A Michigan OWI that is a first or second offense and in which there are no additional aggravating factors is categorized as a misdemeanor. While it is true that there are some misdemeanors in Michigan that are quite minor (for instance, driving without your driver's license on your person), a Michigan OWI misdemeanor is quite serious. Michigan OWI misdemeanants can face the very real possibility of being sentenced to a period of incarceration. Additionally, fines and costs to the court can amount to thousands of dollars. You can also be required to submit to random drug and alcohol testing (at your expense) as well as be made to participate in a lengthy and expensive substance abuse rehabilitation program. Attorney Richard I. Lippitt can help you confront and overcome many of the serious consequences of a Michigan OWI misdemeanor.

The length of potential incarceration is the key distinguishing factor that differentiates a Michigan OWI misdemeanor from a Michigan OWI felony. In Michigan the maximum period of incarceration for an OWI misdemeanor is one year in a Michigan county jail. A judge cannot sentence a Michigan OWI misdemeanor defendant to prison. Conversely, a Michigan OWI felony (without aggravating factors) grants a judge the authority to sentence a defendant to one to five years in a Michigan prison. Other differences are the right to vote and to bear arms. A convicted Michigan OWI misdemeanant will retain their right to vote and to own a firearm. A Michigan OWI felon is denied the right to vote and own a gun.

If this is your first alcohol and driving offense, and if there are no aggravating circumstances, then you are facing a Michigan OWI misdemeanor in which you can be sentenced to up to 93 days in a Michigan county jail. If there is a conviction for Michigan Super Drunk (a BAC of higher than .17%) you could potentially be sentenced to 180 days in a Michigan county jail.

Misdemeanor convictions for Michigan OWI allow the courts to sentence you to significant periods of community service. Additionally, the Michigan Secretary of State will automatically take action against your Michigan driver's license. The Secretary of State can order your license to be revoked or suspended. You may also be ordered to install an embarrassing and expensive interlock ignition device in order to maintain your driving privileges.

The event of a Michigan OWI conviction will almost certainly cause your insurance company to “re-rate” your policy. The insurance carrier will often choose to re-categorize you as a high-risk driver. This can frequently result in a doubling, tripling or even quadrupling of your premium. Of course, a misdemeanor conviction is very much a criminal conviction. This can affect your ability to seek new employment.

If you have been charged with a Michigan OWI misdemeanor you need to take the allegation seriously. Attorney Richard I. Lippitt has the experience and knowledge that is required to confront your case. Mr. Lippitt employs a vast network of scientific and blood experts who can potentially challenge your Michigan OWI arrest. Additionally, Mr. Lippitt possesses the legal scholarship necessary to develop potential constitutional challenges of your Michigan OWI arrest.

Michigan OWI defense attorney Richard I. Lippitt is highly skilled and experienced in investigating and challenging the facts and circumstances of Michigan OWI arrests. Mr. Lippitt appears in Michigan courts over 350 times each year in defense of Michigan OWIs.

Attorney Richard I. Lippitt stands ready to provide you with a free, no obligation meeting regarding your Michigan OWI misdemeanor arrest. Please call (248) 921-7164 or request a Free Case Evaluation via the form on this page.