Driving while under the influence can lead to grave penalties for individuals in Michigan. A drunk driving conviction may result in time behind bars, expensive fines, loss of driving privileges and more. Even a first-time mistake can result in complications in various areas of a defendant’s life. Recently, a Sheriff’s Deputy from Saginaw County was facing a range of detrimental consequences when he was able to plead guilty to reduced drunk driving charges.
Details of the case
The deputy was accused of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and with his young child in the car. He was off duty at the time, but he did have a gun with him. At his hearing, the defendant stated that he did not remember how much he had to drink at the time he was pulled over, but the official report recorded his BAC at .11%. The original charge was driving while intoxicated with a passenger younger than 16. This is a misdemeanor with a potential for up to a year in jail.
Instead, the defendant was able to plead guilty of operating a vehicle while visibly impaired. This is a traffic violation and also a misdemeanor offense with a potential jail term of up to six months. The judge also dismissed the weapons charge he was facing. It is not clear what penalties came with his guilty plea, but he was placed on administrative leave from his position. He was recently able to return to work.
The best defense
This case illustrates how a defendant can pursue an alternative outcome to his or her drunk driving case instead of simply pleading guilty to the original charge. An experienced Michigan defense attorney can help one pursue the most beneficial resolution when facing this type of criminal charge. An assessment of the case can determine what defense options are available.