Posts Tagged ‘DUI charges in Michigan’

Michigan Drunk Driving – DUI Could Stop Entry into Canada

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

When people travel from the United States to other countries, they usually go through some sort of customs, border patrol, or security screening process in order gain entry. Often, that process involves screening people to see if they have any criminal convictions. If so, some countries may not allow the person to enter.

For example, Michigan residents often travel to Canada for vacation or work. For people with a drunk driving conviction, entry into Canada may not be allowed for many years. Ultimately, the border patrol agent conducting the security screening has discretion as to whether to refuse entry. This means that some people with drunk driving convictions may be granted entry without question. Canada allows a person to apply for “rehabilitation” status after a few years in order to be allowed into Canada and may allow temporary permits for some individuals to enter the country for a particular purpose despite a drunk driving conviction. It is always wise to consult with a knowledgeable immigration attorney before traveling to a foreign country if you have any kind of criminal conviction, are out on bond or on probation.

Michigan OWI, OWVI, and OWPD offenses can lead to potential jail time, fines, community service, probation, and more. But the immigration consequences of drunk driving—and all other criminal convictions—can also be quite serious. This is especially true for business travelers, because they may face loss of employment for not being able to gain entry into certain countries.

Our Michigan DUI lawyers regularly represent people who have been charged with Operating While Intoxicated. We understand the complexities of drunk driving defense in Michigan. We have delivered many excellent results to our past clients. Let us put our experience to work for you!

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 – New iPhone App Hopes to Curb Michigan DUI Arrests

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Representing residents statewide, Michigan DUI lawyers understand that a drunk driving arrest is no laughing matter. Not only could driving privileges be lost, but it is also possible to face stiff fines or jail time as a result. While law enforcement officials are always on the lookout for intoxicated motorists, enforcement is especially high during the summer months, particularly over holiday weekends.

Labor Day 2010 looks to be no exception to this rule. Police officers across the state have been participating in a drunk driving crackdown, extending until September 6th. The mission is to keep the roads and other drivers safe from drunk motorists, as car crashes involving alcohol are eight times as likely to be fatal.

In addition to several television advertisements, law enforcement officials are using other technology to remind drivers to stay sober and safe. The “Michigan DUI Tracker” is a new iPhone application that allows motorists to use their GPS system to locate nearby police officers. It is hoped that this will remind all drivers that police can be anywhere at any time, looking out for intoxicated persons. Additionally, the application also encourages users to reach out for a safer way home, by presenting a list of local taxi cab companies and friends’ phone numbers. This feature is intended to encourage motorists to look for a sober ride before getting behind the wheel.

Police officers support the new iPhone application, stating that it works to spread their message far and wide: “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit, Under Arrest.” Not only will the technology make calling for a designated driver easier and more convenient, it reinforces the drunk driving message to people of all ages. “Introducing an app for iPhones keeps the drunk driving message current,” stated Michael L. Prince, the director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

It is important to spread this message, both to maintain public safety and help Michigan residents avoid a life-changing DUI arrest. Being charged with drunk driving can result in serious personal and legal consequences including the loss of driving privileges, fines, probation, and even jail time. To prevent this from happening to you, it is essential to pro-actively seek hard-working and knowledgeable DUI attorneys in Michigan for assistance. Doing so quickly will ensure the legal advice and legal representation needed to present your case and protect your personal rights.

MI DUI Charges – Previous DWI Conviction Haunts Livonia Dentist, With License Suspended

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

You do not have to be an experienced Michigan drunk driving lawyer to know that a DUI arrest will have life-changing consequences. Not only is the suspect’s driving rights and freedom at risk, but drunk driving charges could also impact one’s professional life as well. Some occupations, particularly those that have state-approved licensing, require a convicted drunk driver to report their infraction to the state board. Failure to do so can ensure that your DUI conviction may continue to haunt you, even years later.

In 2003, Livonia dentist Thomas Schwagle was arrested and convicted of DUI charges in Michigan. Although he completed his probationary terms, regularly attends AA meetings, and retired last November, law enforcement officials have accused Schwagle of several criminal charges. Police maintain that he failed to disclose his previous drunk driving conviction to the state board, in addition to unlawfully providing drugs (including nitrous oxide) to addicts and young girls.

