Public Defenders and Michigan OWI

Often times a Michigan OWI defendant, who is feeling ashamed, defeated and overwhelmed, will say “I’m just going to use the court’s public defender”. While in some cases this might be a good decision, often times it is not. A Michigan OWI is a serious criminal charge. Many clients report that their Michigan OWI is the biggest event of their life. The punishment for OWI can be harsh. In addition to being ordered to pay thousands of dollars in court fines and costs you can also be looking at a complete loss of your driver’s license and a significant period of incarceration. If you have been charge with a Michigan OWI you would be wise to take the time to meet with an experienced and well-qualified Michigan OWI defense attorney.

Who is the public defender? The public defender is an attorney who has applied to the court to act as that day’s attorney for unrepresented defendants. He usually asks to have his name put on a list of various attorneys that are asking the court to give them a half or full day’s work. Believe it or not, often times the public defender will be paid as little as $25 or $50 to represent you. The public defender cannot devote the attention to your case that it truly deserves. He will often time be an attorney who has a bare-bones office staff or no office staff at all. The public defender will usually not place a demand upon the prosecutor or police to provide him with a copy of your arrest file ahead of the dates of your hearings. It is more common than not that the public defender will merely look at the court’s file or the prosecutor’s file on the day of your hearing to learn the facts of your case. That’s correct; the public defender will usually not even maintain an evidentiary file on your behalf!

Even if you want to use the public defender the court may not always allow you to do so. The court will require you to provide financial evidence of your lower income. If you are well employed the court may simply say no to your request to use the public defender.

The public defender is usually overwhelmed with dozens and dozens of cases. After all, an attorney would need to earn a lot of $25 or $50 fees to make a living for himself.

The public defender is not necessarily a Michigan OWI defense attorney. The court will hand him 15 or 20 cases (or more) to be heard in a single morning or afternoon session. The cases assigned to him will be for everything from drug possession to spousal abuse to shoplifting to having a loose dog. He may even be asked to take a littering case! The public defender is expected to be somewhat knowledgeable about the law for every one of those cases. Indeed, he may have some knowledge about the law of the various cases handed to him, but he does not have a practice that focuses on a single type of case.

An effective Michigan OWI defense will require an attorney who has the experience of having represented hundreds and hundreds of OWI defendants. Your Michigan OWI defense attorney will know how to develop and challenge breath, blood and urine evidence. He will have a network of scientific experts that he can draw upon in defense of your case. The public defender simply cannot devote the attention and expertise that your case will require.

If you have been charged with a Michigan OWI you need to take the allegation seriously. Attorney Richard I. Lippitt has the experience and knowledge that is required to confront your case. Mr. Lippitt employs a vast network of scientific and blood experts who can potentially challenge your Michigan OWI arrest. Additionally, Mr. Lippitt possesses the legal scholarship necessary to develop potential constitutional challenges of your Michigan OWI arrest.

Michigan OWI defense attorney Richard I. Lippitt is highly skilled and experienced in investigating and challenging the facts and circumstances of Michigan OWI arrests. Mr. Lippitt appears in Michigan courts over 350 times each year in defense of Michigan OWIs.

Attorney Richard I. Lippitt stands ready to provide you with a free, no obligation meeting regarding your Michigan OWI felony arrest. Please call or request a Free Case Evaluation via the form on this page.