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Why You Must Have A Lawyer in a DUI Felony Case

By Kathryn Simmons,

A DUI felony charge means you are in big trouble in Michigan. A conviction could mean prison time. We are not referring to time in jail – most people do time in a state prison. Plus there are thousands of dollars in fines and fees. You’re likely going to lose your license and your vehicle. An attorney may be a person’s only hope of staying out of prison and keeping some driving privileges.

You need a lawyer who knows how to handle a DUI felony. Call 248-408-7679 now. Get a free case consultation.

DUI Felony: Don’t Just Plead Guilty

If a person is facing the charges in Michigan, it means that they have had two OWI, OWPD, or OWVI convictions before. You may be thinking, “I have been through it before.” You may know that you were drinking and driving. You may be inclined to think that you were caught red handed and should face the consequences. Bear in mind that the two previous convictions were misdemeanors.

DUI Felony Penalties Are Harsh In Michigan

A person may have faced a judge for a first or even a second drunk driving offense without an attorney, precisely because they were misdemeanors. But the law is unforgiving for three strikes in Michigan. For a third offense – within a lifetime – a judge could sentence you to a fine of up to $5,000, and at least one more of the following:

  • Prison time: 1 to 5 years
  • Probation: 30 days to 1 year of it in jail
  • Community service: 60 to 180 days
  • Driver license revoked: at least 1 year; up to 5 years
  • Vehicle immobilized: 1 to 3 years or you forfeit your car or truck
  • Points: 6 points on your record
  • Fee: the Michigan Driver Responsibility Fee of $1000/year for two years
  • OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired) means 4 points and $500/2 years

A DUI felony conviction will change your life. Remember that when you are looking for a job or for an apartment, your criminal record will very likely be checked. Remember that it can be impossible to keep a job if you cannot drive. An experienced lawyer may be able to work to lessen the consequences and to challenge the BAC (blood alcohol) evidence. Call an attorney today to determine if there is an appropriate defense strategy in your case.

DUI Felony: Causing Death Or Serious Injury

A first offense is a felony. If you were arrested following an accident in which someone died or was seriously injured, and the police say your drunk driving caused it, you face fines of up to $10,000 and a long time in prison:

  • For a death: up to 15 years in prison
  • For the death of an emergency responder: up to 20 years
  • For an injury: up to 5 years

Causing a death or serious injury if operating a vehicle while your license has been suspended, revoked or denied is also a felony in Michigan, with penalties that can be identical to those listed above. It is imperative that you mount a strong defense with a highly skilled lawyer. Call Kathryn L. Simmons for a free evaluation of your case.

For a DUI felony defense attorney call 248-408-7679 now. Put 20+ years of local legal experience to work for you

Kathryn L. Simmons is a defense attorney practicing in Lake Orion, Orion Township, Rochester Hills, Oxford, Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Waterford, Pontiac, Bloomfield Hills, Troy, Macomb County and the Oakland County Circuit Court. No attorney or law firm can guarantee the outcome of your case. However, I can provide you with a free evaluation of the details of your case, and suggest a strategy to pursue the best possible outcome.

How a Lawyer Can Help You When You’re Charged with a Crime

By Kathryn Simmons,

Being charged with a crime can affect your life mentally, emotionally and physically. Many first time offenders often describe the feeling as humiliating and intimidating. No matter the circumstances of your charges, you deserve to talk to a lawyer. Get solid advice and seek aggressive defense. The first meeting is without charge.

If you have been charged with a crime, felony or misdemeanor, call 248-408-7679. I offer free initial consultations and affordable flat-rate fees

Facing misdemeanor and felony charges can take a heavy emotional and mental toll upon an accused offender – especially first time offenders. Drunken driving is the most common crime committed throughout the United States; however, an arrest on OWI charges is socially unacceptable, and a conviction can be absolutely devastating – financially, psychologically and emotionally.