Schwagle denies all allegations that he provided any illicit or inappropriate narcotics to anyone, neither addicts nor minors. However, he does acknowledge that he did not advise the medical board in Michigan of  his drunk driving conviction. “I guess I’m supposed to report it to the state board or something. I had no knowledge of that, and I’ve been going to my AA meetings for seven years,” Schwagle stated. Despite this, his failure to report the DUI resulted in the suspension of his medical license by the state.

Even though Schwagle retired in November 2009, he is still fighting the suspension. Teaming up with knowledgeable counsel, the former dentist is hopeful that his license will be reinstated, and the charges against him dropped.

The case described above is a perfect example of how drunk driving convictions can haunt a person for life. Just fulfilling basic requirements such as probation or jail time is sometimes not enough. Professionals (including medical practitioners) are often required to report their conviction to a state board, even though coming forward to a group of your occupational peers can be difficult. However, as seen by the case of Thomas Schwagle, disclosing such information is important to prevent a previous DUI arrest from becoming a re-occurring problem. To battle the charges and potential consequences you face, it is important to retain the legal advice and legal representation of experienced DUI attorneys in Michigan. Doing so will not only protect your driving rights and freedom, but your future as well.

MI DUI Charges – Excessively Intoxicated Driver May Also Be Liable For Second-Degree Murder

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Being arrested for driving while intoxicated is a scary experience for anyone to go through. However, the consequences a DUI suspect faces will greatly increase if they are accused of causing an accident resulting in the personal injury or death of another person. Experienced DUI defense lawyers in Michigan are increasingly facing more serious charges such as second degree murder for drunk driving offenses. Any injury or death related drunk driving offense can result in harsh and life-changing penalties including a significant prison sentence.

A recent example of this is a Kent County case in which a man is being charged with both a DUI, and second-degree murder after causing an accident resulting in the death of a local teacher. In the hours before the November 2009 crash, Leonel Franco-Avina was working the janitorial overnight shift at a local grocery store. Although store employees opening at 7:00 a.m. reported that he did a lousy job cleaning up, he did not smell of alcohol or seem intoxicated. However, when he finally entered his pick-up truck to leave, many witnesses noticed that he exhibited reckless and poor driving, even running over a shrub-decorated island before leaving the parking lot–driving the wrong direction.

Traveling into head-on traffic, it was not long before Franco-Avina struck another vehicle, driven by Aaron Haynes, 30. While Franco-Avina suffered a severe bleeding head injury, Haynes was not as lucky. In the accident, the local school teacher died upon impact after sustaining a ripped aorta and massive trauma, including a broken neck.

When medical practitioners at Spectrum Health performed a blood test on Franco-Avina, his blood alcohol content registered as 0.425 percent, roughly five times the legal limit. As a result, prosecutors cited him with Michigan DUI charges as well as second-degree murder due to his excessive level of intoxication.

In Michigan, a person can be convicted of second-degree murder if it is determined by the jury that they knowingly created a very high risk of death or great bodily harm. Increasingly, this charge is being used in drunk driving cases. Michigan courts have determined that second-degree murder is not a specific intent crime. In essence, this means that a drunk driver can be convicted of murder even if he or she never intended to cause the death.

The penalty for second-degree murder in Michigan is potentially life in prison. Whether the sentence is life or any term of years in prison, the impact of such a conviction will be life-changing. If you or someone that you know is facing serious criminal charges, you should be talking to trustworthy and knowledgeable DUI attorneys in Michigan. By doing so, you will have a team of experienced and effective trial lawyers who know how to defend your rights.

MI DUI Arrest – Four Wheeler Driver Arrested For DUI Charges in South Haven Township

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Although most people think it is only possible to be arrested for drunk driving while operating a motor vehicle, DUI lawyers in Michigan know otherwise. Anytime a law enforcement official suspects that a driver is intoxicated then that individual is subject to arrest, including motorists operating a boat or all-terrain vehicle. Just like on the highway, it is important for boaters or all-terrain vehicle riders to stop immediately should they see flashing lights behind them. If they try to evade officers, the penalties the person faces will ultimately increase.

Such an example is seen in the recent case of a man who was driving a four-wheeler while intoxicated in South Haven Township. He was arrested after trying to escape police for an extended period of time.

In recent weeks, numerous citizens complained about illegal off-road vehicle activity through South Haven Township subdivision Syndicate Park. Last Friday evening, law enforcement officials noticed a man driving a four-wheel off-road vehicle recklessly through a critical dune area. The out-of-state suspect was not alone however, as officers also noted a small child riding on the man’s back.

