Getting an OWI is very concerning to most people as it is a serious crime that could lead to jail time and even a loss of employment. If an individual made the mistake of driving while under the influence of alcohol and got caught, they should try and remain calm to avoid making the situation more stressful and take some time to learn more about the crime they have been charged with.


What is an OWI and what types of penalties does the crime carry?


When an individual is charged with OWI, it means they have been charged with operating while intoxicated. Generally, when a person has a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher, they are considered above the legal limit and are breaking the law. However, it is worth noting that individuals who have a BAC that is lower than 0.08% can also be charged with OWI if an officer determines they are impaired while behind the wheel of their vehicle.


OWI Penalties


Each state has its own way of punishing drivers who get behind the wheel of their vehicle intoxicated. In the State of Michigan, if a driver is convicted of OWI, meaning they have been found guilty of their charges, they could face the following penalties when it is their first offense1:

  • $100 to $500 fine
  • 93 days in jail
  • 360 hours of community service
  • Driver’s license suspension for 30 days along with 150 days of license restrictions
  • Vehicle immobilization
  • Have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle
  • Having six points added to their driving record


It is important to note that a charge is not the same as a conviction. When criminal charges are filed, it means the individual could potentially face these consequences if they are found guilty of the crime. However, there is a chance they can get their charges reduced or even dismissed if they decide to retain a Michigan DUI lawyer who can either convince the court that they should be charged with a less severe crime or they have evidence that supports a dismissal of charges.


Hiring an OWI Attorney in Michigan


After an individual has been charged with OWI, they can also contact a Michigan OWI lawyer if they want to

  1. Learn more about the penalties their OWI carries. If an individual was charged with additional crimes or their BAC level was recorded at 0.17% or higher, they could face harsher penalties. Thankfully, there are OWI attorneys who can determine what penalties an individual might be facing by reviewing the charges that have been filed against them.
  2. Understand how OWI cases are carried out.
  3. Find out what the likelihood is of getting their charges reduced.
  4. Hire a lawyer who is going to defend their rights.


The Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. is a criminal defense law firm that is located in Lansing, MI. This firm offers legal advice and representation to those who have been charged with minor and serious criminal offenses, including OWI. If an individual would like to schedule an initial consultation to find out how Michigan OWI lawyer Stuart R. Shafer can help them get through this confusing and difficult time, they can call 517-487-6603.


The Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. can be reached at:


1223 Turner Street, #333

Lansing, MI 48906

Phone: 517-487-6603




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