Although operating while intoxicated (OWI) is usually a misdemeanor offense in the state of Michigan, there are a few circumstances that can prompt elevated felony charges. Considered serious and aggravating crimes, any felony OWI charge has the potential to greatly compromise the personal, professional, and financial well-being of a convicted offender. If you or your loved one has recently been arrested and/or charged with a felony OWI, seeking legal counsel from a Macomb County OWI attorney is vital to reducing your risk of suffering the most severe penalties. A felony OWI charge can arise in the following ways:
According to the Michigan Department of State, a person may face felony charges when they are convicted of a third intoxicated driving offense within a lifetime. This policy is notably harsher than those adopted in other states and leaves little room for leniency. In any case, a third conviction can include any combination of operating while intoxicated (OWI) or operating while visibly impaired (OWVI).
If convicted of a third OWI or OWVI offense, in any combination, you may face life-altering criminal penalties. Punishments include fines of up to $5,000 and either imprisonment for 1 to 5 years o imprisonment for 30 days to 1 year with probation. There are also severely restrictive driver's license revocations, vehicle immobilization for 1 to 3 years, additional and ongoing fees, and points added to your driving record, among other penalties.
An individual may also face felony allegations if they cause serious injury or death to another while:
Operating while intoxicated (OWI)
Operating while visibly impaired (OWVI)
Operating with any presence of drugs (OWOD)
Michigan enforces crippling criminal penalties for these charges. Causing death can result in up to 15 years imprisonment, a fine up to $10,000, or both. Causing injury is punishable by imprisonment for up to 5 years and a fine of up to $5,000. If an emergency responder (EMT, law enforcement office) was harmed or killed as the result of an OWI, terms of imprisonment can increase to a maximum of 20 years.
No matter which felony OWI charges you or your loved one may face, the time to act is now. By taking preemptive measures and bringing your case to the attention of my firm, I can immediately set to conducting investigations and preparing your case. Whatever the circumstances may be, I always strive to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the entire legal process and that charges are dismissed or reduced as much as possible.
Need a lawyer for a felony OWI case in Macomb County? I strongly urge anyone confronting serious felony OWI allegations to schedule a free case evaluation as soon as possible. As I am always committed to the clients I represent and intent on drawing from my extensive legal experience to fight for their freedom, I am confident that should you choose to work with my firm, you will receive the support you deserve and the aggressive representation you require. Contact a Macomb County OWI lawyer from Bowden Law, PLLC today!