When police approached the 39 year-old man, he fled the scene. Eventually an abandoned four-wheeler was discovered behind a local home, and the suspect was spotted running out of the woods toward the ATV. Although he put up a formidable fight, the man was eventually subdued with a Taser and taken into custody where it was discovered that he was intoxicated.

The details of the case, combined with the suspect’s blood alcohol content results were enough for prosecutors to charge him with a laundry list of offenses including: drunk driving in Michigan, child endangerment, resisting arrest and obstructing police, not wearing a helmet, and trespassing.

If the four-wheel off-road vehicle driver is convicted of the crimes he is charged with, his life will change forever. Not only will his driving privileges be seriously limited, but he could lose parental rights (if the child on his back is his) or face jail time as a result. If accused of similar charges, it is essential to pro-actively seek the best legal defense possible. By contacting hard-working DUI attorneys in Michigan, you will not only receive superior legal advice and legal representation, but also the protection of your personal freedoms and liberties.

MI DUI Charges – Michigan Driver Arrested For DWI Blamed His Actions on Labron James

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Being pulled over for drunk driving can cause any motorist to become incredibly flustered and aggravated. In the heat of these powerful emotions, there is no telling what a driver will say to a police officer. Throughout extensive careers as knowledgeable drunk driving lawyers in Michigan, we thought we had heard it all. However, a recent DUI arrest in Flint is certainly “the king” of excuses that you should not use if pulled over for drunk driving.

Millions of people were glued to their televisions last week when basketball star Labron James announced where he would be playing ball next year. His decision upset many sports fans, including a Flint man who hoped that “the king” of basketball would play for the Celtics. The fan was so outraged that he got drunk and drove around with a large sign on his SUV criticizing the athlete: “We are all WITNESS’S to a quitter.”

Unfortunately for the Flint man, it was not his poor spelling that caught the attention of law enforcement officials. According to police reports, his vehicle was drifting over the center line and the shoulder in the early morning hours of July 11th. On his breath test, the man’s blood alcohol content registered as 0.16, double the legal driving limit in Michigan. When law enforcement officials asked him if he was drinking, he admitted that he was- – because Labron James chose to play for another team instead of the Celtics.

Despite the creative excuse used by this Flint sports fan, police nonetheless arrested him on DUI charges in Michigan. If a judge and jury does not buy it either, he could face significant consequences including the loss of driving privileges, fines, and jail time.

Cases such as these highlight the necessity for criminal suspects to watch what they say in the presence of law enforcement officials. In saying too much, it is possible to incriminate yourself and intensify the charges against you greatly. It is important to be polite and cooperative, but also to use your right to have an experienced DUI attorney in Michigan present during questioning. Doing so can ensure that you have the legal advice and legal representation needed to properly defend yourself against life-changing charges, protecting your personal liberties and freedoms.

MI DUI Charges – Testimony in DUI Case Questions Admissibility of Sobriety Tests

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

If an officer believes that a motorist is driving under the influence of alcohol, the driver will undoubtedly see flashing lights behind them. To determine whether the person is intoxicated, the officer will likely administer several sobriety tests, including a breathalyzer exam that measures a person’s blood alcohol content. Should the number register higher than 0.08 (the legal driving limit in Michigan), the motorist is considered legally drunk and almost certainly will be arrested.

The results of sobriety tests, especially blood alcohol content tests, is particularly important to not only the suspected drunk driver, but also the DUI lawyer in Michigan representing them. If the breathalyzer test malfunctions in any way the results will be also affected, ultimately deeming a sober person intoxicated. Because juries put a significant amount of weight on the blood alcohol content results, it would be difficult to prove that the defendant was not intoxicated on arrest.

However, it is being argued that the blood-alcohol results from the state crime lab may not be as accurate as claimed. In an ongoing Michigan DUI case, the chief toxicologist provided testimony stating that the lab does not take into account the margin of error possible when calculating blood alcohol content results. Even just the handling and storage of the blood or the tools used to administer the test can affect the results–the number could register higher or lower than actual based on these factors alone. Therefore, failure to take the range of true possible values into account make the results from the crime lab ultimately unreliable.

For years, many courts across the state have upheld the state crime lab results in court. In this particular case however, the defendant’s DUI attorney in Michigan is requesting that the blood alcohol content results be excluded from the trial proceedings, as they do not account for an error rate. “If people are to be convicted of serious crimes,” the suspect’s lawyer concluded, “then let’s convict them with evidence that is known to be scientifically reliable.”

