Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs and alcohol in Michigan is treated as a very serious offense, and officers of the Canton Township Police Department have little sympathy for individuals they pull over and find intoxicated. Even for a first offense, you could be facing license suspension or revocation, jail time, fines, and other consequences. The severity of penalties will only increase for subsequent offenses. At the same time, however, DUI cases are rarely simple affairs, and with the representation of an experienced Canton, MI DUI attorney, the potential for a more positive outcome is significantly higher.
From aggressively defending your case in court to personally investigating every detail of the arrest and the court’s DUI proceedings, Grabel & Associates will fight for a not-guilty resolution, case dismissal, or reduced or alternative sentencing. As Canton’s most trusted DUI attorneys, we’ll use our wide network of resources in your favor, and we’ll work with the court to get you past this potentially devastating charge. The moment you’re arrested, it is essential to contact Grabel & Associates immediately so that we can begin working on your case.
The first step in fighting a DUI charge is to learn about how arrest and prosecution occur in Michigan. This entire process begins when one of two events occur, including getting pulled over for a traffic violation or entering a DUI checkpoint. In either of these cases, the officer thereafter notices objective symptoms of intoxication—slurred speech, watery eyes, the smell of alcohol—and initiates a DUI investigation. The investigation generally entails a series of field sobriety tests (FSTs), such as the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, the nine-step walk and turn, and the 30-second one leg stand, all of which come with inherent flaws.
The officer may ask the driver to take a preliminary breath test (PBT), and if you’re arrested, you’ll be required to take a chemical test to determine bodily alcohol content (BAC) and/or the presence of drugs. A BAC of 0.08 or higher, or refusal to take the test, in accordance to Michigan’s Implied Consent Law, will result in the immediate suspension of the driver’s license for a year (in addition to subsequent convictions resulting from the traffic stop or checkpoint).
In most cases, the police will take the driver to the Canton Township Police Department or to the 35th District Court in Plymouth for arraignment, and if charged with a misdemeanor, the case proceeds at this court. If charged with a felony, however, the case transfers to the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in downtown Detroit.
In the aftermath of a DUI arrest, it’s normal to feel confused and somewhat devastated. Nevertheless, there are several instances where the police could have violated your rights. For example, DUI checkpoints are highly controversial throughout Michigan, and although the Supreme Court finds them legal, officers supervising the checkpoint must adhere to very specific protocols. Failure to follow such protocols could render the stop illegal, and it is important to remember that your constitutional privacy rights must always be maintained throughout the entirety of a stop.
Additionally, because DUI cases are seen as cut-and-dry with many officers, they can sometimes forget to inform alleged offenders of their Miranda Rights. If the arresting officer fails to inform the driver of his/her Miranda Rights, the DUI case may be ruled inadmissible.
Other rights to always remember in these cases include:
One of the biggest misconceptions about DUIs in Canton is that you’re guilty if you failed the breathalyzer or the FSTs. For example, one of the areas that our DUI attorneys focus on is “probable cause.” In Michigan, police must prove and articulate a reasonable suspicion as to why they pulled you over. The reason why they pulled you over, however, does not have to be related to DUI. A broken brake light could be enough to satisfy causation for a legal stop, but probable cause must then come from the police officer’s objective suspicion of drunkenness from factors such as speech, eyes, bodily movements, or the smell of alcohol. If the officer cannot prove probable cause, the case may be dismissed.
Other useful defenses in a DUI case can include:
If arrested for DUI, it is crucial to not hesitate and contact a DUI attorney immediately. At Grabel & Associates, we’ve successfully defended hundreds of individuals throughout the state, including Canton and Wayne County. We therefore have extensive experience in the 35th District Court, and we fully understand what the judges are looking for when proving a DUI case. For one of Canton’s most trusted DUI attorneys, contact Grabel & Associates today at 1-800-342-7896 or contact us online.