After being charged with a crime, speaking with a lawyer can often bring a sense of relief: You realize you are not going it alone. You realize there is the possibility of help after being accused. Shame, embarrassment and fear can be debilitating and leave you reluctant to talk about your ordeal. However, defense attorneys deal with criminal law for a living, and they know that not every arrest that occurs is warranted. And they also know that not all evidence will hold up to questioning before the courts.

Remember:

  • Being charged with a crime is not a guilty verdict. It is a supposition of law enforcement officials that you have committed a misdemeanor or felony offense. You are entitled to face your accusers in court with a legal counselor at your side to contest the allegations they are making against you.
  • Law enforcement officials are required to act within the law whenever they are pursuing a suspected criminal. They must have probable cause to initiate pullovers and investigations, and every bit of evidence that they collect must be obtained through legal means.
  • Evidence obtained through illegal search and seizure operations can be rendered inadmissible before the courts. So if you were apprehended without probable cause, and police conducted an illegal search of your person and discovered evidence to support an arrest, you may still be able to have your case dismissed. Why? A law enforcement officer’s lack of adherence to legal protocols may result in a violation of your constitutional rights.
  • If you have been charged with a crime, you are innocent until proven guilty, and you are entitled to a solid and aggressive legal defense.

Experienced defense attorneys understand the difficulties that their clients are facing; they know what’s at stake if their clients are found guilty. Speaking with a lawyer after being arrested or questioned by police can help put your mind at ease and allow you to focus on fighting for your rights and your freedom. An attorney can also help you see that there may be light at the end of the tunnel and provide you with a bit of hope for your future.

Standing before the courts is intimidating, especially when so many aspects of your life can be affected by a conviction on a misdemeanor or felony offense. Jail time, a prison term, hefty fines, probation, parole, community service and restitution costs can be overwhelming to consider, but you may be able to avoid such consequences.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact a defense attorney and discuss the details of your case. You may find that you have more options for a defense than you had imagined.

If you have been charged with a crime, felony or misdemeanor, call 248-408-7679. I offer free initial consultations and affordable flat-rate fees

Kathryn L. Simmons is a defense attorney in Lake Orion, Orion Township, Rochester Hills, Oxford, Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Waterford, Pontiac, Bloomfield Hills, Troy, Macomb County and the Oakland County Circuit Court.

Choosing The Best Criminal Defense Firm

By Kathryn Simmons,

If you are looking for a criminal defense firm to help you build a defense against your criminal charges, it is important to remember two things: Nothing can replace open and honest communication, and if you cannot trust the attorney you have chosen as your legal counsel, find another one.

If you are looking for a criminal defense firm to handle your case, call 248-408-7679. I offer free initial consultations and affordable flat-rate fees

Asking someone to choose the “best” legal firm to handle a criminal defense case is like asking someone to choose the best way to eat a pizza.

The process of finding the best criminal defense firm to represent your interests and uphold your rights in court is based upon extremely subjective specifications. There are a variety of personality types in the world, and not every personality type is capable of working harmoniously with another. So it is important when you are searching for legal representation that you take into consideration the factors that will bring about a successful outcome to your case.

  • Can you communicate with your attorney? Good communication is at the heart of every good relationship, and attorney/client relationships are no different. The more easily you can communicate with your legal counselor, the more easily they will be able to comprehend the circumstances and challenges affecting your case.
  • Do you trust the criminal defense firm that you’ve chosen? Having faith in your legal representative can make all the difference in the world between suffering through a criminal proceeding and facing the courts with confidence. No attorney can ever guarantee the outcome of any case; however, if they are capable of providing you with the pertinent information to instill you with confidence, there is a greater chance that you will be able to present the courts with a more genuine and convincing argument for your defense.
  • Does your legal counselor take your concerns into consideration? Obtaining an attorney who simply knows the law is not the same as hiring an attorney who is capable of listening to your concerns and building your case with those concerns in mind. Mutual understanding is one of the cornerstones to providing solid representation; otherwise, an attorney is simply presenting a case with no clear objective.
  • Does your lawyer’s criminal defense firm have the right type of experience? An attorney’s experience can literally mean the difference between approaching the courts with a winning case and watching your defense argument go up in flames. Familiarity with the criminal process, the local courts, the laws that affect your case and the judges presiding over the courts can have a dramatic impact upon the outcome of your case. So don’t ever be afraid to investigate your attorney’s qualifications before you decide which legal counselor or firm is more capable of fulfilling your needs as a client.

