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Top OWI Lawyers in Detroit, Michigan

Protect your rights with one of the top-rated OWI lawyers in Detroit. Avoid an OWI conviction, lower car insurance, and keep your driver's license with expert criminal defense lawyers in a Detroit, MI court.

OWI Lawyers in Detroit

In Detroit, Michigan, facing an Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) charge can be a daunting experience, fraught with legal complexities and potentially life-altering consequences. Hiring an OWI lawyer in Detroit, Michigan, is invaluable for anyone facing OWI charges.

The role of a Detroit OWI lawyer in such scenarios is crucial, offering a plethora of benefits at each stage of the legal process, from the moment of arrest through to potential appeals. If you or a loved one has been arrested for an OWI in Detroit, we are here to help you find a top-rated OWI attorney in Detroit to protect your rights.

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OWI vs DUI in Detroit

In Detroit, Michigan, the terms OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) and DUI (Driving Under the Influence) are often used interchangeably in casual conversation. OWI vs DUI in Detroit is a common question that we get asked frequently. Legally, there is a distinction between these two charges that are important to understand, especially for those navigating the Detroit legal system.

Legal Definition of OWI in Detroit

The City of Detroit Michigan

In Detroit, the term “OWI” is used to describe the offense of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol, a controlled substance, or a combination of both. This includes any impairment that affects a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely and includes:

  1. Blood Alcohol Content (BAC): A key component of an OWI charge is the level of alcohol in one’s system. A person can be charged with OWI if they have a BAC of 0.08% or higher above the legal limit. For commercial drivers, the legal limit is 0.04%, and for drivers under 21 years old, it is 0.02%.
  2. Substance Use: OWI also covers driving under the influence of drugs, including both illegal drugs and prescription medications that impair the ability to drive.
  3. Penalties: The penalties for an OWI in Detroit can include fines, jail time, community service, driver’s license suspension, and mandatory participation in alcohol or drug education programs.

Legal Definition of DUI in Detroit

While OWI is the specific legal term used in Detroit, DUI is a more general term used across the United States. DUI typically refers to driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. In short, an OWI in Detroit is the same thing as a DUI in Detroit. The key distinction in Michigan law revolves around the specific language used in statutes and legal proceedings.

  1. Legal Use in Detroit: Detroit law specifically uses the term OWI, but DUI is often used in public discourse and sometimes in legal discussions to refer to drunk or impaired driving offenses.
  2. Penalties: In states where DUI is the legal term, the penalties are similar to those for OWI in Detroit, including fines, jail time, and license suspension.

Finding An OWI Lawyer in Detroit

Where is the best place to find a top-rated OWI attorney in Detroit? This is one of the most commonly asked questions we hear. Thankfully, there are several good places to begin your search for the best OWI lawyer in Detroit for your particular case.

Professional law organizations are wonderful places to begin this search. These are associations of Detroit law professionals and OWI law offices that are in good standing with Detroit law enforcement, their peers, and the Detroit legal system. These encompass a variety of schools of law including OWI defense law.

Some of the professional law associations in Detroit include:

These organizations are meant as a starting point. Only you can know who the best OWI lawyer in Detroit will be for your specific case. Be skeptical and discerning and ask as many questions as you can.

You are your own best advocate. Don’t settle for a mediocre criminal defense attorney. Getting a top-rated OWI defense lawyer in Detroit will give you the best chance of beating an OWI charge and protecting your rights.

OWI Lawyers in Detroit

How A Detroit OWI Lawyer Can Help

The role of an OWI attorney in Detroit is crucial in protecting your right to drive. Top-rated criminal defense attorneys in Detroit provide a range of benefits at each stage of the legal process. This includes from the moment of arrest through to potential appeals.

The sooner you find legal representation in Detroit, the better off you will be. A Detroit OWI lawyer can begin fighting for you from the moment of an OWI arrest. Some of the benefits provided by an OWI lawyer in Detroit include:

Immediately After An OWI Arrest

Upon arrest for an OWI, a lawyer can provide immediate legal advice, ensuring you understand your rights, such as the right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination. Top-rated OWI attorneys in Detroit can help in navigating the initial procedures, ensuring that your rights are not violated by law enforcement.

Detroit OWI attorneys can facilitate the bail process, working towards securing a prompt release from custody. They can also argue for reasonable bail terms, reducing the financial burden.

In Detroit, an OWI arrest typically involves an administrative hearing regarding license suspension. A Detroit OWI lawyer’s representation in these hearings is crucial for retaining your driving privileges. You may only have between 14 to 30 days to request a hearing to keep your driving privileges.

