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Criminal Defense | Criminal Defense Legal Advice | Drunk Driving


Criminal Defense

Bodwin & Associates, P.C. has been helping people just like you with a wide range of criminal matters since 1986. Attorney Brendon G. Basiga, along with other attorneys in our firm, handle every level of crime – from simple misdemeanors to life offenses (a.k.a. “capital” cases). Beyond our criminal expertise, we have a network of investigative resources at our disposal that will assist in your defense. Among the many crimes that Brendon Basiga has handled are:

• Assault & Battery
• Aggravated Assault
• Felonious Assault
• Domestic Violence
• Drunk Driving – First, Second, Third
• Use of Drugs
• Possession of Drugs
• Delivery and Manufacture of Drugs
• Drug “Bust” crimes (a.k.a. “Raids”)
• Medical Marijuana cases
• Theft crimes – Embezzlement, Fraud, Shoplifting
• Robbery – Armed Robbery, Unarmed Robbery, Bank Robbery
• Breaking & Entering crimes – Home Invasion First, Second, Third
• Criminal Sexual Conduct crimes – First, Second, Third, Fourth
• Sex Offender Registry crimes
• Homicide crimes – Open Murder, First or Second Degree Murder, Second Degree, Manslaughter

Know Your Enemy
We know the prosecution and the court where your case is pending. "Know your enemy" is an adage we take to heart on behalf of our clients. That's why we have become as familiar as we can with the judges and prosecutors where we handle cases. When we don't know a particular judge or prosecutor, we use professional resource tools to find out what we need to know about them. Different jurisdictions often have different policies and prosecution standards for crimes.

Quality Legal Representation for a Fair Value

We work hard to be the best criminal defense attorneys in Michigan. Our objective is always to obtain the best results for our clients. We are not the cheapest law firm out there. We do not believe in cutting corners and we never sell you, the client, short. We do our best to be the best, for you.

You Deserve an Aggressive and Experienced Law Firm like Ours Fighting for You
Having a great team of attorneys on your case makes a difference, and so does hiring a criminal lawyer who knows the system. Our experience means that you’ll have access to the best knowledge and education on your side. Our firm offers that level of professionalism in every matter we represent.

Whether you’re facing a misdemeanor or a felony, your case is too important not to get the best and most expert legal assistance you can find. We present every defense, every strategy — every piece of evidence in your favor to fight your case.

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The Best Legal Advice You Are Ever Going To Get If You Are Charged With A Crime
The two most important things to remember if you are charged with a crime are:

#1 Remain Silent
#2, Ask to Speak With an Attorney.

These are your rights and you should ask to exercise them, whether you are guilty or innocent.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent

Being arrested is not pleasant. It is often a shocking, humiliating, and painful experience. Suffering through the indignity of the entire ordeal, from being placed in handcuffs that are usually too tight, to the photograph that you can’t quite believe is being taken of you, and finally, to the sound of the jail cell door slamming behind you, is emotionally trying to say the least.

Your first impulse may be to do whatever is necessary to put this terrible experience behind you and pretend that it never happened. You might even feel compelled to tell the police what you think might enable you to be free from custody. This desire, this driving need to get out of there, no matter what you have to do, is understandable. But, although this is the moment when you are most vulnerable, you are intimidated and your guard is down, this is also the time when you must keep your wits about you and insist on your rights. That does not mean that you should be uncooperative, argumentative, or confrontational. Be respectful, just don’t talk about the case.

The police will read your Miranda Rights, ask if you understand them, and then seek to speak to you about the event which caused your arrest. Miranda warnings were established by the United States Supreme Court for a specific reason. It is a rule which has been implemented in every police department in the country for your protection. Except for answering questions about your name, address, what you want to have done with your car, etc., never, ever, speak with the police after you have been read your Miranda Rights. The police can and will use anything you say against you.

Any deal, promise or concession that the police are offering you if you speak to them can and should be done through your attorney. This helps to ensure that you do not say anything that may harm your case. A lawyer can ensure that the deal, if any exists, is properly prepared so that you are protected. You must always remember that silence, your refusal to speak to police, is one small piece of your dignity that you can vigorously hold onto while you are in custody. It is also your strongest ally in your battle for freedom.

