OWI 1st Offense


OWI Lawyers Defending Clients in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Throughout Michigan Charged with DUI/OWI First Offenses

Even first-time offenders face harsh penalties if convicted of OWI (operating while intoxicated) in Michigan. At Grabel & Associates, we want you to be aware that under Michigan law, offenders are subject to vigorous prosecution. Not only is the punishment harsh, your personal life and career may suffer the consequences of a conviction. We urge you to call our Michigan DUI lawyers immediately if you have been charged with a first offense.

It is considered an OWI 1st offense when an individual is charged with drunk driving and has no prior offenses for a 7 year period, has a BAC (blood alcohol content) of lower than .17, and no injury or death occurs as a result of the drunk driving offense. First-time offenders typically do not face penalties that are as harsh as those for repeat offenders; however a conviction will result in fines, driver's license suspension, and other penalties. For the best possible result, it is important you speak with a skilled and aggressive criminal defense attorney.

Michigan Operating While Intoxicated 1st Offense

In Michigan, it is illegal for an individual who is 21 years or older to operate a vehicle with a BAC of more than 0.08%. Underage drivers will be charged with OWI Zero Tolerance if it is determined a juvenile driver was operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.02% or above a BAC of .17% or higher is a more serious crime prosecuted under Michigan's Super Drunk law.

Chemical tests are typically administered to determine blood alcohol content. These tests may include breath, blood, or urine tests. It is important to note that you may still be charged with OWI even if you refuse a chemical test. In fact, under Michigan's Implied Consent Law, your driver's license may be suspended if you refuse to submit to a chemical test. This does not apply to breath tests administered roadside by police.

In Michigan, an OWI first offense is a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor crimes are not considered as serious as those classified as felonies, therefore the punishment is less severe. However, do not assume that a first-time OWI will get you nothing more than a slap on the wrist; the penalties are real, as you will see below.

Michigan Penalties for First-Time OWI Offenders

If convicted of operating while intoxicated for the first time, the penalties include:

  • Fines of up to $500
  • 360 hours of community service
  • A maximum of 93 days in jail
  • 30-day driver's license suspension followed by 150 days restricted driving
  • Completion of a court approved alcohol education program

While most first-time offenders will not face jail time, whether your sentence includes jail time is left to the discretion of the judge. These penalties apply only for a basic OWI, meaning you have no prior OWI convictions in the previous seven years, and were not involved in an accident that left another individual injured or deceased. Additionally, after completing your sentence there will still be lingering effects. For example, employers will see that you have a criminal record; your auto insurance company may increase your rates for a period of time.

Contact Our Michigan OWI 1st Offense Attorneys Now

At Grabel & Associates, our top priority is securing positive results for every client we represent. Our team has the experience, skill, and dedicated approach necessary to have the charge against you dismissed or reduced, so that the damage to your career, reputation, and life is minimal. We will explore every option in an effort to have your OWI case dismissed.

Contact our team of Michigan OWI defense lawyers now by calling our toll-free number at 1-800-783-4448.