During Pre-Trial

Detroit criminal defense attorneys meticulously review all evidence, including police evidence such as OWI breath test or OWI blood test results. This could also include field sobriety tests and any video footage, looking for inconsistencies or procedural errors on the part of the arresting police officer. They assess the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case to develop an effective OWI defense strategy.

If the evidence against you is substantial, your OWI attorney might negotiate a plea bargain, potentially leading to reduced charges or lesser penalties. Filing pre-trial motions to suppress evidence due to illegal stops or searches, or improper testing procedures can significantly impact the case’s outcome. Motions to dismiss the case based on legal technicalities can also be a strategic approach.

OWI laws are complex and constantly evolving. A specialized OWI attorney in Detroit stays updated with these changes and understands how to leverage them in your favor.

During the Trial

In court, a Detroit criminal defense lawyer’s expertise is invaluable in presenting a strong OWI defense. This includes effectively cross-examining witnesses, and articulating compelling arguments to the jury. An in-depth understanding of OWI laws in Detroit is critical for challenging the prosecution’s evidence and presenting an effective defense.

An experienced OWI defense attorney also plays a significant role in selecting a jury. This can help ensure a fair and impartial panel. Additionally, familiarity with the Detroit legal system, the judges, and the prosecution can significantly benefit your case. This local insight can influence your drunk driving defense strategy and negotiations.

An OWI conviction can impact job prospects and professional licenses. An experienced OWI lawyer’s role in reducing charges or obtaining a not-guilty verdict can be crucial.

After The Trial

If convicted of an OWI, an experienced OWI defense lawyer can advocate for leniency in sentencing. This can include focusing on alternatives to jail time, like community service or rehabilitation programs.

A Detroit OWI attorney can also assist with the complexities of driver’s license suspension and driver’s license reinstatement issues that accompany an OWI conviction.

During Appeals and Onward

An experienced defense attorney in Detroit can navigate the complexities of filing and arguing OWI appeals if there are grounds, such as legal errors in the trial process. They can prepare and submit all necessary documentation, adhering to strict appellate procedures and deadlines.

Experienced OWI attorneys in Detroit can also assist with post-conviction relief efforts, including attempts to expunge the conviction if eligible. Depending on your OWI charges, you may be eligible to expunge an OWI from your driving record.

OWI Arrests in Detroit, MI

The number of OWI arrests in Detroit over the past few years has seen some variability, but it remains quite high given the population. Detroit, while not nearly as populous as it once was, is still the largest city in Michigan. That being said, Detroit police officers have continued to make very high numbers of OWI arrests every year.

Detroit Police

The State of Michigan makes annual OWI reports available every year. We have focused on Wayne County in particular since it makes up the majority of Downtown Detroit.

According to the Michigan Department of State Police, the number of OWI arrests in Wayne County over the past few years is as follows:

  • 2019: 4,631 OWI Arrests
  • 2020: 3,720 OWI Arrests
  • 2021: 4,090 OWI Arrests
  • 2022: 3,735 OWI Arrests

OWI Courthouses in Detroit, Michigan

Frank Murphy Courthouse


Frank Murphy Hall of Justice
1441 St. Antoine, Room 100
Detroit, MI 48226

Frank Murphy Hall of Justice 1441 St Antoine Room 100, Detroit, MI 48226


(313) 224-2502


Frank Murphy Hall of Justice Website

Wayne County 29th District Courthouse


29th District Courthouse
34808 Sims Street
Wayne, MI 48184

29th District Court 34808 Sims St, Wayne, MI 48184


(734) 722-5220


29th District Courthouse Website

Macomb County Courthouse


Macomb County Courthouse
40 N Main Street
Mt Clemens, MI 48043

Macomb County Courthouse 40 N Main St, Mt Clemens, MI 48043


(586) 469-7171


Macomb County Courthouse Website

Bloomfield Hills 48th District Court


Bloomfield Hills 48th District Courthouse
4280 Telegraph Road
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302

Bloomfield Hills 48th District Court 4280 Telegraph Road Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302


(248) 647-1141


48th District Courthouse Website

Novi 52-1 District Court


Oakland County 52-1 District Courthouse
48150 Grand River Ave #52nd
Novi, MI 48374

District 52-1 Novi Courthouse 48150 Grand River Ave_


(248) 305-6460


District 52-1 Novi Courthouse Website

More Michigan OWI Resources

If you need an OWI lawyer in a specific city in Michigan, we also have pages for DUI defense lawyers in cities across the state of Michigan. Read our helpful and informative articles below to find a DUI lawyer near you. Also, you can call 1-888-839-4384 anytime to schedule a free consultation.