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Drinking and Driving Troy

Searching for a Great Lawyer For Your Drunk Driving Case in Troy, Michigan?

Being arrested and charged with drinking and driving (sometimes referred to as OWI, OWVI, DWI, OUI, DUI, OUIL, OUID, or OUIN) is very serious, and if you're convicted, you could face strict penalties which could include incarceration, probation with tough conditions, fines and costs, driver's license sanctions, and increased insurance rates. Troy Lawyer Daniel Hilf is very compassionate to your current legal situation, he has represented many people accused of drunk driving in Troy Michigan at the 52/4 District Court, and he wants to help you obtain a great result.  Even though your case has its own particular facts and circumstances, there are ways in which a experienced criminal defense attorney, such as attorney Daniel Hilf, can help you defend against a drinking and driving charge.

With every drinking and driving criminal case there is some particular circumstance that brought you in contact with a law enforcement officer - a traffic stop, an accident, a disabled vehicle, a call from a concerned citizen, etc.  When it comes to a traffic stop, typically a police officer needs to witness some sort of traffic violation (improper turn, speeding, invalid license plate, etc), equipment violation (cracked windshield, broken tail light, etc.) or otherwise have a valid legal basis in order to legally pull you over.  There must be the existence of probable cause for a legal traffic stop, meaning the police officer objectively needs to have an articulable and reasonable suspicion that the driver or passenger violated a State law or local ordinance (as long as there was any lawful basis for the stop, it does not matter if the officer used that reason or pretext for the stop).  If the driver of the vehicle is already at the side of the road (due to an accident, or mechanical issues, looking for directions, etc.) a police officer is generally allowed to approach the driver (and the vehicle occupants) and ask questions.

Once the police officer comes into contact with you, he or she may make observations that might lead to an additional investigation which may include any of the following: the smell of alcohol; the smell of marijuana; red, watery, or glassy eyes; slurred speech; poor balance and coordination; open intoxicants in the motor vehicle; etc.  This may lead the police officer to attempt to conduct the standard field sobriety tests that you probably have seen on television (horizontal gaze nystagmus [HGN], walk and turn, one leg stand, count backwards, etc.) in order to develop probable cause that operating under the influence of alcohol occurred by the driver.  If there is a proper foundation established from the field sobriety tests that were administered to the driver, the police officer may administer a preliminary breath test (PBT) from a handheld instrument used to determine the presence and amount of alcohol in the alleged driver's system.  The totality of the police officers observations during the traffic stop and interaction with the driver may wrongly or rightly  lead to an arrest for suspicion of drunk driving.  After arrest, typically a Datamaster test is administered at the police station or a blood draw conducted by a medical professional (EMT, nurse, doctor) in an attempt to precisely determine the level of alleged intoxication of the driver.

An invalid stop is a potential Constitutional basis for your criminal defense attorney to motion the Judge to suppress the evidence, and your criminal defense attorney may need to conduct an evidentiary hearing in order for the Court to make a determination whether or not the stop was legal in your case.  Your criminal defense attorney may even try to challenge whether or not there was the existence of probable cause to administer a PBT test or to even arrest you.  Even if the arrest in your case was completely lawful and by to book, there may still be a legal basis to challenge the testing procedures that occurred as it relates to your alleged level of intoxication, or to challenge a statement that you allegedly made to the police officer.

There is critical and important evidence that may aid your criminal defense attorney in the defense of your drinking and driving case that he or she is entitled to receive from the city attorney/prosecution.  Many police patrol cars (including police patrol cars in Troy Michigan) are equipped with video and audio capabilities: the video is typically from the vantage point of the front of the police patrol car looking forward, and there is a second camera facing the rear seating area of the police patrol car to record anyone inside; the audio is typically from a microphone worn by the police officer that is sensitive enough to record conversations the police officer is engaging in.  Sometimes police officers also wear body cameras to preserve the police officer's observations during their investigation (Troy Police use in car video and do not typically use body cameras).  In many instances there is video and audio from the room at the police station where the Datamaster device is administered by a police officer (the Datamaster is the breath alcohol testing device at the police station, which is viewed as scientifically accurate as long as the testing is properly conducted and the Datamaster device is properly maintained).  Troy police (as well as other law enforcement agencies) are required to preserve logs relating to the maintenance and reliability of the Datamaster equipment in order to ensure that the Datamaster device performed correctly, which your attorney can obtain on your behalf.

Hire a Top Rated Troy Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney For Your Drinking and Driving Arrest

The skillset of your criminal defense attorney is invaluable in the defense of your drinking and driving arrest in the following manners: the ability to effectively question and cross examine any and all witness(es); legal research ability; trial experience and ability to advocate on your behalf; the legal acumen to provide you with great advice; etc.  Your drinking and driving defense in Troy Michigan is only as good as the criminal defense lawyer who is presenting your drinking and driving defense. 

The type and severity of the drunk driving charge prosecuted  may depend upon a number of different elements, including: the nature of the substance that you allegedly used (alcohol, marijuana, prescription medication, etc.); the level of intoxication (zero tolerance [for minors], impaired driving [OWVI], operate while intoxicated [OUI], super drunk); prior criminal conviction(s) for drinking and driving/driving under the influence; the presence of a minor child in the vehicle during the alleged drunk driving incident in question; and whether or not an injury or death resulted from the drinking and driving offense.  These same elements can effect the bond amount and bond conditions set by a magistrate or Judge at the 52/4 District Court in Troy, Michigan for your case.

There are several potentially applicable defenses which apply to drunk driving cases, in addition to the aforementioned evidentiary issues: the person charged was not actually the driver of the vehicle (for example, the driver and the passenger switched positions); the driver was not actually intoxicated; the driving in question was the result of a medical condition and not intoxication; the driver had a valid prescription for the substance in question and the dosage was at a therapeutic level; reasonable doubt; etc.  Reasons for performing poorly on field sobriety tests may be based upon factors other than intoxication, such as: medical conditions, prior or existing injuries, poor lighting, bad road conditions, the weather conditions, inability to hear the instructions, the officer's assessment was false, and other potentially valid reasons.  Beyond a shadow of all doubt, the only way to present a strong and compelling drunk driving legal defense to a Judge or jury is to have experienced and zealous legal counsel in charge of your drinking and driving defense.

In some instances, attempting to reach a plea bargain (a potential agreement with the city attorney/prosecution to reduce or dismiss a charge or charges) or attempting to reach a sentence agreement (a Cobbs agreement) may be your best course of action for your Troy Michigan drinking and driving case.  The negotiation skills of your criminal defense lawyer may play an important role in your ability to receive such consideration from the Oakland County assistant prosecutor or Troy city attorney assigned to your case or your Judge.  Sometimes your criminal defense attorney will have to give you proactive advice as to obtaining treatment for your condition or documentation (AA attendance sheets, medical records, mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling, etc.) to increase your odds of receiving favorable consideration from the Troy city attorney/ Oakland County assistant prosecutor or Court.

Just because you were charged with drinking and driving, that doesn't guarantee you'll be convicted of drinking and driving. A drinking and driving conviction does not always mean that you will be incarcerated.  When you hire Daniel Hilf to be your criminal defense attorney he will give you his expert advice on how to proceed with your case and will instill in you the confidence that your drinking and driving defense is placed in very capable hands.