Alcohol is a highly regulated substance in America, and as a result, there are a lot of legal restrictions on its use. A few restrictions are minor, having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle is a misdemeanor. Being intoxicated in public can lead to a disorderly charge if the police believe your behavior is endangering people, or causing a public disturbance. This misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in jail. It is illegal for anyone under 21 to have any alcohol in their system or in their possession. In Michigan, a minor with alcohol in his or her system will be charged with MIP, Minor in Possession of Alcohol. Conviction can result in a suspended license and some fines. Any individual with prior alcohol convictions will face tougher penalties.
Some of the most common criminal charges in Michigan are alcohol related and driving offenses. An experienced lawyer can help you through the legal process and even have charges reduced or dropped. Matthew L. Norwood has years of experience helping people with alcohol related charges, and can build your defense to get you the best possible outcome.
Alcohol related charges can range from misdemeanor to felony. Some misdemeanor charges include having open intoxicants in a motor vehicle, drunk and disorderly conduct and Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP). If convicted of one of these crimes, you typically face jail time up to 93 days, and fines up to $100. A minor convicted of alcohol related charges may have his or her license suspended. Even minor cases like these, however, can have far reaching effects on your life after a conviction hits your permanent record. A criminal defense attorney is essential to ensure the best outcome for you and your future.
Other alcohol related offenses include drinking and driving. The state if Michigan takes these charges very seriously and a conviction can have devastating effects on your daily life. Charges include Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI), and Unlawful Bodily Alcohol Level (UBAL).
Michigan has an additional higher-blood-alcohol drunk driving offense which is technically called OWI High BAC found at MCLA 257.625(1)(c). It is also referred to as “Super Drunk.” It’s .17 BAC and above and it carries with it a one year license suspension, with restrictions available after the first 45 days so long as the person operates a motor vehicle with an interlock device. It also has a higher maximum jail sentence of 180 days, higher potential fine of $200 to $700.
Which one you are charged with will depend on the specific points of your case, but all of them can be very damaging.
Michigan law now requires automatic suspension or revocation of driver’s license for certain drinking and driving convictions. For most Americans, losing your license can mean losing your job and other essential obligations you need to survive. That’s why experienced legal representation is so important.
Matthew L. Norwood has experience as a criminal defense attorney representing people in Michigan charged with drinking and driving, with expertise in protecting people’s driving privileges. Attorney Norwood can build your defense to protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome for you and your future.
Learn more about the practice areas of Attorney Matthew L. Norwood.