The Importance of Being Earnest

The dictionary defines the term earnest as “resulting from or showing intense conviction.” Any Michigan criminal defendant facing a DUI charge needs an attorney possessing just such conviction in order to prevent a conviction.

The criminal defense team at SMDA have enjoyed a variety of successes in handling Michigan drinking and driving offenses over the years. A recent success involved representing a criminal defendant facing multiple misdemeanor offenses, including Operating While Intoxicated – 2nd offense. If convicted, this individual would almost certainly be facing not only a lengthy jail sentence, but she would also be paying substantial fines and costs.

By way of background, this individual had been struggling with alcoholism for a number of years. One morning, she woke up with uncontrollable tremors and an intense desire to consume alcohol. She got in her car, drove to the supermarket, and purchased a jug of wine and a fifth of hard liquor. In her zeal to get home and consume these intoxicants, she side swiped a parked vehicle on her way out of the parking lot. Fearful of facing criminal prosecution for leaving the scene of an accident, she continued home. To cope with the stress she felt and to satisfy her addiction, she proceeded to drink a substantial portion of the fifth she purchased. The police came to her home, asked her about the accident she was involved in and asked her to submit to a preliminary breath test. She complied and her blood alcohol was above the legal limit. She was subsequently charged with Operating While Intoxicated, Leaving the Scene of an Accident and Driving With a Suspended License.

The problem with this case is that the prosecution had no evidence nor could it prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this individual had consumed the alcohol prior to operating her vehicle. Although the results were above the legal limit, given the amount of time that had elapsed between the accident and the police interrogation and this woman’s long pattern of alcohol abuse, it was questionable whether a prosecution expert could convince a jury and secure a conviction. That being said, through a series of negotiations with the prosecution, as well as poking holes in the state’s case, SMDA attorneys were able to negotiate a plea to Leaving the Scene of an Accident, dismissal of the remaining charges (notably the OWI charge), and a sentence of fines and costs only with no jail or probation.

The importance of this story is that things are not always what they seem. The confident and prepared attorneys of SMDA give you an unfair advantage. Through thorough and diligent work, great results can be achieved. While an acquittal at trial is terrific, dismissal of charges without going through a trial are even better. Hence the importance of being earnest. If you find yourself facing drinking and driving charges, contact the lawyers at SMDA right away.

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