There is no “best” criminal defense firm available or any one-size-fits-all attorney that can handle every case and client brought before them. The success of any given case is dependent upon a number of factors that include attorney experience and skillful knowledge of legal defenses. If you or a loved one has been arrested on criminal charges, do not be afraid to contact several different law firms and speak to a number of different attorneys. At this critical juncture, it is imperative that you work with someone who is not only capable of listening to your side of the story and understanding your predicament but also convincingly capable of providing you with the aggressive representation that you deserve.

If you are looking for a criminal defense firm to handle your case, call 248-408-7679. I offer free initial consultations and affordable flat-rate fees

Kathryn L. Simmons is a defense attorney in Lake Orion, Orion Township, Rochester Hills, Oxford, Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Waterford, Pontiac, Bloomfield Hills, Troy, Macomb County and the Oakland County Circuit Court.

When is DUI a Misdemeanor?

By Kathryn Simmons,

The phrase “DUI misdemeanor” should not be taken lightly. Too often people think that the word misdemeanor connotes a crime that isn’t very serious and will mean a “slap on the hand”. Not in Michigan and not where drunk driving is concerned. The punishment for OWI, OWPD or OVI can be harsh and the consequences have cost people their jobs and their freedom.

A DUI misdemeanor conviction will change your life. You need an experienced drunk driving defense attorney

Call 248-408-7679 now

When Do You Face DUI Misdemeanor Charges In Michigan?

  • The first time you have been pulled over and arrested for drinking and driving
  • For a second offense within 7 years after a first conviction
  • For A 1st or 2nd OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired)
  • If a commercial driver refuses to take a preliminary roadside breathalyzer test
  • A third drunk driving offense within a lifetime is automatically considered a felony

To understand what DUI misdemeanor charges mean to you, consider the penalties. The temptation might be to think that first and especially second offenders get off easy. But all of these charges carry mandatory fines, along with the possibility of jail, loss of driving privileges; and more. A second offense, while still a misdemeanor, has mandatory jail time. People lose their jobs because they can’t go to work while in jail. Because penalties go up for each successive conviction, that first case can have an enormous impact years later.

First OWI Offense

Fines of $100-$500 plus one or more:

  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • License suspended for 30 days
  • Driving restrictions for 150 days
  • 6 points
  • “High BAC” penalties are even steeper

Second OWI Offense

Fines of $200 to $1000 plus one or more:

  • Jail from 5 days to 1 year
  • 30 to 90 days of community service
  • Driver’s license revoked for one year
  • License plate seized
  • 6 points
  • Vehicle immobilization for 90 to 180 days; ignition breathalyzer possible

DUI Misdemeanor Penalties Include Michigan’s Driver Responsibility Fee

The State of Michigan imposes fees on convicted drunk drivers, which are in addition to any fines the court may set. As an example, for a first or second OWI you would pay $1000 per year for two consecutive years. OWVI carries a Driver Responsibility Fee of $500 per year for two years.

When Is It A “DUI Misdemeanor” To Refuse To Take A Breath Test?

  • It is not if a driver refuses to take the preliminary “roadside breathalyzer” test, which is called the PBT in Michigan. It is a civil, not criminal case. The fine is up to $200 and the charge is separate from any you would face for OWI.
  • It is a criminal misdemeanor if a commercial driver – a person operating a commercial vehicle – refuses to take the PBT. It is punishable by jail time of up to 93 days, and a fine of up to $100. The driver will be ordered “out of service” for 24 hours, which usually means the boss will have to know.

Under What Circumstances Do DUI Misdemeanor Charges No Longer Apply?

