Can I get my OWI turned into a reckless charge? 6 Answers as of May 20, 2011

2 days ago I was caught with an OWI a mile from my house because apparently my headlights weren’t on for a second while pulling out of a party store parking lot. When I was brought back to the station I had to blow into the data master 3 times, it went .08, .14, and .13. But I wasn’t near that intoxicated and how could the machine just skip .6 points? It seems like it was malfunctioning to me. So my question is with these inaccurate tests could I possibly be convicted of a lesser charge such as reckless driving? I am under 21 too so that doesn’t help but I learned a lesson and I don’t want this to ruin my life.

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Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
Hire a lawyer like myself to fight for your case. When there is a disparity between the first test and second test that is greater than the disparity allowed by the administrative rules, the police are required to give you a third test as they did. I personally was responsible for the Michigan Court of Appeals establishing that proceed in the case of People v. Collopy. You had an opportunity to request your own independent test after having taken the police officer's test of choice. Feel free to contact me if you have further questions.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/20/2011
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
I would recommend retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you with this matter. If you cannot afford to retain an attorney, you may have a right to court-appointed council. Judges commonly make court-appointed attorneys available to people charged with this type of offense because a conviction may result in incarceration. This response does not contain specific legal advice. If you need specific legal advice, please either retain an attorney or request a court-appointed attorney to assist you if one is available. Speaking in general terms, the data-master, breath tests, and the initial stop are very important issues with these types of charges. A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If there were issues with the testing, stop, and other factors, the prosecuting attorney may not have sufficient proofs to get a conviction for the charged offense. The tests used to determine a person's level of alleged intoxication are very complicated, so having the right council is important. Occasionally, prosecuting attorneys only have sufficient proofs to charge a person with reckless driving in these types of situations, but it often depends on how much evidence the prosecutor may be ultimately able to present at a possible trial. Again, I would recommend retaining an experienced defense attorney to assist you with this matter. Most attorneys provide a free initial consultation.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/20/2011
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
Thank you for your inquiry. The breathalyzer machine is calibrated to perform a 3rd test if the first 2 vary by a certain amount. In your case, the 3rd test verified the 2nd result. At any trial, the suggestion will be made that your BAC was .13/.14. It is difficult under any circumstances to get an OWI reduced to a Reckless driving. You will need to retain an attorney to discuss the details of your case to see whether this is possible. You may consider hiring this office to represent you by contacting my office below. I hope that this was helpful.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/20/2011
Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
Without knowing what county this is in and the policy of the prosecuting attorney as to plea bargains in OWI cases, it is hard to predict what a possible outcome might be. As for the Datamaster results, there are various things that can be looked into to make sure the machine was in fact functioning properly. There was a large variation between the first and second test. To do this, the police report and the machine test results would have to be reviewed. With some work, there may be a defense to this charge. For further information, contact us.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/20/2011
Nichols Law Firm
Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
You need to call a lawyer immediately. Feel free to call our office at 517 432 9000. It appears that there is a variance that is outside the acceptable range and in violation of the Michigan Administrative rules.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/20/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    First of all, a DUI will not ruin your life. Many productive people have them on their record and go on to be successful in life, although it is not ideal. From what you described, the reason the police stopped you could be questionable. You need to have an experienced DUI attorney review the police report and data master results for anything that may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed. Only a trained eye can spot these types of deficiencies. Any retainer you spend on an attorney will more than pay for itself with the money in fines, costs, probation, vehicle immobilization, jail, license sanctions, and insurance premiums that you can incur. A successful DUI attorney can often negotiate a plea to a lesser charge such as reckless driving once they point these problems with the case out to the prosecutor, especially if it is your first offense.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/19/2011
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