Invoking your right to silence will allow you to stall until you can speak to your attorney.
You Have the Right to an Attorney
As soon as you are arrested ask to speak with an attorney! The magic words are simple: “I want to speak to a lawyer.” Once you request an attorney, the police are not allowed to question you regarding the facts and circumstances surrounding your arrest or detention. If the police try to question you after you have requested an attorney, any statements that are elicited by the police after this request are generally inadmissible in a court of law.

Even if you think you have done nothing wrong, you need to consult with an attorney to preserve your rights. Often, people believe that if they have not done anything wrong, they have nothing to hide and only criminals need an attorney. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The United States Supreme Court, in Miranda v Arizona, recognized the potential significance and liberty threatening implications of this legitimate human emotional belief. However, the law is a complicated maze that even the most seasoned attorneys have difficulty understanding sometimes. It is a web that will often trap the unsuspecting individual not aware of the finer points of the law. Unfortunately, it is quite often this lack of comprehension of the law that will cause an arrested person to foolishly speak with the police.

The Miranda Court believed that when a person has been arrested there is a real danger that he or she will forfeit their Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate themselves. The Court understood that the presence of the police, the handcuffs, the fear of jail, the entire experience of being arrested can be so overwhelming that the ordinary person might say whatever was necessary to attempt to get out of the situation. Under such circumstances, a person would sacrifice their right against self incrimination. To help the arrested person who probably has no clue about the legal implications of speaking to the police after being arrested, the Court mandated that the police must not question you about the arrest after you have requested to speak to an attorney. It is for this reason, and not because “only criminals need attorneys,” that you should request to speak to an attorney after you have been read your Miranda Rights.

Remember, it is not the police officer’s job to determine guilt or innocence, nor is it the job of the police to feel any sympathy towards your plight. The role of the police officer is to enforce the law, and to gather as much evidence as possible to build a case against you. If, in enforcing the law, the police arrest you, it is then their responsibility to turn you over to the judiciary system.

You have a right to defend yourself against the charges leveled against you, but in doing so never bargain, leverage or trade away your Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination. The United State Supreme Court has given all of us two very important weapons that we can use to defend ourselves from charges of the government: the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Only a fool gives up these rights!

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If You Are Arrested For Drunk Driving or Other Drinking Related Offense
D\Drunk Driving is a very serious offense. It can affect your freedom as well as your ability to drive. So for any drunk driving offense, it is imperative that the defendant has qualified legal representation who understand the court sanctions, the ramifications to your license, and even the immigration consequences. Attorney Brendon G. Basiga understands these consequences and has dealt with each of these issues. Before you do anything else, talk to us. The initial consultation is always free.

Michigan Drunk Driving Laws

According to MCL 257.625:
(1) A person, whether licensed or not, shall not operate a vehicle upon a highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles, including an area designated for the parking of vehicles, within this state if the person is operating while intoxicated. As used in this section, "operating while intoxicated" means either of the following applies:
(a) The person is under the influence of alcoholic liquor, a controlled substance, or a combination of alcoholic liquor and a controlled substance.
(b) The person has an alcohol content of 0.08 grams or more per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine, or, beginning October 1, 2013, the person has an alcohol content of 0.10 grams or more per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine.

Preliminary Breath Test
When stopped by a law enforcement officer for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, you may be asked to take sobriety tests, including a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT), at the roadside to determine whether you are under the influence of alcohol. If you refuse to take the PBT, you could be issued a civil infraction and fined up to $180.
Michigan’s Implied Consent Law

According to the Michigan Secretary of State:
If arrested for drunk driving in Michigan, you will be required to take a chemical test to determine your bodily alcohol content (BAC). Under Michigan's Implied Consent Law, all drivers are considered to have given their consent to this test. If you refuse a test, six points will be added to your driver record and your license, or non-resident operating privilege, will be suspended for one year. A suspension of a license, or non-resident operating privilege, is automatic for any refusal to submit to the test. This is a separate consequence from any subsequent convictions resulting from the traffic stop. If you are arrested a second time in seven years and again unreasonably refuse the test, six points will be added to your driver record and your license, or non-resident operating privilege, will be suspended for two years. If you refuse to take the test under the Implied Consent Law or if the test shows your BAC is 0.08 or more, your Michigan driver's license will be destroyed by the officer and you will be issued a 625g paper permit to drive until your case is resolved in court.
The Implied Consent suspension may be appealed to the Driver Assessment and Appeal Division. The request for hearing must be mailed within 14 days of the date of arrest or your operator's or chauffeur's license and vehicle group designation or operating privilege will be automatically suspended. You are not required to have an attorney at this hearing, but an attorney may represent you if you wish. (http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1627_8665_9070-21485--,00.html)

