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Old July 15th, 2008, 12:30 PM   #1
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I got pulled over after a Tigers game last Tuesday and got an OWI. Blew a .105 on the side of the road and a .09 at the station. I passed the roadside tests but they had me blow anyway. At the station both cops pulled me aside at different times and basically told me that they wouldn't show up to the court date or that if they had to it would get knocked down to reckless driving. Both cops were very cool during the whole thing. I think they were bummed that after waiting for an hour for my car to be towed that I still blew an .09 at the station. They told me not to waste money on a lawyer and just to plead not guilty at my bond hearing and then again at my second hearing.

Anyone been through this? I have a completely clean record and this was in downtown Detroit at 1am. Do you think these cops are being cool and really won't show up or am I going to get screwed?

I really don't have the money to be spending on lawyers and everything else that could happen so if they are going to be cool I'd love to go that route. Anyone know the basic procedure of what is going to happen in court?

And I didn't get pulled over for swerving or anything obviously drunk, more along the lines of being stupid and trying to impress a girl.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 12:45 PM   #2
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Sorry to tell you but it is the city that presses charges. The cops not showing up will have nothing to do with it ...If they wanted to be cool they would not have towed you or taken you into the station just a car ride to the city limits.

It will not be that bad just don't plan on drinking for a little while. The state law says that you must be sentenced within 77 days

Sorry for the bad news but I hope it helps you out.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 12:48 PM   #3
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Not sure about alot of that except the lawyer part. Knowing a few people who have gone through similar situation, it seems they all had the same final outcome, but those who didnt hire lawyers saved boat loads of money over those who did.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 12:51 PM   #4
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i have a good local lawyer that is great at this....and reasonable.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 12:51 PM   #5
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Not sure about alot of that except the lawyer part. Knowing a few people who have gone through similar situation, it seems they all had the same final outcome, but those who didnt hire lawyers saved boat loads of money over those who did.
x2 well I know a cheap lawyer vs a good lawyer vs no lawyer is all the same. It all depends on the prosecuter.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 12:51 PM   #6
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Coming from someone who beat being semi-retarded as a juvenille delinquent ... If you feel that the officers involved were being straight forward with you, you in no way gave them any problem, have a clean driving record and criminal record, I would take they're word for it.

Show up at your court date, if they are not there, plead guilty (cause you are) after possilbly speaking w/ the prosecutor (you made need their okay to drop it to a lesser offense) and accept what you get. Reckless driving you'll probably get points and have to pay a ticket.

Otherwise pay for a lawyer (lots of money), spend lots of time driving back and forth to court dates (costing more money and time off work), possibly lose your license, get probation (more money) and still have to plead guilty.

Next time, try not to drink and drive ... not worth it. Best to wait it out a bit and drink lots of water.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 12:56 PM   #7
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That's what sucks I did stop drinking for almost 2 hours and had 3 cokes. Apparently I didn't burn it as fast as I hoped. The officers told me to plead Not Guilty. I guess I'll try and talk to them first if they show or a prosecutor. I have to believe there is something to them showing to explain what they did to prove I was drunk or not.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 12:56 PM   #8
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I recommend at least consulting with a lawyer. Find one that will waive the costs for the initial visit. It was my past experience that a lawyer can help get your Alchohal related offense reduced. You may have a tougher time getting the offense reduced on your own.

Whats a lawyer run...$300 an hour? Weigh the cost between the lawyer fees and the actual OWI fines and insurance expenses.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 12:59 PM   #9
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drinking water or anything else will not speed up the rate at which the liver converts the alcohol out of your bloodstream. Next time pace yourself and try and drink less to begin with.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 01:32 PM   #10
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In this day and age with the severity of DUI's and DUIs being the "Golden Trophy" of Traffic Enforcement... I certainly wouldn't accept an officers word.

The consequences are severe, loss of license, restricted licenses, breathalyzers installed ($$$), insurance costs ($$$), MI Driver Responsibility Fees ($$$), probation, counselilng ($$$), having to call in EVERY SINGLE morning to see if you have to test.

Trust me, after having a buddy get screwed through the systems, and seeing him STILL not driving after 3 years... I would NOT go without an attorney of any kind.

In my opinion, it's kind of disrespectful to the courts to show up without an attorney. At the very, very, bare minimum, request the Public Defender. In the meantime, I'd consult with a few different attorneys and see if they'll work with you on their retainers. Some will accept payment structures for their services.

Good luck. 0.09 and you were probably driving without concern... people have to remember it's not just driving drunk that gets you... it's driving over the 0.08. It doesn't take much.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 01:42 PM   #11
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Use the court appointed attorney. The city just wants your money and will run you through the ringer. The court appointed people deal with the judges every day and know them real well, vs. a lawyer from another county who the judge doesn't know. You can get it knocked down to operating while impaired but they still put you on probation, rehab, alchohol awareness classes, highway traffic safety classes, AA, and a to work and back liscence. On top of that you get the drivers repsonsibilty fees of $500 a year for two years. Also around $1500 in fines to the court.

Be prepared to shell out a good $3000 to $4000 over the next year or two. The court will let you make payments on things too.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 01:56 PM   #12
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It's already an OWI, the officers made it sound like I could get it knocked down to reckless driving.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:20 PM   #13
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3/3 of GL4x4 members recommend contacting BigCountry for legal advice.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:22 PM   #14
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I would buck up for a lawyer. Mine handle my entire case for $1000... droped it from DUI to OWI, and save me the $1000 right there. Look for someone from that area who is familiar with the courts.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:29 PM   #15
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Get a good lawer, will make all the difference in the world. I had Richard Lippitt, he was good but a little spendy.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #16
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Yeah, I would trust two cops from a City that is dying for a revenue stream that tell me that I don't need to worry about paying a lawyer over a silly little OWI/DUI charge. Sounds like a setup to me. You show up unprepared, they throw the financial book at you.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:37 PM   #17
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Hi.

DO NOT PLEAD GUILTY. EVER. GET A LAWYER.

Don't feel like pleading guilty because you were, and it's the "right" thing to do.

I paid $1k for my lawyer, and it was worth every penny.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:40 PM   #18
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bend over and open your wallet.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:45 PM   #19
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So for those who have actually gone through the process, what am I looking at for procedure? I believe my first court date is a bond hearing? Do I get my money back at that time? What will the judge ask me? What else is going to happen?

Thanks for all the help!
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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:46 PM   #20
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I have a couple other questions, they said that an OWI is just a misdemeanor? That doesn't sound right. Also I was never read Maranda rights though I was arrested. They said that wasn't necessary unless it was a felony of some sort. Any thoughts on that?
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