case highlights the vast grey area that exists within drunk driving laws. Even though drunk driving laws vary by state, one thing is consistent: conviction of drunk driving charges will change a defendant’s life forever. Besides excessive fines, it is possible that an offender could go to jail or prison, depending on the severity of the charge. Because the consequences for drinking and driving are so severe, it is essential to find the best DUI lawyer available to assist you. In addition to providing detailed explanation of drunk driving laws, a Michigan DUI attorney can provide the legal advice and legal representation needed to preserve your reputation and freedom.

MI State Law – To Curb Drugged Driving, Michigan May Enact Roadside Testing

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Seeing flashing patrol lights behind you while driving is an unpleasant experience for any motorist to go through. If the law enforcement officials at the scene believe the driver is under the influence of alcohol, various sobriety tests will be administered to either confirm or disprove police suspicions. While any experienced DUI lawyers in Michigan can attest that this is fairly routine, it is increasingly more difficult to determine if a driver is intoxicated by other substances, such as illicit drugs.

Drugged driving is also illegal and grounds for arrest, but it is difficult for prosecutors to pin such charges on a person, as drug tests are not performed at the scene of a traffic stop. Generally, a person suspected of driving under the influence of drugs is taken into custody and required to undergo hospital-administered blood tests to find the results.

Noticing this problem, Michigan legislators are actively working to expedite the process. Last Wednesday, a bill was introduced that would authorize law enforcement officials to give suspected drugged drivers a roadside saliva test, much like breath tests administered for alcohol. If approved, Michigan police would be given a test kit that can detect up to six types of illicit drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

Currently, this same test kit is used by police to test parolees but is not approved for use by traffic cops. Supporters of the proposal believe that implementing the change would make the procedures less time consuming and costly, as search warrants and hospital blood tests slow the process considerably. Although Michigan would be the first state to enact such a measure, similar efforts have already been implemented in other countries, helping to nab drugged drivers abroad.

However, several people remain skeptical of the legislation and its effects. Many question the equipment itself, and whether it would actually help public safety or result in more traffic stops for less legitimate reasons. For example, roadside drug testing could allow police to arbitrarily apply the law, particularly against the several drivers on the road who are lawfully using doctor-prescribed medications.

As this recently introduced legislation could result in major changes affecting Michigan motorists, it is important for all citizens to closely watch its development. This is particularly true for those who are lawfully using doctor-prescribed medications, as a drugged driving arrest is no laughing matter. Not only could one lose their driving privileges, but it is also possible to face high fines and lengthy jail sentences as well. To protect yourself, it is essential to contact hard-working and knowledgeable Michigan DUI attorneys for assistance. Doing so quickly will provide the legal advice and legal representation needed to defend your rights, keeping you on the roads and out of police custody.