When interviewing a DUI defense lawyer ask the following questions:
What percentage of your annual caseload is relegated to defending DUI?
How many DUI jury trials did you have in the past 12 months?
Can you provide a list of DUI training seminars or conferences attended in the past 2 to 5 years?
What percentage of your clients enter a plea of guilty to the crime charged?
Have you or any members of your firm written articles or books related to defending DUIs?
How many lawyers are in the firm, and are they all DUI defense attorneys? If so, will they collaborate with their colleagues about your DUI case?
How many years have you defended DUI cases?
Unfortunately, your attorney can't make this decision for you. There is always a risk with going to trial. You may get the same result as the plea, a better one or a worse result. No one can predict the outcome. Drunk driving cases can be tricky, however, if there was an issue with the Datamaster, that is something that could produce reasonable doubt. In terms of judges being harder if you go to trial, there may be some truth to that.
For an OWI second offense, the penalties you will likely face are as follows:
Jail: 5 Days - 1 Year
Fines: $200 - $1000
Community Service of not less than 30 days or not more than 90 days
May order ignition interlock during probation
Mandatory Vehicle Immobilization
Most cases have defenses including DUI cases. The issue is the degree to which your defense will be successful. What was the mistake that was made in the datamaster?
The datamaster is an indirect method of bodily alcohol testing based on infrared spectroscopy. It is fallible. Michigan's system of breath testing is inferior to many other systems. You should make sure that your attorney understands the intricacies of chemical analysis and breath testing.
Continue to do what you are doing. If you are convicted of OWI and you have a prior within 7 years you will lose your license for at least 1 year. You will also face jail time. Two weekends would be on the low side based on my years of experience.
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