DUI/OWI FAQs Over Three Decades of Fighting For Your Freedom


You Have Questions, Fraiberg & Pernie Have Answers

Our Oakland County DUI attorneys are conveniently located in Birmingham and Oak Park, MI. In addition to over 35 years of experience in criminal defense, Attorney Fraiberg has experience as a former prosecutor, and Attorney Pernie has experience as a former police officer. With this background, we can provide you with a uniquely comprehensive perspective on how DUI cases are handled in Michigan. We know how the criminal justice system works, and we can put that knowledge to work for you.

Do you have questions about your DUI case? Schedule a free case consultation in-person or on the phone by calling (248) 440-7936.

What Are the Common DUI Charges in Michigan?

DUIs are more commonly referred to as operating while intoxicated (OWI) or operating while visibly impaired (OWVI). The circumstances surrounding your case will dictate how a prosecutor charges you. Prosecutors will consider things such as your blood alcohol content (BAC), your age, and what substances were involved in your case.

DUI charges in Michigan include:

  • OWI: when your BAC is above the legal limit of 0.08%
  • OWVI: when alcohol or drugs visibly impair you
  • Operating with any presence of a Schedule 1 drug or Cocaine (OWDP): even having small traces of these controlled substances in your body can result in charges, even if you are not visibly impaired
  • Zero Tolerance or underage OWIs: OWI or OWVI while under the age of 21 and/or operating a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in your system

What Sobriety Tests Will Be Administered?

If you are arrested on suspicion of a DUI, the arresting officer may ask you to take a field sobriety test, a preliminary breath test (PBT), or a blood test. The PBT and the blood test are referred to as "chemical tests." You may also be asked to submit to a urine test, but this is not very common.

The sobriety test often involves completing tasks such as counting backward, walking in a straight line and turning or standing on one leg. The PBT is generally used to establish the probable cause needed to make an arrest. While you cannot be arrested for refusing to take a PBT, you may still be arrested even without taking one.

If you agree to submit to a blood test, the arresting officer may take you to a hospital to have the test administered. Getting results from the blood test can be time-consuming, and it may be weeks or months before you receive results and formal charges.

What Happens If I Refuse a Chemical Test?

Your license may be suspended up to a year after the refusal of a blood test, but you will be issued a DI-93 permit, assuming that your license was not already suspended or revoked at the time of your arrest. The DI-93 permit is only valid for 14 days after which you license will be suspended completely. Our Oakland County DUI lawyer can schedule a hearing with the Secretary of State within 14 days of receiving the Dl-93 in an attempt to keep your license, if you lose this hearing you do have the option to appeal for a restricted license from the Circuit Court depending on the facts of your specific case.

When Does License Suspension Start After DUI?

After being charged with a DUI you will receive a temporary paper license (DI-177) which will serve as your driver’s license until you are convicted or proven not guilty. This is of course assuming that you have not been convicted of any prior OWIs, in cases of multiple OWIs your license will be revoked immediately.

Depending on what OWI crime you are convicted of in Michigan there is a mandatory license suspension with the option of a restricted license after a certain amount of time. However, under certain circumstances such as multiple OWIs your license can be revoked which means your license will not be automatically reinstated and you will no longer have driving privileges.

Can a Revoked License Be Reinstated?

If you meet certain requirements that allow you to reinstate your revoked license you will have to request a hearing after the required amount of predetermined time by Michigan law following your specific OWI conviction.

However simply requesting and attending the hearing will not be enough, you must prove that you're worthy and in need of a license. Your best shot at having your license reinstated is through the help of an experienced Michigan OWI/DUI defense attorney.

Chances of Getting DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving?

OWI/DUI charges can typically come with a plea bargain that will lower your charges from the maximum to a “Reckless Driving Involving Alcohol” charge ONLY if:

  • This is your first offense
  • Your blood alcohol content (BAC) was around the legal limit of .08
  • And/or if the prosecutor has legal weaknesses in their case against you

What Happens When You Get a DUI in Michigan?

If you are convicted of a DUI, the judge will hand down your penalties. These penalties can include fines, jail time, mandatory community service, and the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges. If you have been convicted of a DUI, it is worth calling our Oakland County DUI attorneys to ensure that all of your options have been explored, and to help you through your next steps. This is especially important if you have multiple DUIs on your record.

How Long Does a DUI Stay On Your Record in Michigan?

Unfortunately, OWIs typically stay on your criminal record for the remainder of your life and can classify you as a “habitual offender” if you are convicted of multiple OWIs.

How to Get a DUI Expunged in Michigan?

As of 2021 Governor Whitmer signed bills 4219 & 4220 which will allow OWI/DUI offenders the opportunity to expunge their record.

To qualify for a DUI expungement the following must be true:

  • You are a first-time OWI/DUI offender
  • 5 Years have passed since your conviction
  • No arrest or other criminal convictions within that same 5 year period
  • No injuries or deaths occurred as a result of your DUI conviction

As of february 2022 the courts have begun hearing DUI expungement cases which is a multi-step process. First the process requires the completion of the expungement application which must include numerous documents including your criminal record, fingerprints, etc. Lastly, you will have a hearing before a judge to hear the specifics of your case.

Your best chance at expunging your DUI conviction will be to contact an experienced OWI/DUI defense firm. At Fraiberg & Pernie, PLLC we can guide and assist you through the entire process from the application to the court hearing giving you the best chance at a clean slate.

Don’t let a DUI hold you back. Our DUI lawyers in Birmingham and Oak Park can help you today. Call Fraiberg & Pernie at (248) 440-7936 or contact us online.

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