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DUI Lawyer

A DUI or OWI charge in the Metro-Detroit area doesn’t guarantee a conviction. You have the right to hire legal representation and defend yourself in court. Contact a DUI attorney if you hope to have your charges reduced or dismissed.

Getting pulled over by the cops in Detroit is never a pleasant experience. When you’re charged with a DUI or OWI, you may not know what to do. It’s important to stay calm after you’re taken into custody and remember your rights. A DUI or OWI charge doesn’t come with an automatic conviction. You have the right to hire a lawyer, build a criminal defense, and fight your case in court.

If you’ve never been in trouble before and have no experience with the legal process, then discussing your case with a Detroit DUI lawyer from Schwartz Law Group can give you peace of mind. Our team has handled many DUI and OWI cases in the Metro Detroit area, and we can use our knowledge to support you.

Fighting your charges is essential if you hope to avoid penalties for your charges and keep your criminal record clean. If you don’t fight your charges, your DUI or OWI conviction will stick with you for the rest of your life. Understanding the consequences of a conviction is the first step in moving forward with your case.

Penalties for a DUI in Metro-Detroit

A first-time offense for a DUI or OWI in Detroit occurs when you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent and above and have no prior offenses within the last seven years. Penalties for a Detroit DUI or OWI may result in up to 93 days in jail; however, if your BAC was above .17 percent, the maximum jail time increases to 180 days.

You can also receive up to 360 hours of community service for a first-offense DUI or OWI. You may face a maximum fine of $500 for your first-time conviction, or up to $700 in fines if your BAC was above .17 percent. Although not all first-time offenders will face a vehicle immobilization, the court has the right to immobilize your vehicle for up to 180 days. Some DUI and OWI convictions result in vehicle forfeiture.

If you’re convicted for a DUI or OWI in the Metro Detroit area and you’re riding with a passenger under the age of sixteen, then you must pay a mandatory fine of up to $1,000, serve either thirty to ninety days community service, or serve between five days to one year in jail. The judge may also order that your vehicle be immobilized if it hasn’t already been forfeited.

Common Procedures Used for DUI Testing in Michigan

The Detroit police may use various methods for DUI testing. At the scene of your arrest, they may use a preliminary breath test (PBT) to determine whether you’re under the influence of alcohol.  You can refuse to take a breath test; however, if you refuse, you’ll be charged with a civil infraction and fined $100.

Under Michigan’s Implied Consent Law, all drivers automatically consent to a DataMaster breath test. If you’re arrested and taken to the police station after failing or refusing the PBT test, then you may be asked to take this test.

If you refuse the DataMaster test, six points will be added to your driving record and your license will be suspended for one year. Refusing this test may also trigger the police to issue a warrant for a blood test, which you won’t be able to refuse.

Drivers License Suspension

In addition to the jail time, community service, possible vehicle immobilization, and fines, a DUI or OWI conviction in Detroit will result in a 180-day license suspension. After thirty days of your license suspension, however, you can apply for a restricted license and drive with an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle.

DUI Defense Strategies

The penalties for a DUI or OWI conviction in the Detroit Metro area are harsh. Fighting your DUI charge is crucial if you hope to avoid a conviction and the hefty penalties that come with it. A DUI lawyer in Detroit can assess the details of your situation and customize a defense strategy for you.

Some defense strategies used in DUI cases include:

  • Improper handling of evidence
  • Improper police protocol
  • Mislabeled, mismanaged, or missing evidence


It’s understandable to have questions when hiring a defense team and moving forward with your case. At Schwartz Law Group, we offer consultations during which you can discuss your concerns before fully committing to our services. We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about Detroit DUI cases below.

What rights do I have when getting arrested for a DUI?

When you are arrested for a DUI or an OWI in Detroit, the police should read you your Miranda rights. Your Miranda rights include the right to remain silent because anything you say can and will be held against you. It’s important to understand that you don’t have to answer any police questions. You also have the right to an attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney, the court will appoint one for you.

Are there differences between a DUI and an OWI?

Both DUI and OWI are interchangeable terms in Michigan. DUI stands for driving under the influence; OWI stands for operating while intoxicated. Although the official legal term for drunk driving in Michigan is OWI, many drivers still use the term DUI because it is a well-known term throughout the country.

Do I need a lawyer for my DUI charge?

Although you aren’t required to hire a lawyer to fight your Detroit DUI charge, it can be highly beneficial to do so. If you don’t hire a lawyer, you’ll have trouble convincing the judge and the jury of your innocence and why you deserve a second chance. With an experienced attorney, your chances of reducing or dismissing your charges are exponentially higher.

Consult a DUI Attorney

When you’re charged with a DUI or OWI in Detroit, the future can feel frightening. Having a criminal conviction on your record can affect your job, your income, and your family in many ways. If you aren’t able to drive, you may not be able to commute to work and earn a living, for example.

When you consider all the ways a DUI conviction will affect your life, you may realize how important it is to fight for your freedom. At the Schwartz Law Group, we have an in-depth understanding of Michigan’s criminal court system. We know that everyone has the right to legal representation and a fair trial under the law, and we do our best to give our clients a fighting chance.

When you have a DUI lawyer from our team on your side, you can feel supported every step of the way. We take cases from around Metro Detroit including Ann Arbor, Birmingham, Southfield, Livonia, Troy, Farmington Hills, and more. If you’re ready to schedule a consultation with a member of our team at the Schwartz Law Group, call 248-930-5019 or fill out the contact form below.