WARNING: IF YOU REFUSE TO TAKE A DATAMASTER BREATH TEST YOU WILL NOT ONLY LOOSE YOUR LICENSE AS INDICATED ABOVE, BUT THE POLICE WILL STILL OBTAIN YOUR BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL BY OBTAINING A SEARCH WARRANT AND TAKING YOU TO THE HOSPITAL FOR WITHDRAWAL OF YOUR BLOOD, BY FORCE IF NECESSARY.

Types of Charges

Operating While Visibly Impaired ( OWVI) means that because of alcohol or other drugs in your body, your ability to operate a motor vehicle was visibly impaired.

Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) means that the alcohol or drugs in your body substantially affected your ability so you could not operate a motor vehicle safely. It can also mean that your bodily alcohol content was at or above 0.08. This can be shown by a chemical test.

Operating With Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine means having even a small trace of these drugs in your body, even though you may not appear to be intoxicated or impaired. This can be determined by a blood test. In other words, all the prosecutor has to prove is that (1) you were driving, and (2) that you had some illegal drug in your system. It could be as little as a nanogram (1 billionth of a gram) and have absolutely nothing to do with your ability to operate the vehicle.
Under Age 21 Operating With Any Bodily Alcohol Content means having a BAC of 0.02 to 0.07 or any presence of alcohol other than that consumed at a generally recognized religious ceremony.

Penalties for Drunk Driving and Other Driver’s License Related Offenses
The penalties for drunk driving can be severe. They can range from stiff fines to prison time, depending on the circumstances of the offense and any prior drunk driving convictions. Beyond that, there could be serious sanctions on your license, ranging from having your driving privileges restricted, to suspended, to all out revoked, as well as driving responsibility fees from the Secretary of State. Call us for more information, and to discuss the possible penalties of your drunk driving case. Remember – the call is free, and the information is invaluable.

The Michigan Secretary of State has clearly outlined the consequences for the various Drunk Driving charges. (See http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1627_8665_9070-24488--,00.html, for more details).

First Offense – O
WI (Operating While Intoxicated) or Operating With Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine (OWPD):
$100 to $500 fine and one or more of the following:
Up to 93 days in jail.
Up to 360 hours of community service.
Driver license suspension for 30 days, followed by restrictions for 150 days.
Possible vehicle immobilization.
Possible ignition interlock.
Six points added to driver record.
$1,000 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years for OWI.
$500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years for OWPD.

First Offense – OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired:
Up to $300 fine and one or more of the following:
Up to 93 days in jail.
Up to 360 hours of community service.
Driver license restriction for 90 days (180 days if impaired by controlled substance).
Possible vehicle immobilization.
Four points on driver record.
$500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

Any combination, second offense within seven years – O
WI (Operating While Intoxicated):
$200 to $1,000 fine and one or more of the following:
Five days to one year in jail.
30 to 90 days community service.
Driver license denial/revocation for a minimum of one year.
License plate confiscated.
Vehicle immobilization 90 to 180 days unless vehicle is forfeited.
Possible vehicle forfeiture.
Six points on driver record.
$1000 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

Any combination, second offense within seven years – OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired:
$200 to $1,000 fine and one or more of the following:
Five days to one year in jail.
30 to 90 days community service.
Driver license denial/revocation for a minimum one year.
License plate confiscation.
Vehicle immobilization 90 to 180 days unless vehicle is forfeited.
Possible vehicle forfeiture.
Four points on driver record.
$500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

Any combination, third offense within lifetime (felony) – O
WI (Operating While Intoxicated):
$500 to $5,000 fine and either:
One to five years imprisonment.
Probation with 30 days to one year in jail.
60 to 180 days community service.
Driver license denial/revocation for a minimum five years.
License plate confiscation.
Vehicle immobilization one to three years unless vehicle is forfeited.
Possible vehicle forfeiture.
Registration denial.
Six points on driver record.
$1000 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

