Operating While Intoxicated in Michigan
In Michigan, an individual can be convicted for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) while:
- Intoxicated by or under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Visibly impaired by alcohol or drugs; or
- Having any amount of a Schedule 1 controlled substance in the body.
Anyone with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more or who is materially impaired by drugs or alcohol is considered intoxicated or under the influence.
An OWI is considered a first offense in Michigan if the driver has no prior convictions within the last 7 years. Those convicted will be subject to any combination of the following penalties:
- Jail time – up to 93 days in jail; up to 180 days for OWIs involving a BAC of .17% or greater.
- Community service – up to 360 hours of community service.
- Fines – $100-$500 for a first conviction; $200-$700 for drivers with a BAC of .17% or greater.
- Vehicle loss – the court is permitted to immobilize the vehicle owned by the convicted person for 180 days.
- License suspension – 180-day license suspension with the possibility after 30 days of suspension to apply for a restricted license that allows them to drive for limited purposes with the use of an ignition interlock device; 1-year suspension if the driver’s BAC was .17% or greater, with the possibility of obtaining a restricted license after 45 days of suspension.
Drug Possession Charges
It's prohibited for a person to knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance unless it was obtained pursuant to a valid prescription or order of a licensed practitioner. Like federal law, Michigan divides controlled substances into five “schedules,” such that Schedule 1 lists the most dangerous drugs that have a high probability of abuse and no recognized medical value, and Schedules 2, 3, 4, and 5 decrease in dangerousness and probability of abuse and increase in recognized medical uses.
Some examples of controlled substances included in each schedule are:
- Schedule 1 – heroin, LSD, peyote, ecstasy, BZP;
- Schedule 2 – morphine, codeine, oxycodone, cocaine, fentanyl;
- Schedule 3 – benzphetamine, barbituric acids, ketamine;
- Schedule 4 – lorazepam, diazepam, phenobarbital;
- Schedule 5 – codeine mixed with nonnarcotics (such as cough syrups or cold medicines).
Penalties for illegal possession of Schedule 1 or 2 narcotics (e.g. heroin or morphine) or cocaine vary depending on the amount involved:
- 1,000 grams or more – up to life in prison and/or a fine up to $1,000,000;
- 450 to 1,000 grams – up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine up to $500,000;
- 50 to 450 grams – up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $250,000;
- less than 50 grams – up to 4 years in prison and/or a fine up to $25,000 fine.
The penalties for illegal possession of ecstasy or methamphetamine include up to $15,000 in fines and/or up to 10 years in prison. Illegally possessing any other Schedule 1, 2, 3, or 4 controlled substance not otherwise listed (excluding marihuana) can incur $2,000 worth of fines and/or imprisonment up to 2 years.
Note that the sale, delivery, and manufacturing of these drugs result in even harsher penalties. Some circumstances that could lead to enhanced penalties include delivery to a minor, delivery in a public or private park, possession on or near a school property or library, and repeat drug offenses.
In Michigan, first-degree murder is the most severe type of homicide because it is planned and committed with some type of evil intent. In a homicide case, a Michigan prosecutor bears the burden of proving that the defendant planned to commit the murder (premeditation). First-degree murder is punishable by life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
A special category of murder exists for those committed in the perpetration of other crimes, also called felony murders. Note that felony murders do not have to be premeditated. If an individual commits felony murder during any of the following crimes, they will face the same penalty as first-degree murder:
- First-degree child abuse
- Breaking and entering a home
- Aggravated stalking
Unlike first degree murder, second-degree murder is not premeditated. Second-degree murder is either:
- An unplanned, intentional killing; or
- A death caused by a reckless disregard for human life.
Second-degree murder is punishable by life in prison or a prison term of varying length with the possibility of parole.
Facing a Criminal Charge? Let Us Defend You.
If you are facing criminal charges, you need an aggressive and experienced advocate on your side. Our attorneys at Rodenhouse Law Group have years of trial experience and can provide the knowledgeable and trustworthy legal representation you need in your criminal case. Whether you are facing drug-related charges, violent crime charges, or any other misdemeanor or felony charges, reach out to our firm for legal support.