Although a hearing is scheduled for July 16th, the defense remains hopeful that they will be successful in this case and others. An affirmative ruling from the judge could potentially affect other DUI suspects around the state.

As seen by the case described above, not all tests are perfect. This includes breathalyzer tests. Taking the margin of error into account is essential to provide a truthful result. Otherwise, innocent people can be convicted of crimes they did not commit, and suffer all the life-changing consequences accompanying it. To ensure that your reading was fairly calculated, as well as provide for your legal defense, it is essential for suspected drunk drivers to be pro-active and find a DUI lawyer in Michigan for assistance. Acting quickly can ensure that superior legal advice and legal representation is used to defend your driving rights, livelihood, and personal freedom.

MI DUI Charges – Allegan County City Mayor Arrested for Michigan DWI Charges

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Seeing flashing police car lights behind you while driving is an aggravating experience for anyone to go through. However, the motorist’s problem will greatly increase should the law enforcement official have reason to suspect that the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Knowledgeable drunk driving lawyers in Michigan can testify that an accusation of drunk driving is a big deal. If convicted of these charges, it can result in the loss of driving privileges, as well as jail time. For public officials however, there can be other punishments as well, such as the loss of employment and a tarnished reputation.

Last week, police officers arrested the mayor of Plainwell in Allegan County, Richard Brooks, 58, on Michigan DUI charges. According to MLive.com, the long-time city official was pulled over after a law enforcement official witnessed him back into a rock in front of a local saloon. When trooper Chris Hayword questioned Brooks, it was apparent that he was “under the influence” and showed signs of intoxication. Although the officer did not mention what the mayor’s blood alcohol content registered as, Hayword believed he had sufficient evidence that warranted arrest.

Police brought Brooks to the Allegan County Jail where he was pinned with Michigan OWI charges, a misdemeanor. In regard to this case, the Plainwell mayor is scheduled to appear in an Allegan County District Court this week for arraignment.

Although it is not sure what the ruling will be, if convicted of drunk driving charges Brooks could face several serious punishments that could prove life-changing. Not only would the mayor be prohibited from driving for up to a year, but he could also be ordered to spend time in jail. As a public figure, time behind bars would prevent Brooks from serving the city as mayor–as a result, he could lose his job as well. Because the consequences of DUI charges in Michigan are so severe, it is essential to be proactive in securing help for your case. Contacting experienced and aggressive drunk driving attorneys in Michigan immediately. Doing so can ensure superior legal advice and legal representation, designed to keep you at home and at work, not in jail.

When a motorist sees flashing police car lights behind them while driving it can be the start of an aggravating experience for anyone. However, if the law enforcement official suspects that the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs the motorist’s problems will greatly increase. Knowledgeable drunk driving lawyers in Michigan can testify that an accusation of drunk driving is a big deal. If convicted of these charges, it can result in the loss of driving privileges, fines and possibly even jail time. For public officials, however, there can be other punishments as well including the loss of employment and a tarnished reputation.

Last week, police officers arrested the mayor of Plainwell in Allegan County on Michigan DUI charges. According to MLive.com, Richard Brooks, 58, was pulled over after a law enforcement official witnessed him back into a rock in front of a local saloon. When trooper Chris Hayword questioned the long-time city official, it was apparent that he was “under the influence” and showed signs of intoxication. Although the officer did not mention what the mayor’s blood alcohol content was, Hayword believed he had sufficient evidence to warrant an arrest.

Police brought Brooks to the Allegan County Jail where he charged with Michigan OWI, a misdemeanor. The Plainwell mayor is scheduled to appear for arraignment in the Allegan County District Court some time this week.

Although it is unclear what the ultimate outcome will be, if convicted of drunk driving charges Brooks would face several serious punishments that could prove life-changing. Not only would the mayor be prohibited from driving for up to a year, but he could also be ordered to spend time in jail. As a public figure, time behind bars would prevent Brooks from serving the city as mayor–as a result, he could lose his job as well. Because the consequences of DUI charges in Michigan are so severe, it is essential to be pro-active in securing help for your case. Contact experienced and aggressive drunk driving attorneys in Michigan immediately. Doing so can ensure superior legal advice and legal representation, designed to keep you at home and at work, not in jail.