In our roles as Michigan DUI lawyers, we handle a lot of 3rd offense OWI cases. It’s a given that a felony DUI charge is serious, but it doesn’t have to be anything like the end of a person’s world, especially if it’s handled skillfully. As I often point out, success in a DUI case is best measured by what does NOT happen to you, and that’s particularly true when facing a 3rd offense charge. In fact, when properly handled, a 3rd offense DUI can be worked out a lot better than the reader might think, and many, if not most, of the scary sounding potential consequences can be avoided.
Obviously, the first goal in any DUI case is to find some way to get out of it, but drunk driving charges don’t dismiss themselves. Instead, a lawyer has to work every angle to discover something that can be leveraged to either get the charges knocked out of court, or used to in order to force a better outcome. That’s not a bunch of meaningless talk, either, at least when real effort is actually put into a case. As one of my favorite lyrics observes, “Good work is the key to good fortune; winners take that praise – losers seldom take that blame.”
That sentiment is completely applicable when it comes to handling DUI cases, and even more so in a 3rd offense situation. Experience teaches that when a Michigan DUI lawyer examines the evidence in a case and looks for something to challenge, there are certain places where he or she is more likely to find it than others: The traffic stop has always been one of the best areas for that. The day before I began this article, the Michigan Court of Appeals published an opinion holding a DUI traffic stop unlawful, and that case really shows the value of a lawyer’s good work, and what “proper handling” can do.