A third conviction in a lifetime is a felony. Causing death or serious injury is a felony if you are accused of OWI, OWVI or OWPD. It is a felony to drive while your license was suspended, revoked or denied.

To hire a lawyer call 248-408-7679 now. You can come to my office or I can arrange to come to you

Attorney Kathryn L. Simmons is a drunk driving defense attorney who is accepting clients in Lake Orion, Orion Township, Rochester Hills, Oxford, Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Waterford, Pontiac, Bloomfield Hills, Troy, Macomb County and the Oakland County Circuit Court. No attorney or law firm can guarantee the outcome of your case. However, I can provide you with a free evaluation of the details of your case, and suggest a strategy to pursue the best possible outcome.

Charged with Domestic Violence and Abuse? Now What?

By Kathryn Simmons,

If you have been charged with domestic violence and abuse in Michigan, take action quickly. Contact a defense attorney and discuss the details of your case. Depending upon the allegations being made against you, you may be subject to a jail term, fines and even a costly civil action lawsuit for the personal injuries and property damage associated with your alleged offense.

If you have been arrested on charges of domestic violence and abuse, call 248-408-7679. I offer free initial consultations and affordable flat-rate fees

Many instances of vocal confrontations and physical altercations within the home are simply products of escalated misunderstandings reported by passersby or neighbors. Nonetheless, when incidents of violence or abuse within the home are reported, they are taken quite seriously. Police protocol requires expedient action, which is sometimes lacking for proper judgment. Not every set of circumstances presents an accurate depiction of the alleged volatile incident that has occurred.

Offenders charged with domestic violence and abuse are more often than not displaced from their homes and forbidden from making any contact with their accusers or their children until their cases are heard before the court. This means that a false accusation of domestic violence can literally leave a suspected offender homeless while they await their trials.

Offenders convicted on charges of domestic violence and abuse may face:

  • Misdemeanor penalties of up to 93 days in jail or a $500 fine, or both, for a first offense
  • Misdemeanor penalties of up to 1 year in jail or a $1,000 fine, or both, for a second offense
  • Felony penalties of up to 2 years in state prison or a $2,500 fine, or both, for a third offense

The penalties for convicted offenders are quite serious, and convictions on charges of violence in the State of Michigan can prevent those found guilty of such charges from obtaining jobs in certain fields, such as personal care (CNAs) and childcare. Misdemeanor convictions appear on criminal records, so they will appear on any background checks submitted for employment, college, insurance and loan applications, obtaining a credit card, or obtaining residency at an apartment complex.

The responsibility of having to explain your past at every turn can be a heavy burden to accept over time, especially if the charges leveled against you were false and the result of a gross misinterpretation of the circumstances at the scene of the offense. So, if you have been arrested on charges of abuse or violence within the home, contact a defense attorney.

A domestic violence and abuse attorney can help you devise a defense against charges stemming from:

  • A one-time incident involving a heated argument that led to the implementation of verbal threats or physical contact
  • An act of self-defense or the defense of another inpidual in danger of being harmed by an angry, irrational or intoxicated family member
  • Claims of domestic violence and abuse by an intoxicated inpidual who was incapable of understanding the circumstances at the time of the incident and who is incapable of providing accurate and reliable testimony before the courts
  • Exaggerations of the circumstances that resulted in the charging and arrest of the inpidual accused
  • Fictitious claims made by another member of the household in order to gain an upper hand during porce or child custody proceedings

Michigan laws recognize the potential for both men and women to instigate and initiate abuse and violence, so don’t be misled into thinking that your gender will somehow sway the courts in your favor or out of your favor. If you have been arrested on charges of violence or abuse within the home, speak to an attorney. The consequences of a conviction can lead to a lifetime’s worth of hassle and explanations.

If you have been arrested on charges of domestic violence and abuse, call 248-408-7679. I offer free initial consultations and affordable flat-rate fees

Kathryn L. Simmons is a defense attorney in Lake Orion, Orion Township, Rochester Hills, Oxford, Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Waterford, Pontiac, Bloomfield Hills, Troy, Macomb County and the Oakland County Circuit Court.