Any combination, third offense within lifetime (felony) –
OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired):
$500 to $5,000 fine and either:
One to five years in prison.
Probation with 30 days to one year in jail.
60 to 180 days community service.
Driver license denial/revocation for a minimum of five years.
License plate confiscation.
Vehicle immobilization one to three years unless forfeited.
Possible vehicle forfeiture.
Registration denial.
Four points on driver record.
$500 Driver Responsibility Fee

First offense – O
WI/OWVI/OWPD/DWLS causing death/serious injury (felony):
Causing Death – Up to 15 years imprisonment OR $2,500 to $10,000 fine, or both.
Causing Injury – Up to five years imprisonment OR $1,000 to $5,000 fine, or both.
Causing Emergency Responder Death – Up to 20 years imprisonment OR $2,500 to $10,000 fine, or both
Driver license denial/revocation for a minimum of one year.
License plate confiscation.
Vehicle immobilization up to 180 days unless forfeited.
Possible vehicle forfeiture.
$1,000 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

Second offense (any prior crime within seven years) – O
WI/OWVI/OWPD/DWLS causing death/serious injury (felony):
Causing Death – Up to 15 years imprisonment OR $2,500 to $10,000 fine, or both.
Causing Injury – Up to five years imprisonment OR $1,000 to $5,000 fine, or both.
Causing Emergency Responder Death – Up to 20 years imprisonment OR $2,500 to $10,000 fine, or both.
Driver license denial/revocation for a minimum of five years.
License plate confiscation.
Vehicle immobilization 90 to 180 days unless vehicle is forfeited.
Possible vehicle forfeiture.
$1000 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

Open Intoxicants in a Motor Vehicle:

Up to a $100 fine.

First offense-no action is taken against driver license.

Second offense
-driver license is suspended for 30 days/restricted for 60 days.

Third offense
-driver license is suspended for 60 days/restricted for 305 days.
Alcohol screening may be required.
Two points on driver record.

Actions for Drivers Under Age 21:


Zero Tolerance (under age 21) – First Offense:
Up to $250 fine and/or
Up to 360 hours of community service.
Driver license is restricted for 30 days.
Four points on driver record.
$500 Driver Responsibility Fee for 2 consecutive years.

Zero Tolerance (under age 21) – Second Offense within seven years:

Up to $500 fine and/or
Up to 60 days community service.
Up to 93 days in jail.
Driver license suspension 90 days. Any prior drunk driving conviction results in a minimum one-year driver license revocation.
Four points on driver record.
$500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

Person Under 21 purchase/consume/possess alcohol:

First offense
-$100 fine, no action is taken against driver license.

Second offense
-$200 fine, driver license is suspended for 30 days/restricted for 60 days.

Third offense
-$500 fine, driver license is suspended for 60 days/restricted for 305 days.
Community service may be required.
Alcohol screening may be required.

Person Under 21 transport or possess in a motor vehicle:

Up to a $100 fine.

First offense-no action is taken against driver license.

Second offense-driver license is suspended for 30 days/restricted for 60 days.

Third offense-driver license is suspended for 60 days/restricted for 305 days.
Alcohol screening may be required.
Community service may be required.
Two points on driver record.
Vehicle can be impounded up to 30 days.

Use Fraudulent ID to Purchase Liquor:
Up to a $100 fine, 93 days in jail, or both.
90-day driver license suspension.
Alcohol screening may be required.

DWLS (Driving While License Suspended):

Up to $500 fine, up to 93 days in jail, or both.
Mandatory additional suspension.
$500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

DWLS (second offense):

Up to $1,000 fine, up to one year in jail, or both.
Mandatory additional suspension.
Vehicle may be immobilized for up to 180 days.
$500 Driver Responsibility Fee

DWLS (third offense-must have two priors within seven years-misdemeanor):
Mandatory additional suspension.
License plate confiscated.
Vehicle immobilized 90 to 180 days.
$500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

DWLS (fourth offense-must have three priors within seven years-misdemeanor):

Same as for third offense.

DWLS (fifth offense-must have four priors within seven years-misdemeanor):

Mandatory additional suspension.
License plate confiscated.
Vehicle immobilized one to three years.
$500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

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